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JasonG

Garibaldi Lake Frozen Yet?

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A pilot friend of mine tells me the lake has been frozen for a while now, but he can't vouch for how thick the ice is. He hasn't seen any sign of tracks on the Neve yet so no evidence of people crossing the lake either. But if you stay close to shoreline it's probably(?) passable, and may be firming up further from shore also. It's been cold enough lately the daytime thawing will have been pretty minimal. I'll try to track down someone from BC Parks to see if they have any word, but they can be pretty scarce during the winter months as they get cut back to skeleton stffing levels.

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But if you stay close to shoreline it's probably(?) passable

 

Be cautious, I learned while researching ice fishing that lake ice is often thinner near shore

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In my experience that applies to lakes with shallows around the edges, and particularly during warming spells as the shallow water warms much faster than the deeper main body of water. Garibaldi Lake is pretty steep sided, with not much shallow water anywhere except right at the south end and immediately in front of the Battleship Island campground. I would guess it will start freezing from the edges, and the ice will gradually spread until the centre of the lake freezes over last, so that early season the ice will probably be thicker around the perimeter. That said, every lake will be unique depending on currents and such, and no matter where you are the first few feet away from land should always be viewed with a degree of suspicion. Be cautious, and have a plan "B".

 

I got an auto-reply from my main BC Parks contact saying she's away until mid-January, so I'll have to try contacting someone else. Stay tuned...

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Thanks for the info everyone!

 

The lake was a bit slushy in spots on the 30th (but pretty safe feeling overall), and frozen solid today. South to west slopes have a bit of crust, but north slopes remained fine throughout the week. Such a great amount of ski terrain out of the Sphinx hut!

 

TR to follow in a few days.....

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Snoboy and I did a trip in late December many many years in ago across the lake to Sentinel Bay. As little as 2" of ice in some places and no snow cover - just clear black ice. We swung wide around Mt. Price when probing showed ice getting uncomfortably thin along our preferred direct route. We approached Sentinal bay late in the day and found it unfrozen - but luckily the ice bridged across a ridge of talus just enough that we could get ashore. Spooky. My empirical conclusion was that at that time of year the thickest ice was to be found farthest from the shore, while skirting the shoreline was suspect. I think the opposite is true later in the season though as the ice overfloods.

 

 

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