somewhereawesome #20: About hiking in warm winters and sleeping in cold cabins

End of February we chose to no longer whine about the lack of a snowboard season in BC and decided to look for a different kind of great adventure in the mountains: Why not hike up the snowy mountains and sleep in a little cabin? So Elfin Lakes Hut it was! A 22km round trip located in beautiful Garibaldi Provincial Park.

On a sunny Friday we got a rental car, drove up the scenic sea to sky highway and ended up in Squamish, BC. From there a heavily potholed gravel road took us to the Diamon Head trailhead.

Garbadli_Elfin Lakes-1 Kopie

At the beginning of the hike it felt like spring – very warm, no snow and flowers on the path. But after a while we found ourselves in a beautiful and magic winter wonderland. Each corner we rounded, our breath was taken away by new sights … but none of which was as powerful as the one when we reached the top and had a  360 degree view of the Garibaldi mountain range surrounding us!

On the way up
On the way up

On our way up we passed several snowshoers, however we have managed well without the crampons we rented for the weekend. (We did strap them on on our way down, mostly to just use them at least once, so spending money on them didn’t feel completely useless).

Four hours later we ended up at the two small and snow covered alpin lakes, that give the trail its name. Behind the second lake you see the beautifully located little Elfin shelter in front of the massive Garibaldi mountain range. That picture is still in my head!

After we arrived at the hut, we enjoyed awesome views, sat down on the little cabin terrace and had some great “Brotzeit” with bread, cheese and sausages.

What a great cabin … it sleeps 34 persons with a propane heater, burners and lamps. We were kind in the middle of nowhere, but two mountain rangers who were located nearby made sure everything was fine. Something that you wouldn´t find in Europe.

Charge per person is $15 per night to stay in the hut. Luckily we came on a Friday, as the hut is usually packed on weekends! It was “only” 18 boy scouts that destroyed any romance for a while. When the boys were heating up their instant “Pad Thais” and “Linguinis Alfredo” for dinner we decided to watch the great sunset.

pink sky
pink sky

After our dinner we went out again as the sky was covered with stars. No headlamps needed as the moon and the reflective snow lit our way. It was incredible, but also freezing cold!

We got up early on the next day (to be quite honest: we didn’t get too much sleep that night. Mostly because of snoring and farting people close by. But being honest would kind of ruin the whole picture) and were lucky to enjoy another beautiful and sunny day in the mountains. We also experienced 100 % British Columbia on the way back: hiking in the mountains and stunning views to the ocean on the same time! Pretty ugly, ey?

on the next day

Ocean and mountains - view to Howe Sound
Ocean and mountains – view to Howe Sound
Garbadli_Elfin Lakes-53
Aaaawesome! Sea to Sky Highway back to Vancouver