With August almost over, I’m starting to realise I’m very quickly running out of Summer, and still have tons I want to do. I haven’t been able to go out of a bike nearly as much as I wanted (although to be fair, that’s mostly due to price), I haven’t gone swimming as much as I could, and there are tons of hiking trails still to be done.
With that in mind, I decide to head up Whistler and do some of the smaller trails while the weather looks good. I’ve already done all but Decker on Blackcomb, so I can try to get through the Harmony Lake Loop and maybe the half note trail if I’m up to it. Probably not since my throat still feels gummy even after pre-emptive cold medicine.
I’d been putting off doing these because I wanted to do them with Maggie. However, ever since I took the weekend off, Rendezvous has kept me off on the weekends, and our days no longer match up. As a warm up, I decide to take on the Big Burn trail on Rendezvous, then take the chairlift down so I can head up to Whistler. I even leave early to make sure I have enough time.
The Big Burn is part of the Ascent Trail, Blackcomb’s newest hiking option. It consists of the Little Burn Trail (Upper Village to 18 Below, which is what we have to climb to get to staff housing each day), the Big Burn Trail (18 Below to the top of Wizard) and then the Heart Burn Trail (Wizard to Rendezvous). It’s supposed to take an average of 3 hours total, so I figure I’ll do the Big Burn and see how I feel on whether I do the Heart Burn today as well.
As it turns out, that’s asking way too much of my body, because the Big Burn Trail is STEEP. It’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other – my water barely makes it to the top. The route is also rather awkward, involving chains and a little rock climbing to make your way up – no wonder they don’t recommend walking down.
With my water gone, I decide to leave the Heart Burn for a later date and head back down the chairlift, making it back to the room for a shower, and then head off to Whistler.
Already I know I’m not going to be able to do the High Note. I’m coming in tired, hungry and with limited water, so I decide to just do the easier track that leads to Harmony Lake, and then come back via the Black trail ‘Harmony Meadows.’
This is an Intermediate trail that takes less than an hour to do, walking past on of the artificial snow lakes and down the mountain. There are several small lakes in this small bowl, all known as the ‘Harmony Lakes.’ They’re created via rainwater and don’t have any fish, but are major sources of water for most of the wildlife on the mountain.
I loop round the lakes and then head upwards towards the fork that depicts the High Note trail and Harmony Meadows. As much as I want to do the High Note, I stick to the Meadows since it only takes 45 minutes. Its biggest hurdle is the steepness of the climb, there are areas where you’re dependent on climbing a chain, and it’s a sheer cliff drop on your right hand side. The benefit of this though, is the views you get once you’re at the top.
When I get back to Whistler’s main section, I’m hungry enough to head into the Roundhouse and try their food. To be honest I’ve tried it before and outside of the Feast, I don’t rate it compared to Rendezvous. Their fries and fish are overly greasy and overcooked. Today I try their Noodle Bowl with prawns…and again, not impressed. Broth isn’t too bad, but the noodles are extremely bland and none of added seasonings really do much to improve the flavour. Have to shove so much soy into it just to get some taste. Really glad I eat at Rendezvous instead of here.