Where better to go on a warm, sunny day than the most colourful lakes around? We left the crowds behind and ventured up to the Taylor-Tszil col, which we had to ourselves. The views from the col made it worth the climb. Unfortunately we didn't have time to make it to Taylor or Tszil. Next time...
I hadn't appreciated that the trail upgrades meant a brand new trail.
* New approach to the middle lake, and a lovely new place to sit and admire the view.
* The waterfall on Joffre Creek - wow!
* New approach to the upper lake - a nice, interesting and fun section of trail that goes along the northern shore of the lake with the views you always wanted.
* The new trail looks to be fairly erosion-resistant.
* it's boring - it's now a smooth path (think Garibaldi Lake) all the way to the waterfall. This will be a blessing for many, but for me I think it robs the hike of some character. Now it's really just a case of hoofing it to the middle lake and enjoying the hike from there.
The route up to the col is pretty straightforward, if multiply-cairned in places, and there is still some snow in the bowl below the col. Watch for loose rocks along the top of the moraine - I kicked a couple out that looked ready to go at any minute. Getting off the moraine involved a short, steep scramble and the easiest way is blocked by snow at the moment. It won't pose a problem for any experienced scramblers, but novices may find it a little hairy. Beyond there, if you're happy with travel on steep-ish snow then there's no problem with the route. If you head into the maze of giant boulders then be prepared to work for your progress. All I can say is I'm glad they were dry. Do *not* rely on my GPS track for a reliable route. Once we were through the boulders, we took the snow slope below Tszil and made our way up to the col. It was steep and OK to ascend, but we took a different, less steep, route down (which led us into the boulder maze...). As ever, in this kind of terrain, choose what looks safest to you. Beware of tiger traps in the snow near rocks - I went through once - and moats at the edge. The snow was mostly quite firm but it will soften up a lot over the next few weeks.
Flowers are blooming nicely - if I listed them all it'd almost be a record of every flower I know :-) so I'll leave that for others to find out.
Mosquitoes were very hungry at the outhouse along the route to Taylor-Tszil, but mostly not a problem otherwise, even down at the lower lake (where they're usually pretty bad).
The outhouses at the trailhead are showing signs of overuse... :-/ but at least there was hand sanitizer.