What started off as a spontaneous phone call resulted in one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever experienced in Canada. This 22km trek from January 4-5, 2017 would at times push me to the limit when snowshoeing uphill, because I had never snowshoed before, haven’t hiked for an extensive amount of time with a large 65L backpack (most of my field work only required small packs) and haven’t exercised too much after all the holiday feasts (so much chocolate haha). Regardless, it was doable and I appreciated the gentle nudges to keep up with Taylor and Andy. We made it to the Elfin Lakes shelter just before it got dark, and along the way, we experienced beautiful pink and orange hues in a 360 degree mountain peak panorama – there are no words to describe the amount of grounding I felt at that moment.
TRAIL INFO: 22km (11km from trailhead to the Elfin Lakes cabin), 2 days (4-5 hours both ways, depending on how fast you hike/rest). Usually 30-40 mins for lunch break.
- Be aware that if you don't have chains for your snow tires, then you will have to park 2km below the trailhead. That's an extra 4km that you will have to hike in addition to the 22km.
- Try snowshoeing on a small trail to get used to how it feels with your snowshoes. I had a little trouble with my rental snowshoes being too big.
- Pack your backpack wisely, so most things are concentrated in the middle. My pack had a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, water bottle, head lamp, 2 sets of warm clothing, rain pants, small first aid items, food (sandwiches, chocolate, oatmeal) and camera equipment. If I had to do it again, I would bring some hand warmers to toss into my sleeping bag before going to bed. I could also do this with a hot water bottle.
- Bring lots of snacks and eat them. For some reason, I wasn’t overly hungry on my way up, so I didn’t eat too much, but this negatively affected my energy levels. I think if I forced myself to eat something, I would have had a lot more energy for the uphill portion.
- I wore: merino wool base layers, ski socks, waterproof hiking pants, warm sweater, small puffy jacket, waterproof shell, a tuque, a buff and sunglasses.