High Note – Whistler Mountain – Marmot Moments and Hail Storms

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When planning to hike at the top of the mountain you do need to remember that usually its always at least a couple of degrees colder and that the weather changes VERY quickly. Myself and three friends got on the Whistler gondola in the bright sunshine, sunglasses on. However as we neared the top we could see dark clouds on the horizon heading our way. On the Whistler Blackcomb website you can check the weather before hand by using the live temp gauge and web cams, it also gives you a run down of the on-mountain hikes. High Note only opened a couple of weeks ago due to the slow snow melt, it’s a stunning trail that wraps around the mountain with spectacular views of Black Tusk and Cheakamus Lake. It takes approx 3-4 hours depending on how you hike, we were on a bit of a mission and completed it in 2 hours 45 minutes – good going!

Once you are at the top, you take a short walk down to the Peak Chair, great views off this chair but a little chilly! Head up on that then head towards the Inukshuk statue, great photo op here at the head of the hike. The trail leads you down on pretty narrow single track with a lot of loose rock – definitely do this in hiking boots or trainers – no flip flops! The mountain flowers were out and so were the marmots – check out the photos. Whistler is actually names after the noise these little fellas make, they are about the same size as a badger which is quite daunting when they’re staring you down!

Amazing views of Black Tusk deserved a better photographer than myself and then Cheakamus Lake just round the next bend. We then got caught in a freak hailstorm that all got us feeling that winter was truly on its way. It was bouncing off our jackets and making the trail a little more slick then we would have liked. Note, at one point in the trail there is a little scrabble up a rock with a short metal bridge – not a big deal, but still not for the faint hearted!

Round the back you come close to Symphony chair lift, which stands eerily silent and still. The mountains look very different without their blanket of snow making them look pretty – a bit more rugged looking in the hail soaked fall weather. This is a great hike, definitely take a camera and some sandwiches to nibble on the way – look out for the marmots and pika’s!


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