A Lazy Hazy Crazy Day (TR)


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Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 16, 2008 - 01:03am PT
Wherein Mightyus Hikerus SuperTopoensis™ ® © goes for a stroll in a park and experiences a Modest Alpine Adventure™ ® ©, including:
 The attainment of a fine peak.
 Wide, and Very Wide™ ® ©, Cracks.
 Confrontations with Fauna and Flora, including the Attack of the Ladybugs!
 The Vorpal Sword™ ® © - Use and Design.
 A great deal of exercise.
 Numerous ellipsis and digressions.
 Frequent and portentous use of Capital Letters™ ® ©, not to mention ™ ® and ©, but noble restraint with respect to use of the return key, italics, and bold.
 Photographs of Flowers, by Space Aliens!
 And many other quaint activities.

You may decide for yourself if laziness, craziness, or haziness were factors. Here is a humble report, for your edification and amusement.


High summer was upon us. The late snows had finally melted, and our all too brief alpine season had arrived. One golden day succeeded the next, but all too soon the never-ending Monsoonal Rains™ ® © would return. Several years of well-nigh unremitting family and work responsibilities made clear that it was time for Shock Treatment™ ® ©, so as to begin a return to a semblance of fitness, and train for the FaceLift™ ® ©. The Sports Plan™ ® © clearly needed to be kick started, and perhaps also the trainee.

Vigorous exercise and fresh air were the prescription. Fortunately one need not seek far. Despite the monomania of most rock climbers, there are many opportunities for fun in the mountains near to Vancouver. We are, not to coin a phrase, surrounded.

Indeed, an area just north of Squamish, Garibaldi Park, offers many fine opportunities for fresh air, Blueberry Crop Assessment™ ® ©, and geological observation. There are fine trails, lovely meadows, lakes, peaks of all kinds, and some bits of history. The park is very large and was established in 1920, although it has been somewhat encroached on by development from Whistler. Still, it is more accessible than many of our mountains, and need not involve untoward intimacy with devil’s club.

So it was that I set out early one fine midweek August morning, en route to Garibaldi Lake and the Black Tusk. The entire area is a fine example of the interaction of volcanism and glaciation, and the BT itself is a volcanic plug. It is visible from many places nearby, including the W place, and is over 2,300 metres high – treeline being at about 1,700.

To put it all in a way more familiar to you, dear reader, the BT is much like Bears Lodge, although the former was brought to earth by glaciation, and the latter apparently by a cowboy’s lariat. The BT, and the neat things in the vicinity (only 30 minutes drive from ‘downtown’ Squamish) are part of the Ring of Fire. Every 100 km or so along the Pacific coast of North America, there is an E-W suture in the Earth’s crust. Starting from the north at Meager Mountain, the areas of volcanism are Garibaldi Lake and the Black Tusk, then Mt. Baker, then Glacier Peak, then Rainier, then Adams and St. Helens, then Hood, and so forth – ending up at Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen (more SuperTopo relevancy!).

The expedition is comparable to hiking/scrambling up Half Dome, but in a much different setting, with very few people. Yet more SuperTopish references!


Evading highway construction closures, I stopped in Squamish. The BT is not visible from there, but Mount Garibaldi, halfway between, is, peeping out through a mall.

I manfully evaded the temptations of the fleshpots, having neglected to bring climbing equipment, and knowing the forecast high was 32 – a bit warm for Squamish rock.

Refreshed, I proceeded to the BT parking lot, and paid $3 for leaving my car – although the lot is unchanged from when I first visited it with my father and brother in about 1969, en route to fishing in Garibaldi Lake. I believe this is the “fee enterprise” system.

Those who think that the name-givers could have been more imaginative should realize that we have dozens of Glacier Lakes and Bear Rivers in B.C. It’s a BIG place.


The trail is a very good one, suitable to large numbers of hikers – a common thing on weekends. It switchbacks steeply up the side of the formerly glaciated and so U-shaped valley, starting at about 600 metres. Luckily it faces west, and so is a cool place on a warm morning. I had brought a Secret Weapon™ ® © for just that reason – a trick learned from doing long races in hot places. I’d filled and frozen my water bottles the night before, so that throughout the day I had cool refreshing drink, instead of lukewarm Sludgeorade™ ® ©. As the high in the W place was 34, a good idea.

The trail is something that a Side-Hill Gouger™ ® © would like. There is more about these curious creatures at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidehill_gouger There is also a poem, at http://personal.nbnet.nb.ca/steldon/gouge.html

Sadly, no blueberries were seen during the entire day. Nor were any bears in evidence – they kind of go together.


You need not be a paranoid to know that there are many nasties in the woods, waiting to devour us. Not just Side-Hill Gougers and Bears, but also Ferocious Bloodthirsty Rampaging Giant Canadian Wolves™ ® ©. An encounter with a Frumious Bandersnatch or even a Jabberwock was not out of the question – not for nothing is the area known fondly as the Magic Kingdom. I was ill-prepared for such encounters, and had even forgotten my Vorpal Sword™ ® ©, but nonetheless was ready to sell my life dearly. In such an event, I would whip out my genuine boy scout staff (pre-metric), attach to it my knife, and use it to fend off the attacker.

In the event of a real emergency, I would don my genuine Mini-Superhero Hat™ ® ©, which was sure to deter any threat - mineral, solar, animal, or vegetable.

Hopefully the results would not be iron-ic.


After about two hours, I arrived at a junction, not far below timberline, which is also where it gets less steep. One fork goes to Garibaldi Lake, the other to the BT. (A loop is possible, and other excursions.) This gave me a chance to start on my FaceLift Training Plan™ ® ©, as there were bits of garbage lying about that needed picking up. (The training program did not go well – I only found 100 g or so of trifles all day.) In another half hour I was at Taylor Meadows – the club I belong to had summer camps there in the 1920s, when many of the peaks were first climbed, and Taylor was one of the first presidents.

In the back of the picture, you can see the BT itself, shyly peeping out.

This is quite a boggy area, and so there are some boardwalks. Not being a Drifter, I didn’t go Under a Boardwalk, but I thought Wannabe Pirates™ ® © might get some ideas about walking planks from this.

Many Moskreechers™ ® © can be found here, which makes it a fine campsite for the scouts.


Several hours later I came to myself, much higher on the flanks of the mountain. The time in between is a blank. However, later forensic examination of my camera retrieved many pictures of local flowers. Apparently I was kidnapped by space aliens, who did a mind-meld, guided me up the mountain, and in return took pictures. They must be from Planet Flora™ ® ©, and so are mostly harmless.

The glaciated massif in the second-last photo is the Tantalus Range, only 15 km northwest of Squamish – evidently the Florans have some appreciation for mountains.


The end was nigh. The summit was visible.

The route traverses from right to left under the face, then up the left side.

Looking south, here’s the glaciated north side of Mt. Garibaldi.

The formation in front of Garibaldi is poetically known as the Table, another volcanic plug. There is an arch on its right side, through which you can see the glacier. Not something you see every day.

Before going on, one must confront one’s deepest fears and forebodings, take one’s life into one’s hands, and disregard the forces of Eevil.

And now another plug for our sponsor, the star of the show.

And yet another. Note the tremendous “undeveloped” potential.

Right beside the tooth, with its northern outlier peaks – unclimbed. I wonder why?


Here is the route itself, which involves about 100 vertical metres of cobbles. Technically it is a low fifth class gully/chimney, with much of the challenge (for hikers) the descent, especially choosing the correct gully.

Here’s the upper part, from above. Most definitely a Wide Crack™ ® ©, which should please Russ, Ed, JayBro, and other fetishists, although no ropes, knee bars, or other trickery were required.

You pop out onto an airy ridge, and scramble to the top. I had it all to myself, except for a few visitors, including a pair of ravens.


I confess that it is not every day that I am attacked by swarms of ladies. I sat on the summit, and ate and drank. Sadly, Kendal Mint Cake was not on the menu. Several Moskreechers had accompanied me to the top, as had some other insects to which I had paid little attention. They landed all over me, by the dozens, and proceeded to nibble.

They were some sort of miniature ladybug. I can’t imagine what they were doing there, as from family gardeners I understand that their main diet is aphids and mites. In any event, they seemed happy browsing on my skin, perhaps for salt, and I believe are considered to be a GOOD THING, so I let them be.

Several ladybugs snuck into my pack and got a free ride to Vancouver, where they now inhabit the backyard.


Castle Towers

The W Place from the South – a harmless dull bump.

The Sphinx etc

We once did a nice climb on its left ridge.

Mt. Garibaldi & Garibaldi Lake

Colour not photoshopped. On my annual climb of the BT, I usually take a side trip to Panorama Ridge (snowy ridge in lower left), to round out the day. I then detour to the lake for a swim before hiking down – there are some nice coves on the outlet side, although the lake is entirely glacier fed. Alas! With highway construction closures, there wasn’t enough time for a Daisy Moment™ ® ©.

Howe Sound

The fjord in the far distance.

Note ladybug under chin.


I left the car at about 9:20, and got to the top about 1:50. It’s 14 – 15 km one way, and 1,700 – 1,800 vertical metres. (Which in American is “knit two, purl one”.) The trip down was uneventful, although baking hot. Here’s another shot of volcanism in action, a feature called the Barrier.

It is essentially a big lava flow off a peak beside Garibaldi, and the dam that holds in Garibaldi Lake. And Crimpie thought that Courtright looked iffy! The lake is about 7 km long and 3 wide, and several hundred metres deep, so that’s a lot of water. There was a big slide off the Barrier in the 1850s, which pretty much obliterated everything in the valley below, including where the highway is now – in fact, 10 or 15 km of the highway. In winter and spring, we ski across the lake to get to the peaks on the other side.

On the last part of the hike, I met someone named Paul (?), a meteorologist from Nederland, Colarado. He’s also a photographer, but said he didn’t know tarbuster or pewf. He did take my picture, including pathetic trash bag.

So I hopped into my luxurious air-conditioned chariot, stopped in Squamish for a big gulp (reused cup) that disappeared in moments, and was soon home. Loki was happy to see me.

Thank you for coming on my little trip, a la Tarbuster. No serious climbing occurred, but it was fun. While acknowledging Nat King Cole (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nat_King_Cole, and his fine summer song: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/n/nat+king+cole/those+lazy+hazy+crazy+days+of+summer_20098114.html

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Aug 16, 2008 - 01:18am PT
Anders, you kick ass!!! keep this alive, my canadian brother...keep kicking ass!

See you at the Facelift.

The Outer Limits of my Inner Sanity
Aug 16, 2008 - 01:20am PT
Very Niiiiiiiiice, Mighty Hiker!

Great flower photos on top of great scenics...and ladybugs all over your legs--pretty funny!

Thanks for taking us along for the trip...now my feet hurt...;-)

Trad climber
the south
Aug 16, 2008 - 01:30am PT
Well, your cat has gotten a lot bigger.

I never understand trip reports, or actually, the motivation to make a trip report.

Since it's you, I'll be nice.

OK I'll TRY to be nice.

WHY does anyone care about what other people have climbed??? WHY does anyone think their climb is worth reading about?

Isn't climbing supposed to be about climbing? Isn't it your own personal experience at that moment that makes climbing good?

Trip reports are just self indulgent chatter, or worse, a loud "Look at meeee!".

Well I tried, and failed.

I normally love your writing Anders. Sorry to piss on your parade.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 16, 2008 - 01:37am PT
Story telling.

Either that, or truth in advertising: lazy, hazy and/or crazy.

You do have a point about motives and ego and TRs, though I think most here like to read them, especially if there's decent writing or photos.

Trad climber
the south
Aug 16, 2008 - 02:01am PT
I guess that back when I really could climb, and had a few good times, it just didn't often come to mind to turn that into a vicarious experience for other people.

I'm still a Mighty Hiker fan though.


Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Aug 16, 2008 - 02:47am PT
wow, that is some stellar choss!

that chimney looks to be a bit sketch. solid?


Trad climber
Aug 16, 2008 - 08:54am PT
You FULLY crack me up!


Keep the magic alive, Mighty!



P.S. Kendal Mint Cake? Good thing you didn't have any. . . it woulda made you speak with Ralph!

Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
Aug 16, 2008 - 11:27am PT
Jeez, Dirtineye, take a happy pill or something.

One reason that I enjoy the TRs are the intimate glimpses of places I don’t know. The Vancouver vicinity is on my short list of places to get to and MH provided a beautiful, vicarious visit on this rainy Saturday morning.

Thanks, Anders.

PS. When seeing photos of Whistler, I always wondered why I had never heard about technical climbing on the Black Tusk. Thanks for clearing that up.

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Aug 16, 2008 - 11:38am PT
Nice TR - thanks for sharing pics of beautiful BC!

For those unhappy folks who think TR's are a waste of space, just don't read 'em! There are plenty of us that really enjoy them!

right here, right now
Aug 16, 2008 - 11:58am PT
Nice Blueberry Crop Assessment™ ® ©, and geological observation...
My sort of excercise detail to be sure; 'love taking a peek at that glacier draped terrain.

Thanks for bringing us along Anders!!!
You must soon do it again.

Social climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Aug 16, 2008 - 12:00pm PT
Awesome Mighty Hiker. Great photos - really beautiful flowers. Thanks for taking the time to share it. TRs are among the best things on Supertopo!

In search of the Perfect Lie...I mean..Life
Aug 16, 2008 - 12:45pm PT
"WHY does anyone care about what other people have climbed??? WHY does anyone think their climb is worth reading about?"

Well Curt,

You did try to understand--which is a good start. Part of your lack of understanding of the beauty of TRs might be exactly what you said--you used to do all this sort of stuff just for your own experience. That made it a private ecstasy that didn't want or need an audience.

Part of your dislike of TRs might also be the conscious (or unconscious) realization that you really can no longer participate in the outdoors like you once did--and that's a very frustrating feeling. It could almost border on jealousy for those that can still get out and tramp the peaks. And trust me, anyone who's experienced even a short-term injury can relate to that, much less the lengthy and painful ordeal you've been going through.

Well, you have a right to your feelings, as we all do. However...and I know you're going to think this an absolutely abysmally stupid request, but I've always been curious about the stuff you did back in the day. From what I've gleaned on ST, you were a climbing pioneer in your own right. Do you happen to have any old photos? Do you have any good epics to share that might go along with the photos? You can laugh at your own bumbling ineptitude in your stories--which hindsight can always make funny somehow--or if you were perfect, then you can laugh at the goobers you epicted with.

This might sound like tooting your own horn to you--to the rest of us (some of whom get outside so rarely these days), experiencing the wilderness and/or hideously painful climbing epics vicariously is the best game in town, and keeps us sane.

If you want to humor me and post up a story, I'd really be interested in reading it. If not, that's fine, too. Keep your damned old adventures to yourself...;-)
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 16, 2008 - 05:08pm PT
The BT is very fractured rock, but surprisingly few hikers get in trouble in the gully/chimney. The difficulties are short, and there are lots of (semi-permanent) holds. Most of the loose holds have been pried off, but there are more every spring, due to freeze-thaw. We don't get a lot of thunderstorms, but if it got wet, it would be even more exciting. It's not a trivial place, and I imagine more than a few have their moments there.

There may be climbers who see potential routes - lots of holds, steep, must somehow be ok - but I'm not one of them. If it was 100 km from Los Angeles, maybe another matter.

I still haven't figured out the ladybugs. I've never seen them in the mountains before, let alone in swarms at a peak. Perhaps a good omen. Is there is a resident entomologist who could help, or one of the SuperTopo Know-It-Alls™ ® ©?

My adventure is hardly in the same league as many TRs on SuperTopo, and certainly not anything very exciting or innovative. The report was meant as a bit of whimsy, on a hot afternoon. Perhaps later I will look for some old pictures from the area, or winter shots.

Social climber
My Inner Nut
Aug 16, 2008 - 06:05pm PT
Excellent, Anders. Garabaldi is such a beautiful mountain - always been intrigued by it when climbing at Squamish. Thanks for the note on the arch! That is way cool. Hows the highway project coming along? That wasn't part of the TR, so I presume that it wasn't epic.

The picture of the field of flowers with the mountains in the background was particularly nice!

I find myself pining for the fjords this time of year...

"Pining for the fjords?!? What kind of talk is that? This parrot has ceased to be! It is no more!" Etc...

Thanks, Erik


Social climber
Jtree, now in Alaska
Aug 16, 2008 - 06:54pm PT
AWsome TR, thanks!!

Social climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Aug 16, 2008 - 07:03pm PT
I completely disagree with you Anders.

Your TR is absolutely in the league with the others posted here on the Taco. It was exciting, creative and left me giggling at the subtle and hilarious Anders-humor. Top-notch.

Hurry out and do another adventure so you can tell us about it!


Social climber
Aug 16, 2008 - 11:45pm PT
I enjoyed the TR
It's probably a place to which I'll only get in my minds eye.
Or a Taco TR.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2008 - 12:26am PT
I was at MEC today, and got a new hiking map for the Garibaldi Lake area. It says that the Coast Salish name for the Black Tusk is NQ'IL'QTENS KU SKENKNAP. It means "seat of thunder", for the rock on which the thunder bird lived. The rock was burnt black by lightning. Learn something new every day. But I still don't know how it's pronounced.

There is tons on the Garibaldi area on the Geological Survey of Canada website, at http://gsc.nrcan.gc.ca/volcanoes/cat/feature_garibaldi_e.php

The last eruption in the Mt. Meager area (100 km northwest) was about 2,350 years ago. There are 13 vents in an area 30 km x 15 km, on the west side of Garibaldi Park. The area first became active several hundred thousand years ago, and the last lava flows were as the main glaciers receded, about 10,000 years ago.

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Aug 17, 2008 - 01:23am PT
A mighty fine TR from MH. Always wanted to get up there.....someday. Beautiful country with a fun twist of humor.
Great job, thanks.

{tip for dirt}
If the thread title has a (TR) in it, don't read it.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Aug 17, 2008 - 12:13pm PT
Great report--you say you've done an annual 'tour de black tusk'. . . have you noticed, or can you look at previous
photos of the glaciers on the peaks and see their retreat over
the years? Garibaldi looks like a sweet one. Ooooo--glacier
travel & play.
Wonderful report!
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 18, 2008 - 02:03am PT
There's been lots of glacial recession and thinning in Garibaldi Park over the last century or so. For the last 40 years, some have been measured regularly. I don't have good "before and after" photos, but here's some from Wedgemount Lake, about 20 km north of the Black Tusk.

June 1972

At that time the glacier went well into the lake, and the ice cliff you see is 30 m+ high.

June 2003

Taken from about the same angle, but 400 - 500 m higher up.

The glacier has retreated up to a kilometre. Hot air from political and religious threads on SuperTopo are a prime suspect.

I don't have any photos of rainbows, but here's another one.

Wedge Mountain, the highest in Garibaldi Park. More scruffy rock, but pretty from a distance.

The Coast Salish name for Garibaldi is "Ta Nch'qai'", which means "the Grimy One". Very fitting - it's quite a dusty place when not snow covered.

Trad climber
Aug 18, 2008 - 09:48am PT

You know anybody that might want some old Squamish memorabilia?? I've got a couple of wooden wedges I took out of the first or second pitch of Tantalus wall in 1972. I'm guessing they were used on the first ascent by the old guy himself.


Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 18, 2008 - 04:46pm PT
Don, I may well be interested in those myself. I don't know of any climbing museum, or plans for a climbing museum, in B.C. or Squamish. There's not nearly as much history to keep track of as there is in Yosemite. But I did know Leif Patterson, who was on the first ascent of Tantalus Wall. I'm in touch with Leif's family, and they might be interested in seeing if not having a wedge or two.

I vaguely remember wandering around below Tantalus Wall in 1972 or 1973, and seeing some wedges scattered about. Jim Madsen is said to have done the first free ascent of Tantalus Crack in 1968 - I wonder how the wedges helped or hindered with that?

Will you be at the FaceLift? If so, a chance to talk and look.
sky pilot

Trad climber
Aug 18, 2008 - 05:03pm PT
I read that ladybugs will gather along ridge lines and summits in order to mate. I, too, have been "attacked" by swarms of ladybugs. I guess ladybugs are romantic and like to have a nice view as they mate!!

Trad climber
Aug 18, 2008 - 07:25pm PT
Anders, I may try to make The Facelift (I don't really live that far away so I have no excuse).

I found those wooden wedges just below the beautiful offwith section-they were laying on a ledge in the bottom of a crack. It was my understanding that Al Givler did the first free ascent of the offwith pitch. I remember talking to Al about this but it's pretty vague and I have CRS (can't remember s#it) pretty bad so he may have said anything.....
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 19, 2008 - 01:05am PT
It is more plausible that Al Givler freed Tantalus Crack, notwithstanding legend that Madsen did it. Al was around Squamish a fair amount in the late 1960s, and of course he and Mead did the first ascent of the Black Dyke in early 1970.

Steering the thread back toward topic, it turns out that there are about 5,000 species of ladybugs, with hundreds of types in North America. They are actually a kind of beetle, called Coccinellidae. "Some species (e.g., Hippodamia convergens) gather into groups and move to higher land, such as a mountain, to enter diapause." Diapause is a sort of dormancy during the winter, and it seems that the convergens species is found throughout NA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coccinellidae

I don't know if "higher land" includes 2,300 m rocky peaks.

The agriculture department of just about every land grant college in the U.S. has web information on ladybugs.

Social climber
My Inner Nut
Aug 19, 2008 - 01:33am PT

A Ladybug hijack is in order

Edited for ease of viewing


Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 19, 2008 - 08:50am PT
Wow, you got a lot of mileage out of that hike! Looks like the TR was almost as much fun to write as
Black Tusk was to climb. Glad you took us all along.

And IFO think there oughtta be even more TRs on the taco, whether they are routes I can climb or not.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 19, 2008 - 04:52pm PT
Thanks - it was a long and dusty trail, and I didn't run into many others, so I entertained myself by thinking up a TR. I like to "write in my head" while doing those sorts of things - hiking, running, swimming etc. Activities which pump some oxygen into me, but aren't so absorbing or vigorous as to require full time attention.

Erik's ladybug photo was a little bit ... creepy. In a good sort of way. You can actually buy packaged ladybugs and set them free in your greenhouse, house or garden, where assuming there are aphids to be had, they will thrive. The problem, of course, is keeping them where you want them.

I suppose political correctness would require us to call them personbugs, given that 50% must be male. Hopefully it's not one of those species where they mate, and the female eats the male to nourish the eggs.
Hardly Visible

Port Angeles
Aug 19, 2008 - 05:59pm PT
Nice trip report Anders,
Back in the days when I was a hiker I did some strolls in yer neighborhood.
Here’s a few pictures outa my photobucket

Snowcap Lakes Garibaldi Park

A little further north

Manatee Range

And finally the Mt. Meager volcano you mentioned on the right

Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2008 - 12:46am PT
Those are nice photos, Kevin! And any of the destinations involve much more than hiking. Few get to Snowcap Lakes, although it's within 50 or 60 km of greater Vancouver, and a glacier feeds into it. I haven't been to Snowcap, but have been in the Manatee Range in summer and winter, and nearby at the Overseer area.

I had a flashback, and realized that my SuperTopo moniker may have been bestowed on me on a hike with boy scouts to Garibaldi Lake, around 1970. Because I very much wasn't.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2008 - 01:36pm PT
I made some enquiries amongst mountaineering friends, and one came up trumps. My friend Vince saw swarms of ladybugs at the summit of a mountain called Needle Peak in May 2007. Needle Peak is about 150 km east of Vancouver (southeast of the Black Tusk), and about 2,100 m high. Somewhat different biogeoclimatic zone, and different season. Here's a picture of some of the ladybugs they found on the summit:

Is that cool, or what? Vince is an environmental scientist, and hypothesized that the bugs swarm in spring and lay eggs, or perhaps go high to avoid predators.

Paging any entomologists...
Dingus Milktoast

Aug 21, 2008 - 02:31pm PT
Some species of ladybugs are migratory. They also hibernate. Some of those migratory hibernating ladybugs do their diapuse (hibernation) on mountain tops.

Eggs are typically laid near their food source - aphids. Under sides of leaves, most often.

Good Wiki article on them


Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Aug 21, 2008 - 03:55pm PT
Say, Mighty Hiker, how did I miss your very COOL Thread ? Loved it immensley and now I know who to look for at the Lift!

Is Alice Lake anywhere near you ? We camped there years ago when my hub climbed Squamish. Unbeknownst to me the kids decided to swim across Alice.

Just found out recently they almost didn't make it......kids!

Smiles, Lynne
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 22, 2008 - 10:52pm PT
(Bumped, as Lynne may have missed the answer, in all the downages over the last day.)

Alice Lake is about 15 km north of Squamish, just off the highway to Whistler. Ok camping. They have a triathlon there every summer.

I talked with a lady entomologist at the University of B.C. She was quite interested to hear of encounters with ladybugs high in the local mountains. She says that many types of ladybug swarm in the autumn, and then try to find somewhere warm and dry and safe for the winter, when they're inactive. Sometimes they invade people's houses, garages, or stables. She'd never heard of ladybugs in places like the top of Black Tusk, or Needle Peak. In the case of the Tusk, she thought it might have had to do with updrafts carrying them higher than normal. Also, the dark, south-facing rock might offer warm, protected crevices for wintering, but it's rather early for that, and a cold, windy place in winter. For Needle Peak, clearly they'd wintered there, which surprised her. Safety from predators - birds, bears, rodents, etc - might be the reason.

Ladybugs live for about a year, but those in a swarm return to the same places each autumn. Perhaps there's some overlap - some born in the spring and some in the autumn.

Social climber
Aug 22, 2008 - 11:07pm PT
hey there mighty hiker and all... great share--great pics, too, naturallyyyy...

say, i just say some notes about ladybugs... sorry, didn't see that til i hit reply... think i will mosey on back and read that too....

edit: say there mighty hiker and all... say, we have ladybug swarms here, too.... think it was to have been in june, july or aug???? hmmm, cant remember, as i have not seen them in this house... but i DID see them just recently at my co-workers... just cannot remember the month.... many folks around here though, near the woods, really have a hard time of it----they actually cover the ceilings, at times...

ps----oh LYNNE----- those are some awful hard stories, learning that the kids near took an "unreturnable" turn.... say, the wonder of it all, is that the good lord up-held them and they are hear to tell about their "old football---well, you get my drift---old childhood-trail injuries".... whewwwwwwwwww, lynne, very glad the kids lived to tell about it....

Social climber
Aug 22, 2008 - 11:17pm PT
hey there... i really like this garibaldi park.. have never heard of it... will check it out on some searches... nice stuff, all....

Social climber
Aug 22, 2008 - 11:36pm PT
hey there mighty hiker... oh, my... sometimes i have to wait for downloads on these trip reports...etc...

so now, that i have been through the whole thing... i must say, mighty hiker... this was very sweet stuff.... much more than the usually great trails, etc...

i really enjoyed the "chapter highlighters" and the light-hearted happy joy... i liked how you stated that you and and your dad had your first visit there together (if i didnt read that too fast to soak it in right)....

really, you did more than a great job...

say, there, your're a mighty creative writer, too, to add to your hiking skills...

once again, thanks so very much... still got to check out some more of this great stuff.... god bless.... (encoure) (encore, somewhere, anywhere... will read)... :)
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Aug 23, 2008 - 12:44am PT
Would have responded earlier, but it seems our Super Taco has a major illness and needs IV antibiotics STAT or the paramedics will need to be called in.

IOW could not post for hours and hours today....

ANYWAY, do you think the lady bugs spots are like fingerprints and/or snowflakes and all individual ?

I will limit my spiritual comments (don't do political) if you really think they are contributing to global hot pads. Smiles and a Super Taco Friday Nite. Linners.

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Aug 23, 2008 - 09:43am PT
pretty funny :)
thanks Anders.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 24, 2008 - 04:02am PT
The SuperTopo quest for the elusive alliterative alpine ladybug, and entomological immortality, continued apace over the weekend. Teams of intrepid SuperTopians fanned out across the globe, equipped with butterfly nets, deerstalkers, and other paraphernalia and impedimenta. Reports were trickling in, and expected to turn into a flood after the weekend.

Chiloe ranged farthest afield, to Nuuk in Kalaalit Nunaat. It seemed unlikely he would find any of the lovely creatures, but if he did, they'd be well preserved in ice.

Happiegrrrl set out to the Shawangunks, accompanied by her trusty four legged friend Teddy. The area is not exactly alpine, but she felt that a two legged + four legged team would impress six legged bugs. rgold hoped to provide some help - "Eight legs are better than six" seemed to be their slogan.

Skipt claimed that he'd catch "14 million" of them, for which he'd surely receive a merit badge.

locker was having problems with his enter/return key - some hippie lettuce was caught in it. Once he solved this, he hoped to have a look around, if he could remember he was supposed to.

Dwain was sadly preoccupied, but hoped to keep locker on the straight and narrow.

Largo hoped to impress the ladies through use of colourful clothing and a unicycle - all the ladies love a clown.

maldaly hoped to lure the creatures with single malt scotch, a novel strategy.

Mitey Hiker, aphids in hand, smirked "I've already got mine."

Warbler wasn't too optimistic - his species is known for dining on bugs.

Chris Mac planned to intercept the migrating swarms in a wingsuit. He seemed likely to catch some on his goggles, anyway, given that he'd be going down at 100 kph, while the bugs were going up.

Anastasia had unusual ideas involving protective Greek male relatives and Turkish delight.

John Moosie simply said "The Moose is loose."

tarbuster planned lengthy rambles on ridges in the rubblicious rockies, which seemed a likely habitat. "They might be fleet of wing", he observed, "but no way they can outrun Lisa." We were sure of a fascinating report, anyway. He hoped to enlist fellow Nederlander Pewf in the chase - "Can't have too many gals when you're trying to catch a lady."

jtcrip grumbled about OUTDOOR CHOSS™, but was seen buying a net at WalMart. Claims that it was for catching "desert trout" were scoffed at.

coz guessed that ladybug swarms could be found on the south face of Half Dome. He set out with an extraordinary variety of equipment. The ropes and harnesses seemed plausible - bound to be some deep warm protected cracks up there. The hammers and chisels seemed overkill - they're only little bugs, after all.

ihateplastic planned to send classic postcards of ladybugs in Yosemite in the 1930s to the winners.

healyje wanted to use his extensive experience with peregrine observations to locate the bugs, and develop a working relationship with land managers so they'd let him visit their habitat in season. All this while slacklining better than most of those poseurs in Camp 4.

bachar planned "boldly to go" (or "to go boldly", or "to boldly go") "where no man has gone before", and see what he could find.

Karl Baba was at an ashram in India, or a commune in Beijing, or something along those lines, but hoped to provide observations of ladybugs in those places. His initial report? "Crunchy!"

Crimpergirl was bug eyed, saying "I love everything that flies." She thought she might give Dave a wingsuit for his birthday.

FatTrad said "Well, at least the clash is starting with aerial action, even if it's not quite what I thought it would be." His 'friends' thought that the ladybugs probably had WMDs, and that a pre-emptive strike was advisable.

Radical stated "Them bugs are gomers.", which seemed a trifle aggressive for a mostly harmless Canuck.

PTPP planned a long sojourn in a likely migratory route, and was expected to report in twenty days or so.

Hollyclimber thought it might help the ladybugs with their migration if she taught them about wall climbing.

nature simply said "I'm too busy, and you can't make sushi with them anyway. At least, I won't."

dirtineye smirked "I have a way with the ladies".

Heaven knows what yo was up to, but he was bound to post a funny TR about it involving amazing feats, even if no ladybugs were seen.

Ouch! had peculiar plans involving Werner, #46, and an innocent ladybug which he hoped to lure with Twinkies.

neebee was, as usual, the bee's knees. This identity with the world of insects seemed likely to give her an advantage, despite the challenge of being located in Texas.

Jesse M noted that ladybugs seemed unlikely to get into trouble for slacklining or bandit camping, but did say that there had been reports of swarms near Degnan's, and that the NPS planned 24 hour surveillance.

Roger Brown was annoyed that he was being made to laugh - there's nothing worse with busted ribs, even if you've got some good painkillers.

Raydog figured he had the situation sewn up.

Russ W was annoyed that there was yet another thread about anything but El Capitan and wide cracks. However, creative genius that he is, he soon evolved the excellent, if confusingly named, Fish Bug Bag™. Orders are being taken for the 2010 season, and they will be available in lovely lilac, rosy red, and sheeny sapphire.

Ed Hartouni was using a supercomputer to develop a ladybug algorithm. The Morals & Ethics Committee™ suggested he work on falling ropes first - as they said "If you can't catch a rope, how are you going to catch a ladybug?"

T*R planned to chase the ladybugs from a train, which seemed a rather relaxing method.

Doug Quixote was unintelligible, but it seemed unlikely that any ladybugs live in the vicinity of Fairbanks anyway. It was undoubtedly the fault of the AAC, the NPS, and the usual co-conspirators.

DR thought he might help coz.

Lynne L said she'd never chased ladybugs before, but had heard about it, and was willing to give it a try. She wondered if a three-person cot might be of use in the quest, but was advised that Vorpal Swords™ were all the rage. However, her pillow cases would undoubtedly be useful.

Chicken Skinner thought that the ladybugs would add a nice colourful element to the FaceLift, plus they could help clean inaccessible crevices.

graham planned to design functional, stylish ladybug collecting clothing for the team.

jstan was worried that the sky might fall, but said he'd come to the FaceLift and see how he could help.

Werner said "Silly climbers. Wise ladybugs."

Matt was too busy trading insults with Republicans to have any time for a big bad bug hunt.

Captain...or Skully figured his name would keep them confused long enough to get them in the bag.

the kid said "Well, we may have seem some in the Meadows in '86, migrating toward the pass. Then again, it might have been butterflies, or what we had for breakfast."

Steve Grossman planned to team up with Clint Cummins and Roger Brown, and work on a ladybug replacement initiative.

LEB said "At last there's something I can do to help all my SuperTopo friends, in addition to all the wisdom, advice and insights I give them. I've got lots and lots of bugs, and they're always eating my apple trees. I wish they'd eat the deer.. Now which bugs were they again? Are they the black ones? I've got some black skwirrrrls, you know. Where do you think they might have come from?..."

L (or "K" as she's known to friends) had something up her paw involving a slinky feline costume and unbelievable vertical leaps.

oli and jgill were far too wise to get involved.

LongAgo had often seen ladybugs in the mountains, given his interest in natural history, and wondered what all the fuss was about.

EKat set out with Skadi, searching the drumlin in the north woods. The Morals & Ethics Committee™ was considering whether it was acceptable to use magic or music to catch ladybugs.

Jody had world-class photos of ladybugs, all 5,138 species, to help the gallant searchers.

PitonRon had learned some handy bug-catching tricks as a youth in New York, which he hoped to try out in Utah. "It may be the honeybee state", he said, "But there's bound to be some other bugs around here somewhere."

PaganMonkeyBoy was busy being shaved, but thought he'd be free to help in a week or so. It was pointed out that his pelt might be good for trapping ladybugs.

MisterE planned to hold up a picture of himself playing in the dirt of Camp 4, aged two, which was so adorable that any lady would be helpless.

khanom set off on a 30 day expedition along the Sierra Nevada crestline, and if ladybugs really do migrate to high places and winter there, he was bound to see them.

todd-gordon was very busy riding herd on three pre-school boys, and getting ready for school, but had a good look through all the crannies in his house for any swarms that might have snuck in.

jaybro thought Natalie would be good at ladybug catching - they might land on her tongue if she stuck it out. They would be so astounded by such unlikely unladylike behaviour that they'd be stunned, and have to land.

SammyLee2 said that the TSA took unauthorized air travel ("migration") very seriously, and suspected terrorist involvement. A mention of swarming caused him to call an unlisted number.

lookingsketchythere had a look around the hills of San Diego, and a few skyscrapers.

ghost said "I'm already far enough from where I started that I don't need to be chasing any bugs. But I will happily edit the bug hunting journal."

Tami naturally offered to illustrate the journal, saying "Portray the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible? I can do that!"

Susan P and Nora went for a walk, and found a swarm had survived the flood in the first tree on the right, down the hill.

[All fabricated and fictional. Apologies to those included, or omitted.]
goatboy smellz

cien años de soledad
Aug 24, 2008 - 10:42am PT
Lynne Leichtfuss

Social climber
valley center, ca
Aug 24, 2008 - 06:32pm PT
Mighty Hiker,

Awesome Soliloqy !
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 25, 2008 - 05:12pm PT
Riley, what time of year did you see the ladybirds? Were there other insects in the swarm?

Anyway, time for SuperTopo's weekend warriors to post up with their far-flung ladybug observations. What did you see, when and where did you see it? Don't be shy! (Not that I want to bug or pester anyone, of course.)

Somewhat on topic, there was a nice article in the Washington Post last week, about a man who adopted, or was adopted by, a butterfly in downtown Washington D.C. Not quite a ladybug, but very pretty.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Aug 25, 2008 - 10:17pm PT
Chiloe ranged farthest afield, to Nuuk in Kalaalit Nunaat. It seemed unlikely he would find any of the lovely creatures, but if he did, they'd be well preserved in ice.

Haven't seen many bugs on this trip. Things look green enough but "winter is coming" someone said.

Stoked OW climber
San Jose, CA
Aug 25, 2008 - 11:14pm PT
MH, you outdid yourself with the supertopo status update! I'll go check if any ladybugs showed up in Planet Granite Sunnyvale this evening.

Trad climber
Aug 25, 2008 - 11:36pm PT
Mighty fine.

Just surfin' the tsunami of life
Aug 26, 2008 - 12:42am PT
L (or "K" as she's known to friends) had something up her paw involving a slinky feline costume and unbelievable vertical leaps.

Hahaha! "K" MA. You almost got me on the slinky feline costume...but as I was up in Big Sur playing with ladybugs in the Esalen gardens (you know how irresistible they are to us felines)...it was less a costume and more of a b-day suit I be a wearin'...'twer Esalen after all...


Social climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Aug 26, 2008 - 01:40am PT
Crimpergirl was bug eyed, saying "I love everything that flies." She thought she might give Dave a wingsuit for his birthday.

Uh oh! No way Dave gets a wingsuit - he'd use it!!!

Very funny stuff Anders! :)

Trad climber
Aug 26, 2008 - 07:45pm PT
eKat assures everybody that it's ALWAYS considered good practice to use magic and music for just about EVERYTHING!


Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 26, 2008 - 10:48pm PT
if it's got wide it Kicks Ass!


Social climber
My Inner Nut
Aug 26, 2008 - 10:54pm PT
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 1, 2008 - 01:18am PT
I visited SuperTopo's Tami tonight. She seems in fine fettle.

She says she has seen swarms of ladybugs on top of Arch Rock. A friend of hers says he has seen them on top of Bear Lodge, aka Devil's Tower.

Do any other ladybug-sleuths have reports this week?

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 1, 2008 - 02:37am PT
There is a plant behind the restaurant that I work in. During smoke breaks, I have been observing these ants herding a group of aphids. They keep them all on one little branch and at times swarm the aphids. They don't eat them, just keep them in one place, eating their secretions. Yesterday I saw a lone lady bug on an adjacent branch patiently waiting for the ants to leave(mere speculation). Maybe it was waiting for more ladybugs to even out the numbers for a bug rumble.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Sep 1, 2008 - 02:51am PT
Mike on top of Castleguard Mt. in the Canadian Rockies... with Lady Bug...

must be some GWN thing?

Trad climber
Memphis, TN
Sep 1, 2008 - 09:48am PT
Funny post Mighty, you got us all, on the nose, so to speak. Sorta on topic, even here in the south, we get the ladybugs coming out of cracks at anchors. I've been up there working the ropes and suddenly notice, I am covered in ladybugs. Usually in the spring. Kinda cool though. I try to make sure I don't crush them.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2008 - 02:51am PT
Now I'm not saying that people are holding out on me. Maybe you're busy with the quest, out in the field making observations, and haven't had time to post. But it seems just a little odd that on my first full day in Yosemite for the FaceLift, there was an almost immediate ladybug sighting. A somewhat fishy coincidence, if you don't mind my saying so. We drop by YCA and FaceLift world headquarters, and while there Ken says "Oh, you should meet Ladybug". And here she is.

Ladybug is Ruby and Guy's new dog.

So if you've seen any ladybugs, or heard anything of them, you know what to do.

So. Cal..............d00d
Oct 11, 2008 - 03:44am PT
best TR ever.....................
Captain...or Skully

Trad climber
North of the Owyhees
Dec 31, 2008 - 12:04pm PT
Rebump....rebump. bump, bump.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 25, 2009 - 06:35pm PT
Bump for ladybugs. Or ladybirds, if you prefer.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 2, 2009 - 10:14pm PT
It's that time of year, when ladybugs may be seen in nooks and crannies scattered throughout the mountains of western North America. Please keep an eye out for them, and post up if any ladybugs are seen during your wanderings above treeline this summer.

(Inspired by Roy's latest rambling in Colorado thread.)

right here, right now
Aug 5, 2009 - 09:31pm PT
We got 'em here NOW!

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Aug 5, 2009 - 09:35pm PT
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 6, 2009 - 04:23pm PT
So, Roy, any pictures?

I'm hoping to get up to the Tusk sometime in the next week, for my annual visit, and will naturally keep an eye out for ladybugs.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 29, 2009 - 05:13pm PT
Apparently the ladybugs got tired of waiting for me to visit, and decided to visit me instead. They simply flew in.

They're somewhat organized, so it may be some sort of hibernation or migration thing happening. Being that they're Canadian ladybugs, I suppose they'd form a large Veee if they were heading south. Maybe that means they'll stay for the winter.

They're really quite attractive, some might even say magnetic.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Aug 29, 2009 - 07:16pm PT
Anders-you are having tooooooo much fun!

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Aug 29, 2009 - 07:52pm PT
We saw what I believe might be spotted blister beetles at Turkey Rocks today. They were a pale blue/purple color with small, black dots on the wings and black bodies.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 31, 2009 - 12:32am PT
I hope I'm not bugging anyone (as it were) with this thread. The mountain ladybug thing has me quite intrigued, and it's the season to see them.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C. Small wall climber.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 8, 2009 - 06:53pm PT
No ladybugs sighted during the FaceLift, at least that anyone reported. But some were recently discovered on Samantha's summer vacation thread, at http://supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=432661&msg=432661#msg432661
Credit: blackbird
Cute, eh?

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Dec 23, 2009 - 05:05pm PT
Nice job Anders!!

No wonder you linked it to the prehistoric women.

That rock is yuckier than the stuff we climbed!
We bow down to you, oh chossmaster!
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 14, 2011 - 02:11pm PT
Recent ladybug sighting in Yosemite.
Credit: Ed Hartouni
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 4, 2011 - 01:24am PT
A recent article about the sad decline of native North American ladybugs. They are being displaced by imported varieties, and possibly things like disease (sent by Tami).

Memo to self: Time for annual hike to Black Tusk, ladybug checkup, maybe blueberry picking.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 25, 2011 - 02:52am PT
Well, ladybugs may be in decline, but the nine spotted ladybug, the state bug of New York (who knew?), which hadn't been seen for decades, was rediscovered last summer. A thriving colony, in fact. They were found between rows of carrots and beans, in Amagansett.


They're rather pretty.

Nov 5, 2012 - 09:54pm PT
Hadn't seen this one before, awesome writing & photos Anders. Never done the tusk, gonna have to go for a mighty hike up there sometime. Thanks for the cool, unique TR!
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