Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: AiguilleAiguille: a tall, narrow, characteristically distinct spire of rock. From the French word for "needle". Used extensively as part of the names for many peaks in the French Alps.  Around Whistler and in Garibaldi Park you will find several distinct aiguilles.  Shown here is the prominent aiguille that stands like a tower at the summit of Rethel Mountain above Wedgemount Lake.  Standing near the hut at Wedgemount Lake, Rethel is the towering mountain directly across the lake.

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If you are looking at Wedge Mountain from Whistler Village, Rethel Mountain is the second mountain to the left of Wedge.  In order they are Wedge Mountain, Parkhurst Mountain and Rethel Mountain.  Parkhurst Mountain stretches down the valley to Parkhurst Ghost Town at the shore of Green Lake.  Across Wedgemount Lake and still visible from Whistler are Mount Weart, Armchair Glacier and Cook Mountain.  If you are new to Whistler and are unfamiliar with Wedge Mountain, it is the strikingly wedge-shaped mountain that dominates the skyline from many places in Whistler.  The highest mountain in Garibaldi Provincial Park and easily spotted next to Blackcomb Mountain, which in turn is next to Whistler Mountain.  Shown here is Wedge Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain as seen from Rainbow Lake across the valley.  The first glimpse of Wedge Mountain, for most, is from the highway as they drive into Whistler.  At Function Junction 8 kilometres south of Whistler Village you catch your first beautiful view of this towering mountain.  The Sea to Sky Highway lines up with Wedge Mountain a few times as you drive through Whistler and north of Whistler Village you see it almost constantly on your right as you pass Green Lake and continue north toward Pemberton.

Wedge Mountain Left

Rethel Mountain Aiguille from Wedgemount Lake

From the shore of Wedgemount Lake the aiguille on Rethel Mountain is easily visible and quite distinct.  Rethel Mountain and its neighbour to the left, Parkhurst are strikingly beautiful mountains to see and even hear.  While camping at the shore of Wedgemount Lake, you will be startled occasionally to hear quite large boulders tumbling down these mountains and into the lake.  It happens fairly regularly and you never quite get used to the unnerving sound of falling rocks.  It tends to add to the interesting and hostile beauty of this wonderful place.

Wedgemount Lake View of the Rethel Aiguille

Aiguille on Rethel Mountain

Rethel Aiguille from the Wedgemount Lake Trail

Rethel Aiguille Near Wedgemount Lake

Wedgemount Lake Maps

Below is a map showing Wedgemount Lake from several vantage points.  The upper tent pad view looking across to Wedgemount Glacier, an iceberg in July, the beautiful glacier window, the amazing view from the lower tent pads along Wedgemount Lake.  The map also shows the various routes up Wedgemount Glacier to Wedge Mountain.  These routes are potentially very dangerous and glacier travel is always unpredictable and hazardous, so make sure you know what you are doing before venturing beyond the glacier window.

Wedgemount Lake Map v16

Wedgemount Lake Driving Directions Map v10

Levette Lake View of a Tantalus Range Aiguille

Another good place to see an aiguille is at Levette Lake, south of Whistler, near Squamish.  Looking across the lake you get a great view of the Tantalus Range and this marvellous aiguille shown here.  Levette Lake is a hidden little lake found just a short drive up Squamish Valley Road.  Details, maps and directions can be found at HikeInSquamish.com.

Aiguille in Tantalus Range

Levette Lake in Squamish

Levette Lake Driving Directions Map

Northair Mine MuralsNorthair Mine Murals

Way up in the Callaghan Valley on the back side of Mount Sproatt is an abandoned gold mine.  Old cement foundations and two unexpectedly beautiful lakes mark the location of Northair Mine, abandoned in 1982. It was a fairly productive gold mine that extracted five tons of gold. Largely forgotten for years, in the last decade it has come to life in stunning colour by graffiti artists and professional muralists. In the summer of 2013, the first mural appeared on the blank foundation walls of Northair Mine. A creation of a professional Whistler artist PETKO. Painted on one of the inside, pillar walls, the mural is about 8 feet tall and five feet wide of what looks like a robot snake in front of a cube background. It stood out in striking contrast to the grey walls in the background... Continued here.

Neal Carter MountaineerNeal Carter Mountaineer

Neal Carter (14 Dec 1902 – 15 Mar 1978) was a mountaineer and early explorer of the Coast Mountains primarily in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Highly skilled as a mountaineer and climber, Carter also excelled at cartography and surveying which he used to map the vast unnamed and unexplored mountains of BC. He named a staggering number of mountains and alpine features, as well as making at least 25 first ascents, many around what we now call the Whistler Valley. Carter began climbing the mountains around Vancouver as a teenager and at the age of seventeen he met someone who would change his life forever. In 1920, while hiking with high school friends Carter had a chance encounter with Tom Fyles, arguably the greatest mountaineer of the era. Continued here.

Tom Fyles MountaineerTom Fyles Mountaineer

Tom Fyles (27 June 1887 - 27 March 1979) was an astoundingly skilled climber that figured prominently in the mountaineering community in Vancouver for more than two decades. From his introduction to mountaineering in 1912, to his prolific array of elite level climbing ascents that began in earnest just four years later. In 1916 he solo climbed The Table in Garibaldi Park, a mountain widely considered to be too difficult and dangerous to even attempt. Those that knew him well admired his friendliness, enthusiasm, boundless endurance and incredible ability to read a mountain and navigate the best route to the summit. He made many first ascents and inspired countless new climbers, some becoming giants of the era. Continued here. 

More Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking A to Z!

Cairns, inukshuks or inuksuks are a pile or arrangement of rocks used to indicate a route, landmark or a summit.  The word cairn originates from the ...
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Moraines are glacially deposited ridges of debris that accumulate at the sides or terminus of a glacier.  Lateral moraines form at the sides of glaciers ...
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The Pacific yew or western yew is a coniferous tree that grows in Whistler and along the coast from Alaska to California. The Pacific yew’s unique ...
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The Garibaldi Ranges are a subdivision of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains.  Deriving its name from Mount Garibaldi, the Garibaldi Ranges cover the huge ...
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The Spearhead Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges that runs in an arc that connects Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  The Spearhead ...
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Whistler spruce is a hybrid of the Sitka spruce and the interior Engelmann spruce. Sitka spruce trees thrive in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest ...
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Whistler, the surrounding mountains, and Garibaldi Provincial Park are home to two types of bears.  Black bears and grizzly bears.  Black bears are ...
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The Cloudraker Skybridge and the Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk are new additions to the summit of Whistler Mountain.  The Cloudraker Skybridge stretches 130 ...
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Amazing Hiking Trails in Whistler

The Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails!

Whistler has an absurd number of wonderful and free hiking trails and Parkhurst Ghost Town certainly ranks as the most unusual and interesting. Parkhurst was a little logging town perched on the edge of Green ...
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Garibaldi Lake is the centre and base for much of the hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Garibaldi Lake campsite is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly still wild ...
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The Rainbow Trail is a convenient and popular trail near Whistler Village that takes you to Rainbow Lake as well as the Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail, Rainbow Falls, Hanging Lake, Madeley Lake, Beverley ...
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Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141 foot waterfall just 30 to 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley. Open year-round and located just before Whistler Olympic Park where several ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking by Month!

July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long ...
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August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and ...
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September hiking in Whistler is possibly the best month of all.  The snow has melted far up to the mountain tops, yet the temperatures are still quite high.  ...
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Hiking in Whistler in October is often unexpectedly stunning.  The days are much shorter and colder but the mountains are alive with colour from the fall ...
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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

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