A few short years ago, I never would have dared to write about the wonders of Watersprite Lake. It is a place wrapped in magic, and no words I could string together can do justice to this spectacular land where fairies surely flutter. In the age of social media, Watersprite has become legendary, but much like the troll that guards the bridge to the castle, the precarious logging road up to the trailhead deters the masses, ensuring only those prepared brave the journey.
Over the past few summers, the trail to Watersprite has become second nature. I know its twists and turns, it boulder fields and the marshy flatlands of the old trail by memory. The new trail opening in late 2016, and soon after, the BCMC hut came to fruition, thanks to many tireless volunteers.
Olivia, Danielle and I timed our September 2017 hike just right; upon arriving at the lake, a small but mighty crew was already gathered at the hut for its celebratory grand opening. We joined in the fun, with iced tea and chips, exploring the new hut and its surroundings.
In June 2018, it was time to return. Lauren and I booked our space in the backcountry hut, as the snow-line was still low and my trusty tent is a mere three-seasons. We had hiked the trail together before, but it was an entirely new experience with packs on, the challenge compounded by slippery late-season snow. Luckily, Lauren had her hiking poles, and with us each in sturdy hiking boots, we made it up to the lake unscathed.
Turquoise-blue water peaked out along the seams of the otherwise snow-covered lake. We hiked around to the hut and brought our bags up to the lofted sleeping area, which was already covered with various pads and sleeping bags. We claimed our little corner of the floor and changed into our swim suits.
The sight of us in our bikinis, wool socks, and hiking boots, clinging to our quick-dry travel towels (I swear by my Packtowl from MEC) for warmth gave our fellow hutmates – a couple from Australia and a small group from Ukraine – a good laugh. Traipsing down to the small part of the lake that was bare of snow and ice, we dipped our toes in. As I did so, I slipped on the wet sand below, and plunged into the frigid water. A full faceplant! I couldn’t get out fast enough.
Back at the hut, we changed into warm pjs and set to work lighting the campstove to cook up some hearty pasta. We inhaled our dinner, and giggled as we dug into our “luxury item” – a bag of “instant s’mores”. In lieu of dirtying another dish, we used our pasta pot to create the marshmallow concoction. We took turns taking bites, occasionally finding a leftover pea or carrot slice mixed in!
When traversing the snow on the way up, I had commented to Lauren that I was already nervous about managing the way down. “That’s tomorrow’s problem,” she wisely advised. Now, faced with the steep hill, we each took a hiking pole, and Lauren opted to slide down on her bum. I tried to walk at first, but the snow slide looked a lot more fun, in a risky sort of way. I laughed the whole was down, but caught too much speed near the end, and flew over top of a muddy, moss-covered boulder!
After a few wrong turns, we found ourselves back on the correct path and moved quite quickly to reach the final steep shortcut down to the trailhead. We were tired, hungry, and thirsty, but will full hearts and some epic photos. It was a short trip, but one I will be smiling about for many years to come.