Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: Fitzsimmons RangeThe Fitzsimmons Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges that covers the area between the valleys of Cheakamus Lake and Fitzsimmons Creek.  Fitzsimmons Creek cuts between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain and largely originates from the Fitzsimmons Glacier.  The Fitzsimmons Glacier and Mount Fitzsimmons are part of the Overlord Massif, which gets its name from the highest peak in the area, Overlord Mountain

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJane Lakes  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Whistler Hiking Trail HardNewt Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Sproatt East  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerSproatt West  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

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Massif is a term used in geology to refer to a compact group of connected mountains that easily identify into one large mountain mass.  Massif is a French word that means “massive”.  The Fitzsimmons Range includes several locally famous summits, including the summit of Whistler Mountain, Oboe Summit, Piccolo Summit and Flute Summit.  These form the Musical Bumps trail which is a gorgeous route to the Russet Lake campground in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  Next to Russet Lake is The Fissile and next to The Fissile is Overlord Mountain.  Near Russet Lake and connecting to the Musical Bumps trail is the Singing Pass trail that descends along Fitzsimmons Creek to Whistler Village at the base of Whistler Mountain.  The Fitzsimmons Range, Fitzsimmons Creek, Mount Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons Glacier are named after Jimmy Fitzsimmons, a prospector that mined Whistler Mountain a century ago.  He cut a trail up between Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain to his cabin.  What today we call the Singing Pass trail and Whistler Mountain, at the time was called Avalanche Pass and London Mountain.  If you have hiked the Singing Pass trail to Whistler Mountain or Russet Lake, you will understand how appropriate the name Avalanche Pass was.  There are several creek crossings that are frequently brutalized by winter avalanches.  One section of the old access road to the original trailhead/parking lot was wiped out by an avalanche decades ago and has yet to be fixed, adding almost 5 kilometres to the trail!

Flute Creek Crossing

The Fitzsimmons Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges, which in turn is a subsection of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains.  Deriving its name from Mount Garibaldi, the Garibaldi Ranges cover the huge stretch of mountains between two enormous river valleys.  The Lillooet River valley on the east side and the Cheakamus River/Green River valley on the west.  Whistler is located on the west edge of the Garibaldi Ranges, while Pemberton near the north end and Vancouver at the south end.  Other subdivisions of the Garibaldi Ranges include Garibaldi Névé, McBride Range, Spearhead Range, Golden Ears, Misty Icefield and the Bastion Range.

Flute Summit in the Fitzsimmons Range

Fitzsimmons Range Map 2

Spearhead Range

The Spearhead Range - Hike in WhistlerThe Spearhead Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges that runs in an arc that connects Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  The Spearhead Range is effectively the brother of the Fitzsimmons Range which runs east from the summit of Whistler Mountain to Russet Lake.  The Spearhead Range covers the area on the north side or Blackcomb Mountain side of Fitzsimmons CreekFitzsimmons Creek cuts between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  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.  The Spearhead Range is home to the increasingly popular and extraordinarily beautiful Spearhead Traverse.  This amazing ski traverse traces a very challenging route from Blackcomb Mountain to Whistler Mountain via the Spearhead Range.  It has, in recent years, spawned the Spearhead Huts Project.  An ambitious plan to install mountain huts along the Spearhead Traverse.  It has considerable public support and funding via donations.  The first hut at Russet Lake was completed in 2019.

Blackcomb Mountain View of Overlord Glacier

Spearhead Range View of Fitzsimmons Range

Blackcomb Map 2021 v4

McBride Range

The McBride Range - Hike in WhistlerThe McBride Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges and covers a 357 square kilometre area east of Cheakamus Lake and Garibaldi Lake.  Where the Spearhead Range ends, the McBride Range begins.  Owing to its central location in the middle of Garibaldi Provincial Park, the McBride Range is often referred to as the backbone of Garibaldi Park.  The McBride Range is a morass of brutally steep mountains and glacier valleys that expert skiers have plotted a route through.  The McBride Traverse is an astoundingly difficult and beautiful, week long route through the McBride Range.  Along the route you encounter several monster mountains with wonderful names, including Decker Mountain, Mount Patterson, Tremor Mountain, Sir Richard Mountain, The Gatekeeper, Forger Peaks, Isosceles Peak, Mount Carr, The Bookworms and The Sphinx.

Garibaldi Névé

The Garibaldi Neve - Hike in WhistlerThe Garibaldi Névé is the large icefield that stretches out along the east side of Mount Garibaldi.  With a size of 35 square kilometers(14 square miles), the Garibaldi Névé is a subdivision of the Garibaldi Ranges, which in turn is a subdivision of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains.  The Garibaldi Névé Traverse is a tremendously beautiful and very treacherous winter skiing route that runs between Elfin Lakes and Garibaldi Lake.  It is generally done as a three day expedition beginning and ending at two BC Parks Garibaldi Provincial Park trailheads.  The Diamond Head(Garibaldi) trailhead in Squamish and the Rubble Creek, Black Tusk(Garibaldi) trailhead halfway between Squamish and Whistler.  A common itinerary is the Diamond Head(Garibaldi) trailhead to Elfin Lakes on the first day.  Sleeping in the very nice and well equipped Elfin Lakes hut.  The second day covers the difficult Garibaldi Névé which runs from the Opal Cone north of Elfin Lakes to the foot of Sentinel Glacier northeast of The Table.  The second night is usually spent at the Burton Hut at the east end of Garibaldi Lake.  The third day involves crossing the length of Garibaldi Lake to the Garibaldi Lake campground and then the comparatively easy descent to Rubble Creek.  The south to north route is favoured over the north south route because of the net elevation loss and much prized north facing ski descents.

Fantastic Books About Geology in BC

In Search of Ancient British ColumbiaGeology of British ColumbiaHere are two excellent books on the Geology of British Columbia.  In Search of Ancient British Columbia by Barbara Huck is one of our favourites.  It focuses on southern BC and covers each individual region separately.  The Lower Mainland chapter explains the geology, paleontology and archaeology of the region stretching from Vancouver, Sea to Sky, Garibaldi Park and north to Mount Meager and Meager Hot Springs.  Quite a lot of the book is devoted to how the last ice age shaped the land and inhabitants of southern BC.  The chapters on Vancouver Island are particularly good as the geological history was particularly chaotic and the history of glaciation around present day Victoria is very interesting.  Geology of British Columbia: A Journey Through Time by Sydney Cannings, JoAnne Nelson and Richard Cannings is a beautiful history of BC's geology and the 200 million year history of creatures living in this extraordinary corner of the world.  The authors take us on a journey through time, describing the collisions of island chains called terrains, the sliding of plates, the erupting of volcanoes, and the movement of glaciers that created British Columbia as we know it today.  They also describe the rich legacy of fossils left behind as a result of all this geological activity.

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Whistler and Garibaldi Park Hiking Gear Rental

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJane Lakes  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Whistler Hiking Trail HardNewt Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Sproatt East  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerSproatt West  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

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