Although it was awkward and fussy with the extreme winds, I took the time to take pictures, and especially tried to capture a bit of the essence of this dynamic, inhospitable environment.
We return to the junction and retrieved our stashed gear. The mental (and physical) challenges of the Lafayette climb somewhat dampened Pu and Jenn's desire to add on a long hike to Garfield. Nevertheless, we decided to give it a shot, as the day was still relatively young (it is 11am at this point). So, we headed off north, steeply downwards, on the Garfield Ridge trail towards Mount Garfield.
We made it down a hundred or so feet of open alpine on the ridge trail, to the edge of the trees. We discovered that the trail hadn't been broken, and that was some additional cause for concern (difficulty and timewise). It was apparent that our hearts weren't really in it for another peak today, so we decided to abort, and to head back down the way we came up. A quick but tiring scramble brought us back up the steep terrain to the junction, and then we were very soon down into the trees on the Skookumchuck trail, where the world transformed from blustery maelstrom to calm, silent winter wonderland.
The way down was pleasant and uneventful, and as we reached the lower part of the trail, it became quite warm, even springlike. What a difference from the tempest above!
Springtime at the trailhead
We arrived back at the car shortly after 2pm. Our objective wasn't fully achieved, but we did have a fantastic day. We had a good, positive experience with some challenging conditions above the trees, and the views and the summit were great. Garfield goes back on the list, waiting to be ticked off on a different day....
Interactive Trackmap - Lafayette Climb - Double-Click to Expand
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain:
Total Elevation Loss:
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation profile over distance
Elevation profile over time