The Barrier, 9000-year-old unstable lava dam. Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada.
The Barrier is an unstable lava dam retaining the Garibaldi Lake system in Garibaldi Provincial Park, the Coast Range, British Columbia, Canada. Garibaldi Park is east of the Sea to Sky Highway (Route 99) between Squamish and Whistler. The Barrier was formed 9000 years ago when lava flowed from a vent called Clinker Peak (on the west shoulder of Mount Price) towards Cheakamus River valley. Back then, the valley was filled by glacial ice which stopped and impounded the lava flow. Melting of the glacier revealed the precipitous ice-cooled lava cliff which ponded water behind, forming Garibaldi Lake. The unstable Barrier has unleashed several debris flows, most recently in 1855-1856 forming the large boulder field along Rubble Creek. After British Columbia declared the area below unsafe for human habitation in 1981, the small resort village of Garibaldi was evacuated and relocated. Potential collapse of the Barrier would unleash Garibaldi Lake into a devastating flood of the Cheakamus and Squamish Rivers seriously damaging the town of Squamish and possibly releasing an impact-wave on the waters of Howe Sound that could reach Vancouver Island. This panorama was stitched from 8 overlapping images.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download