Garibaldi Park Whistler A to ZRusset Lake sits in a wide, glacier carved valley at the base of The Fissile.  In the direction opposite The Fissile, up on a plateau less than a kilometre away are two small tarns called Adit Lakes.  Adit Lakes sit in a broad, boulder strewn alpine zone with an incredible view of Spearhead Range.  Just a few metres from Adit Lakes the plateau drops off quickly into the huge valley that separates the Spearhead Range and Fitzsimmons Range.

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

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The Spearhead Range is named for its jagged array of spearhead shaped peaks that extend to include Blackcomb Mountain.  Adit Lakes sit on a plateau in Fitzsimmons Range.  From Adit Lakes you can look across the Musical Bumps all the way to the summit of Whistler Mountain.  Musical Bumps is the collective name for the series of broad mountain peaks that have musical names.  Viewed from Adit Lakes are Oboe Summit, Flute Summit and Piccolo Summit.  The Singing Pass trail connects from the Musical Bumps trail and takes you down the valley between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain to Whistler Village.  The Singing Pass trail runs parallel to Fitzsimmons Creek which Adit Lakes drain into via Adit Creek.  Fitzsimmons Creek is named after Jimmy Fitzsimmons who had a small cabin down in the valley near Fitzsimmons Creek.  He was a miner that had a mining claim and hoped to find the other end of the copper vein that the Britannia Mine, opened in 1914, sat on.  Adit Lakes are evidently named after the word miners use to describe a horizontal mine used to explore for mineral veins.  The word adit comes from the latin aditus, which means entrance.  Adits are dug into mountain ridges in the hopes of hitting the mineral vein or lode.  Fitzsimmons was cutting adits here in the hopes of finding a vein of copper embedded between layers of rock.  There are no visible traces of mining around Adit Lakes, but a few kilometres down the Singing Pass trail you can find remnants of old mine shafts.

Little is known about Jimmy Fitzsimmons other than a picture of him from Myrtle Phillip's collection at the Whistler Museum, thought to have been taken in 1916 outside Rainbow Lodge.  On the back of the photo is written, "Around 1916, Bill Holloway prospector, Jimmy Fitzsimmons of Fitzsimmons mine. Bill Bailiff, Bill MacDermott, Alex Philip (senior), Tom Wilson, leaving for prospecting trip to Fitzsimmons Glacier area mine." 

Adit Lakes view of Fitzsimmons Range

Adit Lakes and Musical Bumps

Adit Lakes Whistler and Blackcomb

Adit Lakes Tarns in Whistler

Adit Lakes Tarns Aerial View

Tarn Aerial View: Adit Lakes

The Fissile Near Adit Lakes

Russet Lake is a surreal little paradise that lays at the base of The Fissile, in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Fissile is the strikingly bronze mountain visible from Whistler Village.  From the Village look into the distance at the Peak2Peak Gondola hanging between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain and you will see The Fissile. Its pyramid shape in the distance perfectly separates the two mountains.

Peak2Peak, Overlord and The Fissile

The Fissile is quite a distinct mountain in Garibaldi Provincial Park because of its vivid red colour and symmetrical arrowhead shape.  There is another, even more remarkable feature of The Fissile, its age.  The sedimentary rock that would eventually become The Fissile was laid down more than 200 million years ago.  The Fissile began its life as sedimentary rock formed in a shallow sea along the coast of North America.  As tectonic plates pushed into the North American Plate from the Pacific, the Coast Mountains were formed over millions of years.  The Coast Mountains are almost entirely comprised of geologically young mountains comprised of volcanic rock as opposed to The Fissile's ancient, crumbling slate.  Black Tusk, for example is strikingly youthful at just over a million years old. 

Peak2Peak Gondola and The Fissile

Russet Lake Near Adit Lakes

Though Russet Lake is not terribly impressive in terms of size or colour, the valley around it is remarkably beautiful. The colours change from moment to moment in and extraordinary way. The distinctive colour of The Fissile and the stark grey of the mountains around contrast amazingly with the blue of the lake and green grass in the valley. So many different factors fill the place with colour.  There are several ways to get to hike Russet Lake.  The Singing Pass trail from the base of Whistler Mountain near the Whistler Gondola. The Musical Bumps trail that begins near the top of the Whistler Gondola.  Both routes take you deep into the magnificent Fitzsimmons Range.  The Fitzsimmons Range runs east from the summit of Whistler Mountain to Russett Lake.  Fitzsimmons Creek cuts between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, parallel to the Singing Pass trail.  Where the Fitzsimmons Range ends at Fitzsimmons Creek, the Spearhead Range begins and continues along a set of peaks resembling spearheads to Blackcomb Mountain.  These peaks include The Spearhead, Mount Trorey, Tremor, Shatter, Shudder, Quiver, and more.

Overlord from Blackcomb Mountain

Russet Lake Map v20

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