Joffre Lake Winter Camp II
January 21-22, 2012
Since last fall when we heard that there was to be a North Shore Area Winter Camporee at the Cal-Cheak forest service camp just south of Whistler scheduled for this weekend, our troop had been looking forward to getting out in the snow with other scouts from our area. Unfortunately, that camp failed to materialize.
We planned an alternative two night camp for Mount Seymour only to have the weather turn on us; the freezing level raised above the height of all of the north shore mountains and heavy rain was forecast.
Not to worry, Joffre Lake Provincial Park is always ready to greet us with perfect snow conditions!
Unfortunately, as the weekend came near, many of the troop were struck by illnesses and some had conflicts with their commitments.
In the end, Scouter Jason and I decided to head up Saturday morning with Scouts Simon and Max for an overnighter. The normal almost three-hour drive up to Joffre took nearly five hours that day due to the traffic mayhem caused by the overnight storm on the Sea to Sky highway.
We were rewarded for our perseverance, however, with perfect conditions! Mild (-5° c degree average) temperatures, loads of fresh powder snow and blue skies above the mountains greeted us upon our arrival. On Saturday night, the skies cleared totally and we extinguished our headlamps to witness a fantastic night sky above the mountains accented by shooting stars.
Simon and I had new MSR mountaineering snowshoes to making trail blazing and campsite stomping a much more efficient exercise (totally needed with the nearly 4 feet of powder snow that had fallen on our campsite since our last visit in November). Even with 30″ snowshoes on, I sometimes found myself sinking up to my knees in the fresh pow.
Our only complaint was that we didn’t have a second night to enjoy our campsite and the chance to hike higher up into the mountains.
Oh well, that’s what next time is for…
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