Level: Moderate

Distance: 15 km r/t

Time: 5½ h

Elevation Change: 630 m

Season: June to Oct

Access: See previous hikes.

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If the scenery from the top of Black Tusk was not enough then gaining the summit of Panorama Ridge will more than satisfy. Follow the same route from Garibaldi Lake to where you zigged left to the Tusk. Zag to the right instead, this time, continuing along the main trail. The trail forks again at the divide between two watersheds with the right fork leading up to Panorama Ridge itself. Either before or after mounting the ridge be sure to leave enough time to explore the geological wonders along the left fork as well.

panorama

West-Facing North Face: Black Tusk dominates the view from a cliffside condo perched high atop Panorama Ridge.            

This route leads over the divide, across the cinder flats, then steeply down to the cable car across the raging Cheakamus River. Follow it past Helm Lake to Cinder Cone, a tiny, 200 metre tall, extinct volcano at the foot of Helm Glacier. On a hot day the cool air and eerie blue light inside the ice caves below the glacier will provide respite from the sun. Backtrack now to the junction leading to Panorama Ridge where you'll begin climbing almost immediately. The route follows a shoulder southward up to the east-west running ridge.

From the summit gaze south across azure Garibaldi Lake to the appropriately named Table silhouetted against the glaciers clinging to stately Garibaldi Mountain in the distance. 2049 metre Mount Price and Clinker Peak off to the right are extinct volcanos, as are 2675 metre Castle Towers and Phyllis Engine directly east. Look north to take in a panorama -- thus the name --- that encompasses Black Tusk, Cinder Cone and Helm Glacier. From the top of the ridge retrace your steps back to camp. Experienced and well-equipped mountaineers may want to continue following Panorama Ridge in a circuit that sweeps across the eastern arm of the ice field along Gentian Ridge to 2145 metre Helm Peak before descending steeply to the foot of Helm Glacier. This route is not for the inexperienced however as some climbing is involved. Be sure to rope your party together before venturing on to the ice field, Tom.

The End


Salal

Salal

Though not a popular trail-side snack in modern times, salal berries are not only edible, they are quite tasty. Perhaps the "hairiness" of the berries or the grainy texture imparted by their many, tiny seeds is a turnoff to jaded modern palettes. Being plentiful throughout the coast, salal berries were an important component of pre-European diets hereabouts. Aboriginal groups generally consumed salal berries directly from the bush or processed them into a kind of fruit leather for storage. These cakes were then reconstituted with water and served mixed with the omnipresent oolichan grease. An acquired taste, no doubt. The deep purple colouring of the berries found use in dying baskets. Salal berries are presently used primarily in jams and pies. The bright, leathery foliage is commercially harvested for use in floral displays world-wide.

Illustration by Manami Kimura