Gendarme Glossary of Hiking Terms
Gendarme: a pinnacle sticking up out of a ridge. A steep sided rock formation along a ridge, “guarding” the summit. From the French ”man-at-arms”. Similar to an aiguille, however an aiguille is more prominently visible on a mountain, whereas a gendarme is more a secondary feature on a ridge next to a mountain summit.
The picture above is from L, a nice mountain lake located in the enormous Squamish Valley that drains the Squamish River into Howe Sound. There are some nice views and minimal elevation gain along the trail. The amazing Tantalus Range and Mount Garibaldi on a sunny day look fantastic from the shores of Levette Lake. There is a nice campground on the shore of the lake that is well laid out and very rustic. It is located just a couple hundred metres from the parking area at the trailhead. The campground is very basic and quite nice. You won't find signs, garbage bins or any annoying signs of humanity to take away from the wonderful view of the lake and Tantalus Range across the lake.
You will encounter gendarme's frequently in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park. Wedgemount Lake, Joffre Lakes, Whistler and Blackcomb mountains all have visible gendarme's. Click the image above to see an aerial video of Wedgemount Lake in Whistler.
Joffre Lakes is one of the most beautiful lakes you are likely to ever see. There are three lakes and they get progressively more beautiful. By the third lake the intense blue is breathtaking. The mighty Matier Glacier rises above the third lake, making the experience even more spectacular. The trail is rough and tricky in some parts, but not terribly difficult. The trail is 5.5k to the third lake so give yourself 1.5 - 2 hours(one way). Lots of trail construction work is being done as a new trail replaces much of the old trail. The old boulder section between the lower and middle lakes has now been covered with a new dirt trail.
Glossary of Hiking Terms Whistler Hiking Trails