British Columbia

'I've never seen that much garbage': pair of hikers carry out other people's garbage

Vince Emond and Devan Francis estimate that they carried 40 pounds of other people's garbage out of Joffree Lakes Provincial Park.

2 local photographers capture the ugly side of Joffre Lakes Trail after spotting nearly 40 pounds of trash

Two B.C. photographers stumbled upon other people's trash and decided to carry it out themselves. They took a photo of this load of garbage at the same iconic spot where many pose for photographs. (Vince Emond)

Two B.C. photographers stumbled upon the ugly side of Joffre Lakes Provincial Park on Sunday.

Vince Emond and Devan Francis spotted the equivalent of three large garbage bags full of chopsticks, empty sushi containers and red party cups behind a boulder right next to the trail leading to upper Joffre Lakes.

"I've never seen that much garbage clearly stashed. Someone was clearly trying to avoid taking that down ... it was disgusting," said Emond.

The pair then found a tarp full of beer cans and a tent cover and its case beside that.

"When we were leaving, we said we can't let this stay here," said Francis.

"In Whistler at least, when I ski with my friends, when we find trash, we put it in our ski jackets and bring it down," said Emond.

"Even if it is not yours, if you find it, it's more or less your responsibility to do something about it," he said.

The two men estimate they carried out 40 pounds of garbage. (Vince Emond)

They filled every bag they had with garbage and sacrificed any other bags they had brought, including a brand new sleeping bag cover.

"It was just fully dripping with garbage juice by the time we got to the bottom," said Emond.

They estimate they carried out nearly 40 pounds of garbage that others had left behind on the well-groomed trail.

The park's gorgeous turquoise blue water, cold rushing streams and ragged peaks have made it a popular spot for all, especially for Instagrammers looking to capture that perfect shot.

The duo believes the park's popularity and ease of access have made it more susceptible to visitors, but it should serve as no excuse to litter.

"It's about educating people because it is infuriating to think that people could come here and think they can abuse what is free to us," said Francis.

He said many aren't prepared when adventuring into parks and the evidence is clear from the number of people they asked for spare garbage bags when they were hauling down the trash.

"No one had any garbage or bags for garbage. Interesting, like how are you going to take your garbage out?" he asked. 

"It's simple as leave no trace. If you're packing it in, make plans to pack it out. It's very simple and very easy to do," said Francis.

Vince Emond and Devin Francis used whatever bags they had to carry the garbage down. It didn't matter whether it was a garbage bag or sleeping bag cover. (Vince Emond)


Tina Lovgreen

Video Journalist

Tina is a Video Journalist with CBC Vancouver. Send her an email at