March 18, Gin Peak, Callaghan Valley, B.C.

Stopped at the Escape Route store in Squamish on our way up to Whistler and picked up a tour recommendation.   We were hoping for something between Whistler and Squamish that we could hit on the drive home.  Monday was almost bluebird, with good visibility up high.  We had anywhere from 4 inches to a foot of fresh snow to work with.   We drove up Callaghan valley, past the Olympic Jump hill, and tried to figure out where Gin Peak was located.  Parking was $10.00 to access the cross country area.  We could spot the lower part of the mountain, but could not see the summit from the parking lot.  We checked in with ski patrol at the cross country center and they gave us very good directions to get started in the right direction.  The route started by heading up on a couple of the cross county trails then dove into the forest where the route was well marked with orange reflectors on the trees.   We bobbed and weaved up through the woods, until we popped out at Hanging Lake.   From the lake, we could see the upper slopes leading up to Gin Peak.  We left the trees behind and headed into the open alpine slopes to the ridgeline.  We topped out on the ridgeline, South of the summit.  We decided to skip the summit, as our legs were tired from two days at Whistler, and the sun was rapidly warming the slopes.  Managed to link some good turns back down to the lake, then headed into the woods, where we practiced good defensive skiing.  In the trees the snow was firm with just a little fluff on top.   This was really a nice tour and would definitely recommend.  Easy parking next to the day lodge with even shower facilities.  The initial climb was through second growth timber and would ski much better with better snow.  The slopes above Hanging Lake were crying for multiple laps.  Good views of Rainbow Mt. and Metal Dome.  It looked like a nice way to approach Rainbow Mt., if one wanted to spend the night.   Parking Lot 3,000ft.  Hanging Lake 4,600ft.  South Ridge 5,600ft.    Gin Peak 5,900 ft.

Francine in the crusty trees

Kevin approaches Hanging Lake

Switchbacking up to the ridge

Francine with Rainbow Mt. in the clouds


Francine gets ready to ski


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