The winter of 2014-2015 was Squamish's driest on record, and the summer of 2015 has been a shocking continuation of the same conditions. We've endured lengthy heat waves, tinder dry conditions and blankets of forest fire smoke, and it's only mid-July. How the rest of this year will pan out is foremost on people's minds these days, so we're doing our best to get out while backcountry travel is still an option. We've had a few nice local trips over the last month, mostly hiking and backpacking in the mountains.
In June I went into Lake Lovely Water with my friend Casey and climbed a few peaks south of the lake. We camped on a gorgeous sand-spit below the mountains and got our first taste of the hot summer conditions that would plague the Coast later that month. We borrowed a canoe from the ACC cabin and enjoyed touring around the lake the evening before our climb.
Once the heat wave really got rolling in late June, we started looking for options to get up high and swim since the valley lakes were horribly crowded. An overnight trip to Brunswick Lake on the north end of the Howe Sound Crest Trail fit the bill perfectly. We hiked past three gorgeous lakes and enjoyed swimming and camping in cool conditions. The bugs at lake level weren't bad, but the next morning I got swarmed on my way up Mt. Hanover. Elise enjoyed building dams in the creek at the south end of the lake, but was hesitant to go for a real swim. As always, bribery did the trick!
Our most recent trip was into Garibaldi Park with another family from Squamish. We used the Helm Creek trail to approach, scrambled Helm Peak that evening and camped in the meadows afterward. It was hot, but once again alpine lakes provided some nice relief. Elise really enjoyed having a friend along to hike and play with. We'll most definitely try to do this again.
We are currently in a cooler, cloudier weather pattern and are enjoying the relief from the heat. We hope to see significant rain at some point to help with the forest fires, but there's nothing in the forecast at the moment.