Joffre Lakes again
We just cant get enough We knew we would return to Joffre Lakes after our last hike in with friends...We just hadn't anticipated that our return would literally be the same week. ;) Our good friend Ben has been on a bit of his own whirlwind tour of the PNW this summer but was kind enough to drive up and meet us for a few days midweek, and despite having just been to Joffre we couldn't think of a better place to take him on short notice.
We hung out in Pemberton for a few days after leaving the cabin and caught a few games and repacked our bags, then when ben arrived we caravanned to the traihead and rehiked the trail into the lakes (this time much heavier than before). Rarely would we be willing to return to the same place so soon, but the idea of camping in such a beautiful spot had us eagerly climbing the trail and we were rewarded midweek by only a small few other campers at the third lake.
We chose a spot right next to the lake, setup camp and caught up over happy hour and dinner before falling asleep under the stars. Sunset was simply spectacular and the change in lighting at the end of the day alone was well worth the hike back in.
The night got really cold and in the morning even the dew on our tent was frozen. We learned on the way out that it snowed at the lakes a few days following our trip...so clearly we timed the hike well to squeeze it in before the end of our summer! In the morning jen and i hiked up to the waterfall to refill our camelbacks, and had a long discussion about why we were filtering our water when we could physically see the glacier it was running off from. Talk about water from the source.
We filled up and as we turned around toward the lake the first ray of sunshine highlighted the small island and lit up the lake like a spotlight on a stage. It was, for lack of a better term, breathtaking.
We returned to camp for breakfast and then headed out for a day hike up to the glacier. The hike was burly, straight up the side of the mountain, but not terribly long and so worth the work. To walk up and touch a glacier thats literally been around since the ice age is truly remarkable. It's also a bit eerie. Even the front edge of the glacier is far taller than us, and as we stand beneath it we can hear the beast creaking as it melts and pulls slowly back from the lake below.
We snapped out photos, enjoyed a few calm moments looking out over all three of the lakes and then finally returned to the lake where we shifted camps for out second night to what is easily one of the best campsite i've ever slept.
With a view from our site to the waterfall and the glacier beyond and waking up to make coffee literally inches from the edge of the impossibly blue lake with sunrise highlighting the mountain backdrop... I couldn't possibly imagine how to improve upon the outing.
After our first cup of coffee in the tent I set out around the lake hoping for another vista should the sun decide to put on another show. I scrambled around for over an hour waiting for it to make its debut but wasn't sure where the sun would hit or where I should wait. As I headed back to our camp i passed a few girls who had dropped their iPhone into the lake but was wedges between a few large rocks and just out of reach.
I stopped to help them toss a few large rocks out of the way and then tried my best to reach far enough into the crevice to grab their phone, and as i lay there with my arm stuck between the rocks and the phone still just out of reach the lake lit up behind me as though a switch had been turned on. I finally managed to grab the phone for the girls and then scrambled up the hill fearing i had missed the shot.
Luckily, mother nature rewarded me and held out the best for last. I was able to get a decent shot of the stark lighting contrast just before the entire basin got flooded with light and took the opportunity away. I love a good hike and photo opp before breakfast, and jogged back to our campsite giddy and high on outdoorphins.
We eventually decided we had had our fill of Joffre and broke down camp and returned to Pemberton to say our goodbyes to Ben and eventually make our way back south to vancouver.