There was a feeling in the air that summer was close to its end and autumn was fast approaching. But just before Fall officially started we were blessed with yet another sunny weekend and the mountains were calling our names for one more summer adventure – probably the last one for this season.
Jan and Warrick, friends from Vancouver Island, planned to join us, so on Saturday morning we picked them up from the busy Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal and then headed north towards Pemberton and beyond. When we arrived to Keith Hut trailhead we were shocked by the number of cars parked there. We could barely find a spot to park and during lunch (yes, it was already lunch time) we contemplated if we should change plans. Eventually we stuck to the original plan and it worked out great.
We went up the not too steep and not too long trail towards the Anniversary Glacier. On our way up many people were on their way down. It turned out that there was a work party at Keith Hut. They were cleaning up after the long busy summer season – hence the many cars in the parking lot. On the way up we enjoyed the wild huckleberries, although it felt like they had already passed their peak. The last section just before we reached the lake was a bit of a bushwhack combined with some river hiking.
When we arrived to the lake just below the Anniversary Glacier there were already a few tents there, but luckily the area was big enough and we found room for our two matching Hubba Hubba tents away from the crowds. Dinner was cooked and eaten while we enjoyed a nice sunset and then crawled into our sleeping bags.
The next morning was another beautiful sunny one. Although the air was a bit crisp, every now and then there was a warm breeze and there was a feeling that it was going to warm up. We had a snack break at the Vantage col, where we admired the Twin One Glacier, and then headed up steeper terrain where the trail disappeared. Another snack break was held before we started the adventurous part of the day. Just before the peak there were two options – a longer one that was less steep and less exposed, and a more direct way – but with a few exposed scrambling moves. Somehow we chose the second option and things got a bit more interesting, but soon enough we found ourselves on the summit of Vantage Peak, surrounded by beautiful mountains, glaciers and lakes all around us. We were on the top of the world once again.
It was a bit chilly due to wind, but it was not bothersome enough to interfere with a long lunch and a relaxing nap (at least for me). On the way down we picked the longer, less exposed way, which seemed more reasonable than the way we had come up. From there we went back pretty much the same way, till we finally reached our nice campsite.
There wasn’t much time to hang around and soon enough we packed our tents and started heading down the same bushy way at first till we connected with the nice trail. It was a long day and our pace slowed down as the day got longer. We finally reached the car at around 7:30pm. Now our car was just one of three cars, very different than the previous day.
As usual we picked up a hitchhiker in Mount Curry who wanted to get to Pemberton. She smelled of alcohol and was quite amusing, but it was also sad. She introduced herself as Dolly and said she is a homeless who gets by from one beer to another. She complained that her boyfriend, Mark Richy, stole her six pack, and now she had to go back to Pemberton to get more booze. When we stopped in Pemberton it was hard to get her out of the car, she was very cozy in the back seat with Jan and Warrick (especially with Warrick).
The One Mile Eating House was completely packed and they warned us of at least half an hour wait. We were quite hungry but managed to contain our hunger till Squamish where we reached Mag’s 99, good old Mexican Food on the highway, about ten minutes before their closing time. We enjoyed very filling burritos and since it was too late for Jan and Warrick to catch a ferry that night, they spent the night at our place. The next morning was gray and drizzly. We enjoyed our last summer hike of the season and from now on we welcome shoulder season with open arms!