Tag Archives: Duffey Lake

Up the Duffey

Mountain Range SGD

One of my favourite things about living in the Whistler area is the fact that it only takes about 20 minutes drive to get away from the crowds.  Don’t get me wrong, Whistler is awesome.  It’s a lot of fun with an incredible amount of things to do in some of the best scenery around but lets not kid ourselves, it can get crowded.  That’s where a short sneaky drive north comes in handy.

Darkside Lake SGD

Down the Valley SGD

A couple of weeks ago we headed into the Duffey Lake area and we were planning to do a bit of a hike and a scramble and then chill out for the night.  There was an old decommissioned road which, fortunately for us, we could drive a decent way up.

Truck deep in scrub

This cut our hiking time down considerably which was good news as it meant we could justify carrying in a couple of extra beers! Crucial! The views were amazing from the get go!

Meadow with a View SGD

Up the Duffey

SC Stream 2 SGD

SC Stream SGD

Darkside Lake Avy Path SGD

Darkside lake Southern View SGD

It also meant we had a bit of extra time to scramble up some scree and see some pretty stunning views high about the lake!

Look across Darkside lake

Look across Darkside lake

It was steep and possibly a little sketchy…

Steep Traverse Darkside Lake SGD

Back at ascent

It was incredible being in such isolated and enormous terrain.

Sunshine Valley SGD

Looming Clouds SGD

During the course of our scramble we dislodged a rock or two and it was impressive and somewhat intimidating to see the path they took down the hill.  Definitely a no fall zone!

DI treads lightly SGD

Benny Traverses SGD

Trundle Time SGD

Scoping out the terrain, I cannot wait to get back here in the winter.  Some excellent skiing to be had, that is for sure!

We had a mixture of weather as well.  Three seasons that day at least.  We had a nice little downpour during dinner.  Gave us a good excuse to have some drinks and then in the early hours of the morning the skies cleared which was perfect!

SC Trees Night SKy SGD

Steep Creek ST SGD copy

An awesome overnight trip!

Darkside Lake & Chutes Pan SGD copy


Steep Creek

View above the hut

Last week we went on a trip to the Duffey Lake area.  In one word this place is epic.  A lot of absolutely outrageous terrain.  It is steep, with lots of tree runs and lots of exposed faces with cliffs, chutes and very serious avalanche possibilities.  This year has been a bit worrying in terms of avalanche danger so the purpose of this trip was just to get into the mountains and hang out.  We weren’t really chasing epic lines.

As it turns out, it was a good thing we weren’t in search of epic skiing because as we were climbing up to the hut the freezing level quickly over took us.

The map below shows roughly the route we took.  The climbing is in yellow and the descent is in red.  Obviously most of the terrain is currently covered in snow, however you can get a rough idea.

Steep Creek Route

The climb itself wasn’t too difficult, it followed a road for most of the way that had been nicely packed down by snowmobile traffic.  We weren’t in a hurry so we took a little longer than we usually would, however we made it to the hut in time to unload our heavy packs and head up through the trees for a quick lap before dinner.

One Trail

Heading up for a quick lap before dinner

Heading up for a quick lap before dinner

The snow was quite heavy however we were able to have some fun and play around.  You can see the rough line we took in orange on the map above.

We stayed in an awesome hut that had lights (solar), ipod dock, foam mats and more including a disco ball.  We ate, drank and played cards well into the night and when we crashed it was almost luxurious how much space there was in the loft.

On the second and final day we took our time packing up and departing, an excellent bacon breakfast was on the menu.  We climbed up through the trees once more, stopping several times to look at lines and wish the snow was champagne powder.  Next time!

Will Trees near Hut

Towards Chute 56

At the top we looked down an avalanche path called Chute 56.  On a good day this chute apparently has some incredible skiing, however it is a committing line and we weren’t overly confident in the snow pack so we decided to stick in the trees.

Tree Negotiator

Tree Negotiator 2

Will playing

The skiing was heavy but actually pretty fun at the start however below 1500 metres or so it changed drastically into this horrible heavy concrete style snow.  We slowly picked our way down, popping into the chute at the very end to link up with the road that would take us back to the main road out to our car.

Will heavy snow

Heavy Pow Will B&W

All in all it was a pretty fun, short adventure and I cannot wait to get back there when the snow is in a better condition.