Hiking the Joffre Lakes / by jennica hookstra

Wow!  I don't think that there is any other word that I could use to start off this post other than, "wow"!

For years I have always wanted to hike to see the Joffre lakes, but for some reason I have never committed myself to doing it.  That was the case until yesterday...

My friend Kim and I decided to make our way up to Pemberton the week prior.  We wanted to be able to do the hike before the winter weather fully set it.  I was nervous and was feeling a bit under the weather when I got up in the morning.  However, without hesitation, I went and met up with Kim and we started on our drive.  About two hours later we arrived at the base of Joffre.  We packed up all of our gear and headed towards the first lake.  It was beautiful!  Simply stunning.  The lush yellow reeds popping out from the crystal blue water...  Gorgeous!  Then it was on to the second lake.  The hike between the first and second lake was pretty intense.  I was worried that for the next 2-3 hours I wouldn't be able to make it if it continued at such a challenging incline.  Nonetheless, we made it! Over rocks, boulders, waterfalls, streams, mud, trees and stumps we finally came to the second lake.  It was even more beautiful than the first!  Not only was it beautiful but it also held an amazing little surprise!  We whistled and as we turned, little Whiskey Jacks flew from the trees and onto our hands.  We laid out pieces of bread for them and shortly after two birds turned had turned into twenty!  They came from all different angles and proceeded to feast from our hands and heads.  It was quite an experience.  One for the books.  Once we arrived at the second lake we started to cool down quite quickly.  After having some fun with the birds we decided to carry on towards the third and final lake.  Now, the first two lakes were incredible, though I must say that my eyes filled with tears when I saw the third and final lake.  It was one of the most stunning views that I had ever laid my eyes on.  Being so blessed to live in such a beautiful country and even more so, an incredible province, the view took my breath away.  The calm lake was the colour of a jewel that has yet to be seen.  The mountains surrounding the lake made up some type of amphitheater for the waterfalls.  Then at the very top to the right I could finally see in clear view the glacier.  It was spectacular.  I felt like I was watching a National Geographic documentary, though it was through my own eyes.  We finally sat down to enjoy our sandwiches and celebrate our victory hike with a delicious oatmeal stout.  Well deserved if I do say so myself.  As much as I would have loved to have stayed and enjoyed the scenery for longer, it was very cold.  We had to keep moving.  So, we started our descent back to the bottom.  Though it was steep in some areas and we really had to watch our footing, it was much faster going down than it was going up.

All in all we had an incredible hike and saw so much beauty.  But, boy were we happy to be back in the car with the heat blasting!  An amazing experience!  If you live in BC you must do this hike.  I know that I'll be back again.

This is the best track for this blog post:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXDZA9y1flg

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