Level: Difficult

Distance: 26 km r/t

Time: 11 h r/t

Elevation Change: 1680 m

Topographical Map: Squamish 92G/11

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Season: July to Oct

Access: See Getting to Whistler

The approach to Mount Capilano begins the same as for the previous hike. Instead of following Phyllis Creek to her headwaters veer left and cross the waterway. The route continues over an old, badly-eroded logging road above the banks of Furry Creek to just beyond Beth Creek. Watch for the trail to Mount Capilano leading off to the right of the road bed, rising through a series of switchbacks. The steep track quickly leaves logging's legacy behind, giving way to old-growth forest before reaching the shores of Beth Lake. The deep mountain lake is an ideal place to break for lunch before pushing on to the 1686-metre crown of Mount Capilano.

From the lake work down and around, first westwards then south up towards a ridge that leads ultimately to the barren, rocky summit of Mount Capilano. Perseverance is rewarded by a stupendous panorama extending from the North Shore Mountains and the Lions to the south, the islands of Howe Sound and the craggy Tantalus Range splayed out across the western horizon. Garibaldi Park's trademark peaks rise in the distance to the north.

The End


Krumholtz

Krumholtz

Trees clustered together in the sub alpine stand a much better chance of surviving the harsh conditions. Called krumholtz, these tree islands are miniature ecosystems unto themselves, providing mutual protection against the elements while acting as a catch basin for moisture. A krumholtz provides habitat for lesser plant species as well as insects, birds and mammals big and small. Usually trees in the krumholtz, German for "crooked wood," are old if not ancient, stunted by a short growing season, harsh weather and a paucity of nutrient-rich soil. Branches tend to flourish on the downwind side only.

Illustration by Manami Kimura