The Big White hike at Island Lake in Fernie

There has been one hike that has eluded me at Island Lake for a couple years now and has been on my wish list, as it is one of the few places to gain a summit in the Cedar Valley.

  • Sep. 1, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Hikers enjoying the view as they hike the Big White.

By Mike McPhee

There has been one hike that has eluded me at Island Lake for a couple years now and has been on my wish list, as it is one of the few places to gain a summit in the Cedar Valley.

Island Lake hiking guides Jen and Mireille were planning a trip to the summit and graciously invited me along to check out the view. The weather was perfectly bluebird and sunny.  After gaining a fair bit of elevation on the Spineback trail and close to the top of Spineback ridge – the route heads off West along the subalpine bowls of the Lizard Range.  This section has no real trail and involves a fair bit of boulder hopping.  At the top of Geisha bowl and the base of the peak there is a fairly steep scree slope.

The wildflowers were in full bloom and we spotted a herd of white mountain goats along the top of the ridge.  After many switchbacks on the scree slope you get to ridgeline, which takes you to the final summit of Big White.

The spectacular view is certainly worth the effort.  You can see Mount Fisher near Cranbrook, the whole Lizard Range and the Elk Valley of course.

The round trip took about 6 hours, with and elevation gain of about 2,800 feet.  A guide is highly recommended, as the route is a bit difficult to navigate.

Just Posted

New flight service an ‘angel’ for medical patients

As interprovincial healthcare access issues continue, a pair of Elk Valley pilots… Continue reading

Fernie initiative to ramp up accessibility

Donations, volunteers needed to build wooden ramps for 20 downtown Fernie stores

Family dog stolen in Elko

Elk Valley RCMP appealing for information on missing pregnant Karelian bear dog

Youth representative to join Fernie council

New program open to Grade 11 and 12 students in greater Fernie area; plus other council news

Prescribed burn set for Baynes Lake area

Planned ecosystem restoration burn to cover roughly 602 hectares over the next two weeks

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Fernie assisted living facility thanks volunteers

Rocky Mountain Village hosts volunteer appreciation lunch to mark National Volunteer Week

Mock extrication raises awareness at Fernie schools

Mock extrication exercise highlights driving dangers; fire department seeks new program organizer

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Drug decriminalization report welcomed in East Kootenay

Provincial report recommends decriminalizing people who use illicit drugs, shift focus to treatment

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read