I recently posted some photos of me hiking the Whistler Blackcomb High Note trail on Instagram Story (@catherineaird) and it prompted a LOT of questions. I’ll share with you the ins and out of this spectacular mountain run (hike) and my suggestions for a successful outing.
See my notes about *Hiking with Kids** and my Gear List at the end of this post.
Living in Whistler this is my favourite trail for a quick alpine fix, stunning views, gorgeous alpine flowers and a good workout.
As per W/B: “We will share details about daily trail closures in the Garbanzo zone and Peak zone on displays at the base of chairlifts, as well as on our Whistler Mountain Bike Park Facebook and Instagram page. Watch for daily Stories on what’s open, re-routes on trails and general information on how to ride the park safely.”
As per Whistler Blackcomb: “ The High Note Trail is the best hiking experience on Whistler Mountain. Starting behind the Inukshuk at the top of the Peak Express chairlift, hikers will enjoy stunning views of Black Tusk and Cheakamus Lake as they descend through rugged terrain that mellows into a rolling course. Loop back to the Roundhouse Lodge by heading north at the trail junction away from Flute Summit and Singing Pass.”
Length: 9.4km (5.8mi)
Time Required: 3-4 hours (loop from Top of the World Summit to Roundhouse Lodge). *Elevation Change: 258m (846ft)
Half Note – shorter version: The Half Note Trail provides a shortened route from the High Note Trail 5, which connects with Pika’s Traverse 8 back to the Roundhouse Lodge.
Half Note Trail Length: 3.2 km (2 mi); 75 minutes
Elevation Change: 136 m (446 ft)
ACCESS & TICKETS
To access this trail you have to take the Whistler Village Gondola (about 25 min). BE SMART and deal with your pass or purchase your tickets in ADVANCE to avoid monster lineups in the heat.
If you are planning to ski Whistler Blackcomb in the UPCOMING ski season, you can put a deposit on next year’s season’s pass (to date this was a $99 deposit) and your existing ski pass will be automatically activated (it worked!). Even if you don’t know what ski programs your kids will be in or what you will be purchasing, if you know you will ski, this is a good way to go. Normally you end up paying the balance around September 4th which is always a huge financial hit so start saving your toonies. Always check with Whistler Blackcomb to make sure this is a good plan or what other options are available at 604-967-8950 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*LITTLE KIDS ALERT. This is also where the super keen liftie of the day would measure your kids’ height to make sure they are at LEAST 40” (might be 48” double check with Whistler Blackcomb) because your kid will be so sad if they get “denied”. Normally there is a sign before you go down to the little road to take the Peak chair so you can figure it out. Shorter route options are available around Harmony Lake and on Blackcomb and the Peak to Peak is always fun with kids.
When you get off the Peak chair, walk straight and slightly right to access the start of High Note. From there it is very well marked. The signs will tell you how long each section of the trail will be. Keep track of your time so you can guess how much each section will take you to make sure you don’t miss the last download. You can make that decision at the Half Note intersection and decide if you have enough time to summit Flûte.
Some fun options we have done in the past for a really long run (33 KM +) was to run from the top of the Peak, High Note, Flûte and down Singing Pass all the way to the village.
We have also run Singing Pass up to Russet Lake and down (about 32 KM + also). Let me know if you would like to find out more or if you have any questions.
** RUNNING GEAR LIST, I always bring the same things:
Some version of a Lululemon Muscle top
Lululemon running tights
Thin Merino long sleeve (or long sleeve sun top)
Patagonia thin shell (always)
Salomon running vest with water and water + hydration tab
Mini mosquitoes repellent
Mini Lip Balm
Smith polarized sunglasses
Small charger with cable
Trail mix (skip chocolate on hot days, it will melt)
Real sandwich: bagel, hummus, cheddar, tones of veggies.
My ski pass (for the lifts)
Credit card (for Aprés)
Suggested reading, Whistler Parkhurst/ Ghost town