Saturday Group Swim at Alice Lake (2023-05-13)
Time and Place
This Spring swim takes place at Alice Lake. We will meet at the swimmers beach near the paddle rental hut at 9:45am and plan to be in the water by 10:00am. Please allow yourself a few minutes to park, get ready, and sign in before the mandatory safety briefing at 9:55am sharp. If you miss the safety briefing at 9:55am, you will not be allowed to swim with us. See below for additional location and parking info.
There will be a couple of different swim options. With the water still pretty cold, most folks will stick to a dip or a shorter swim:
– Option 1 (dip): the water gets gradually deeper close to shore, which makes for a nice place to dip! Stay in as long as you like.
– Option 2 (to the rock and back or part-way and back): from the swimmers beach to the rock on the opposite (south) side of the lake and back. Distance is 300-350m each way, or 600-700m return. We will be out in the deep water and not close to shore.
There are no lifeguards at this beach. There is no motorized boat traffic allowed, but paddlers and floaty toys are common. Swimming wild is an amazing experience, but it’s not without risk. This is how we manage it:
- We swim within our own abilities, and need to be honest with ourselves about our abilities if we decide to venture out of our depth. We want to be out of the water long before we get too cold or exhausted
- We swim with a buddy, and check in regularly to see how each other is doing
- We each carry a whistle. If anything happens, you can signal for help
- We each wear a brightly-coloured swim cap (such as your SWS member cap!). This makes us easy to spot. A brightly-coloured tow float is also highly recommended, and can be great to hold on to when having a break out in the deep water
- We will sign in before the safety briefing and sign out before we leave. If we don’t sign out, the volunteers will call us, then our emergency contact, then the first responders. This is incredibly important to make sure we can account for everyone
- We will have a first aid kit and at least one person trained in first aid present at every swim. However, this first aid person may be in the water and will not necessarily be able to respond promptly. We may also be far away from the kit if you decide to do one of swims across the lake
Each swimmer is responsible for their own choice of gear, but here are some suggestions:
- A swimsuit or swim apparel of choice (no judgement)
- A wetsuit (optional)
- A brightly-coloured swim cap or hat (mandatory; included with your membership)
- A loud whistle (mandatory; available for $5 at our swims)
- Goggles and ear plugs (optional)
- A brightly-coloured tow-float (recommended)
Once you get out of the water, you might want:
- A large towel or two
- A mat or extra towel for standing on while getting changed
- A dry-robe, towel robe, or just a big towel for getting changed under
- Loose clothing that’s easy to pull on when you’re slightly damp. Buttons, dippers, or other fussy things that are difficult to use with numb fingers are not recommended
- Water shoes, crocs, or flip flops
- A warm drink
- A snack
Getting Here and Parking
This location is best accessed by bike or car. Heading north on the Sea to Sky Highway from Squamish, take a right turn onto Alice Lake Road (signs for Alice Lake Provincial Park) which is opposite the Squamish Valley Road. Follow the paved road through the first gate on the right. Park anywhere there’s room. If this lot is full, there may be additional parking on the other side of the lake. The parking lot can get busy on sunny summer days, but the parking is free and generally abundant.
By mountain bike, you can also access the lake via Jacks Trail (or a host of other mountain bike trails in the area).
About the Location
This is a relatively small lake, which also means it gets nice and warm in the summer. There are occasionally submerged logs or branches in the water near the perimeter of the lake, which is why we typically swim straight across. Water conditions tend to be quite murky, so don’t expect much visibility. If seeing things underwater freaks you out then this is the place for you!
The entry is sandy, so no need for water shoes. Conditions tend to be very mild, and we rarely get any wind or chop. Water temperatures vary from around freezing in the winter to the low-20s in the summer.
The main beach is a roped-off area to the right of the washroom building. This is NOT the swimmers beach. From the washroom building, head slightly LEFT towards the paddle rental hut, and you will see three small beaches broken up by some trees. This is where we meet.
There is a fully equipped washroom building between the parking lot and the swimmers beach and a pit-toilet adjacent to it. In case the main washroom building is closed, consider bringing your own toilet kit with toilet paper and hand sanitizer. You may also want to arrive dressed and ready to swim.