Fitzsimmons Fan

Fitzsimmons Fan

Fitzsimmons Creek is a short (10 km) but fast torrent originating from Fitzsimmons Glacier in the part of the Fitzsimmons Range of the Coast Mountains. The glacier-fed creek runs along the Fitzsimmons Fault zone that cuts between Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, then through Whistler Village and eventually into Green Lake.

The glacier-ground rock flour suspended in the creek’s water is the reason for the lake’s dazzling colour. The delta is an important stopover along the Pacific Flyway that extends from Alaska to Patagonia, and along which more than a billion birds migrate each year, many species of which can be seen at this delta.

Protection and guardianship are at the heart of the Geopark philosophy. We ask that you treat the land with the same reverence as its original inhabitants, and not remove anything from a site but what you’ve brought to help preserve it for future generations.

  • largest river delta in Whistler
  • biodiversity area for birds
  • glacial rock flour

GEOLOGIC CONTEXT:

The fine-sediment delta is formed by glacier-fed Fitsimmons Creek where it enters Green Lake.
Pillars: Glaciation

HOW TO SEE IT:

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Follow the paved Valley Trail to the floatplane dock on Green Lake. Here, paralleling the lake, you’ll see a beaten-earth path that runs straight ahead to the Fitzsimmons Fan Park. Please heed the signs about disturbing wildlife and nesting birds.

Services:

None.

Hazards:

Flash-flooding; stay well away from creek margins during periods of heavy rainfall.

Decimal Degrees (DD)

50.145140, -122.946794

Degrees Decimal Minutes (DDM)

50° 8.7084' N  122° 56.8076' W

Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS)

50° 8' 42.504" N  122° 56' 48.4584" W

What Are Pillars?

The Fire & Ice Aspiring Geopark comprises four main geological pillars referenced in all interpretive material: (M)ountain Building, (G)laciation, (V)olcanism and (C)ollapse.

MOUNTAIN BUILDING

Mountain building can involve several processes that contribute to the formation of mountains, such as the collision of tectonic plates that result in folding, faulting, metamorphism and the creation of subduction zones associated with volcanic activity and igneous intrusion.

GLACIATION

Glaciation refers to landform phenomena associated with the formation, movement and recession of glaciers and ice sheets. In temperate latitudes such as British Columbia, montane glaciation at higher altitudes is the norm while continental glaciation occurred during Ice Ages like the recent Pleistocene.

VOLCANISM

Volcanism is the eruption of subterranean molten rock (magma) and gasses onto the surface of the planet and includes the production of volcanic landforms and the effects of eruptions and flowing lava on pre-existing surface formations.

COLLAPSE

Collapse is a term that refers broadly to both slow processes of destabilization and erosion by wind, water and ice, as well as rapid processes like rockfall and landslides.

Whether acting as primary or secondary forces, one or more of these processes figure in the creation of each geosite.