The High Note trail is probably my favourite hike on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. It’s meant to take 3 to 4 hours and takes you all the way to the back of Whistler mountain, with gorgeous views over Cheakamus lake. It takes a while to get to the start, going up Whistler gondola first and then on the Peak chairlift. From the peak you have an amazing views over the surrounding area. I took the chair up as soon as it opened and was the first hiker to get on the trail, accompanied by some trail runners. Immediately the path went downhill, quite steeply. Here, the rocks dominated the landscape.
At this stage I was still keeping up with the trail runners. Here and there were some patches of snow and in other places a flower tried to grow. Then the path flattened out a bit and I entered a green space on the back of the mountain. There were some trees and soon I found myself in a meadow full of wildflowers.
The mountainside was steep and I had to look at where I placed my feet, but my gaze kept wandering to the river way down below, the blooming flowers and the wide views.
I was still staring at the path right in front of me when something startled me. What was that? Bears? Cougars? No. Just some hoary marmots that were just as startled by me. But they were also enjoying the sun and didn’t go too far into the meadow.
Soon I saw a big blue water appearing: Cheakamus lake. I had seen photos, but it was so much better in reality. This was gorgeous, stunning! There were a few really good view points along the walk.
This was also where the walk got a bit more challenging. After going downhill for a while, the path started ascending again. At a certain point I had to climb through a bunch of big rocks. They had placed something in between them and made some chains to hold on to.
From here I slowly got back into familiar terrain. I know I have skied here during winter, but it looked completely different. The path looped around the mountain again, passing another chairlift. The grass disappeared and made way for red rocks.
Up and down and down and up. The last bit of the walk. I looked out to Blackcomb mountain and could easily see all the ski runs. The last part was continuously uphill. I walked past the Harmony lake and finally reached the gondola again.
I love that this walk shows you so much in such a short time. The landscape keeps changing and surprising you. It is intense at times, but still very doable and a great place to clear your head.