High up, high down

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 the start of the High Note trail on the peak of Whistler

At the start of the High Note trail on the peak of Whistler

Trail runners descending.

Trail runners descending.

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 path through the flowers.

The path through the flowers.

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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.

Flowers in the wind.

Flowers in the wind.

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.

A marmot on my path.

A marmot on my path.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Dreamy mountain paths.

Dreamy mountain paths.

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.

Looking out over the lake.

Looking out over the lake.

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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.

IMG_4414 IMG_4427From 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.

A different sight.

A different sight.

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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.

Harmony lake

Harmony lake

Looking at Blackcomb mountain

Looking at Blackcomb mountain

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.

 

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