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Geology of the Garibaldi Lake Region, Garibaldi Provincial Park.

By M.C. Kelman, C.J. Hickson, and P.R. Hill Geological Association of Canada Trail Guide No. 1, 2004; $5.50 (lower prices for bulk orders: Geological Association of Canada Department of Earth Sciences Memorial University of Newfoundland St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 3X5

This colourfully illustrated trail guide for a heavily used area in Garibaldi Provincial Park is a welcome companion for every hiker with an interest in the surrounding geology. It is written with the layman in mind. Accordingly, the format of the guide makes it easy to read and all the graphs are easily understood.

The guide is a foldable map and thus is easy to carry around. Also, the use of waterproof paper makes it ideal to take along on a hike. The guide comprises two maps, one on each side of the page, surrounded by explanatory notes. The first map is a relief map of the immediate surroundings of Garibaldi Lake. Names discussed in the text are shown on the relief map, as is the trail from the parking lot to the campground at Garibaldi Lake. Along this trail six viewpoints are indicated and cross-referenced to several inset boxes. Each of these boxes shows a photo of the corresponding feature and explains its geological origin. The reverse side of the trail guide shows the geology of a greater area surrounding Garibaldi Lake and general information on geological processes that affect southwest British Columbia and the map area specifically. The text fields are clearly separated and succinct, and keep the reader interested.

Unfortunately, the guide has some weaknesses and errors that diminish its usefulness. One would hope that a revised version will update and correct these.

The relief map gives a good impression of the area, but no elevations are given. Elevations of Garibaldi Lake and some of the surrounding peaks would have helped readers, especially those with an untrained eye, to appreciate the topography. Also, several inaccuracies occur on both maps. The location of viewpoint B on the relief map is wrong. Some lakes have been omitted from the relief map, the most important of which is Barrier Lake (although, confusingly, its name still appears). Several trails lead away from the campground at Garibaldi Lake and one wonders why they are not shown on the relief map, especially considering that the distances along these trails are given in the text and since many features along these trails are discussed.

This leads to one of the most unfortunate shortcomings of this document. Some of the features discussed cannot be observed from the viewpoints they are referenced to. This is the case for three out of eight boxes. Cinder Cone, The Table, and Mount Garibaldi cannot be seen from the viewpoints indicated (but the above-mentioned trails do lead to stellar viewpoints of each of these features). Unfortunately, four of the eight boxes show features photographed either from ground locations other than the hiking trails, or from an aircraft. Also, that Mount Garibaldi is shown from the south near Squamish, and not from the north where the trails are, is surprising, as Mount Garibaldi looks very different when viewed from these two directions.

The geology map is also not without mistakes. The geological units shown on the map appear to be approximations as some of the lines are impossible to explain otherwise. That the trail to Garibaldi Lake is shown to take a different path on this map compared to the relief map is very unfortunate. The two lakes missing on the relief map are shown on the geological map. Furthermore, Mount Price and Clinker Peak are shown in different locations on the two maps--unfortunately wrong both times(!)--and the photo for viewpoint F, which is supposed to show both mountains, is only half correct. Sadly, more errors could be listed.

However, despite its shortcomings the map is a welcome introduction to the surrounding geology for the layman. Considering that this area of Garibaldi Provincial Park awaits with many intriguing geological features, it is a well-chosen map area. I hope that this map will find its way to outlets where the general public, who make this one of the most heavily used parks in British Columbia, can find and buy it.

Johannes Koch

Quaternary Geoscience Research

Centre Department of Earth Sciences

Simon Fraser University Burnaby, British

Columbia V5A 1S6 E-mail:
COPYRIGHT 2004 Geological Association of Canada
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Koch, Johannes
Publication:Geoscience Canada
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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