Last week David, my sister Elaine, her bff Lina and I went camping at Alice Lake, a popular campsite 30 minutes south of Whistler. Upon arrival at our designated site 73, we set up camp.
As soon as everything was sorted out, we did the next most important thing – fill our tummies. Even though it was ONLY 4:30pm, someone (Elaine) was starving because she only ate cereal for lunch. And so began our 3 days of feasting.
According to David, sitting around eating is what camping’s all about. And that was the one thing I was most apprehensive about – food. On our last camping trip and previous BBQ outings, we would buy pre-marinated meat or pre-made sauces. I was tempted to say yes when my mom called the weekend before we left to ask if I wanted her to marinate some chicken for us. I knew whatever she made would be delicious, but I said no – this time, I wanted to prepare everything myself. In the end, aside from not bringing enough cheese I think/hope everyone was content with the food we ate. This is a sampling of it:
Gotta have my coffee and David’s famous breakfast sandwich in the morning!
Burgers, teriyaki pork, honey-lime and buffalo wings.
Elaine’s rice krispie squares and kimchi bowl noodle for after dessert snack.
The perfect roasted marshmallow for the perfect smore.
In contrast to David, I think camping is more about escaping from the city, turning off the smartphones (that means you, Elaine and Lina) and enjoying the nature that surrounds us. Alice Lake was peaceful for the most part, until high school kids showed up for their year end rafting trip.
The lake was full of wildlife for us to see.Fortunately, we didn’t encounter the bear that was seen the previous day stealing food from a cooler (I think David scared it away). The wildlife that we did see were more of the subdued variety, but still enjoyed human food.
There are a few hiking trails around the lake of varying lengths, 6km being the longest, and with lake and mountain views.
Though these trails offer a nice after dinner stroll, I was looking for more of a challenge. For that, we headed to Garibaldi Lake, albeit with some resistance from my companions. You see, the hike to the lake is 9km one way with an elevation gain of 820 meters. Our hike started off well. The sun was out and we saw some nice views along the way.
We were feeling good and up to the challenge until around 4km, where we were presented with a bit of an obstacle.
Snow. We cautiously continued on in our runners and chucks with our walking sticks in hand until we reached 5km, where we decided (begrudgingly) that we were probably not prepared enough for the rest of the hike.
Had we been able to make it all the way, this is what we would’ve seen, but with snow of course.
After 3 days, we had enough of nature and were ready to get back to our comfy beds. But there was one more thing we had to do before heading back to the city – help Elaine conquer the Chief.
The year before, she was not feeling it and we turned around after about 10 minutes.
As you can see from the sign, it’s not a walk in the park. I can empathize with Elaine because the first time I did it, I felt like throwing up after 5 minutes. Luckily, David and our friends encouraged me to take it slow with lots of breaks and we made it up in 2 hours. This time, we made it in 1 hour and 20 minutes and were rewarded with views of the Howe Sound and Squamish.
In hindsight, we probably wouldn’t had made it if we did the full 18km of Garibaldi the day before, but 10km was just enough to prepare us for the Chief.
After conquering the Chief, we were content to head home. Some of us dozed off in the car, while others enjoyed the views along the Sea to Sky Highway, daydreaming of our next camping trip.