August 1st, 2017 - Black Tusk, Garibaldi Park, BC

Fiona and I hiked to Black Tusk and back last week. On the return journey we decided to detour to Garibaldi lake, adding an extra few (painful) kilometers. In total it took us 11.5 hours to hike 31 kms. 

We reached the parking lot at 6:30am and started hiking right away before the sun had risen above the horizon. The first 8kms were all uphill, then there was a short flat section through the Taylor Meadows before another uphill push towards the tusk. In total, there was a 1750 m elevation gain from the parking lot to the summit.


After a few hours of uphill hiking, we caught our first glimpse of the Black Tusk from Taylor Meadows:

Not too long after, we started uphill again, and found our first patch of snow. Even though it was around 9am, it was so warm, and it was hard to believe there could still be snow here.

We spotted a wild Grouse just off the path

After some time, the Black Tusk appeared over the horizon again, this time much closer.

Before the final push, there is a sign cautioning hikers not to go any further. No one was obeying this sign.

Getting closer!

We spooked a marmot? which ran off across the snow:

The last section before the base of the Tusk was extremely steep and gravely. Each step we took slid backwards a few inches before enough gravel was underfoot to support your weight.

We reached the base of the Tusk at about 11:15. I left Fiona at the base to walk to the other side of the Tusk where I had been told the chimney was.

Unfortunately there were 3 chimneys, and my first attempt to climb up failed about 30 feet into the chimney when the rock climbing became too dangerous. I climbed back down and tried the next chimney, which, while still difficult, was doable.

Some views from the top:

Fiona is visible in this one:

 Here's some pics Fiona got of me of me at the top

Then headed back down. Everything looks the same up there, and finding the correct path back down was not very easy.

There were two people climbing up the chimney as I was making my way down.

 Here's what the chimney looks like from the bottom:

It was about 12:30 when we began making our way back down.

Going down the snow banks was much easier than going up, as you could just slide down :)

Another short slide, this time with video:

The smoke had cleared slightly since the morning, and we could barely see Garibaldi lake. We decided at this point to take a different, slightly longer route back to the car that would take us past the lake.

The path down to the lake was very steep, switch-backing through a dense forest.

By the time we left the lake, we were very tired, and still had about 9 kms to hike. Luckily it was downhill, but unluckily our bodies were extremely sore.

 We passed a number of smaller lakes on the way back to the car.

 We got back to the car at 6pm. 11.5 hours total. It's the longest hike either of us have ever done!