Mount Garibaldi - give me this podium any day! - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
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Default Mount Garibaldi - give me this podium any day!

Did a three day trip last weekend into Elfin Lakes and Garibaldi. Great yo-yo skiing on the north side of Paul Ridge on the way in and out on Sat and Mon but the highlight was climbing Mount Garibaldi on Sun. Great to get three days of blue skies.

Rather than follow the standard Neve route to Garibaldi we took a higher route around the east side of Atwell. To start we headed up and over the Gargoyles, climbed half way up Diamond Head before traversing east at 1850 m and down to the Diamond Glacier. This descent (100 m) is over a steep wind feature so you have to assess avi risk carefully. We managed to find a gap in the cornice into a well supported bowl. Once on the Diamond Glacier we ascended under the east face of Atwell to a small col (2175 m) giving access to the glacier descending from Dalton Dome. Gentle rolls on the Diamond Glacier provide some protection from smaller avalanches from Atwell. From the 2175 m col we traversed along a bench between seracs (no noticeable open cracks) and then up to the col between The Tent and Garibaldi. Here we joined the normal route up the final NE slopes. We skied up to the middle of the face, crossed the schrund at a narrowing and bootpacked up the middle of the face above. Gobsmacking views from the summit. Give me this podium any day! Well at least with clear skies

On the descent we initially skied on the north side of the tent to get several pitches of steep shaded pow before scooting out onto the sun baked south facing slopes towards Ring Creek. There was a nasty mix of crust and sastrugi at first but lower down it was just smoo. A VOC party had come through earlier and had put in a good track from Ring Creek back up to Elfin Lakes - much appreciated!

This is an excellent ski route with a big alpine feel but it requires both good visibility and good snow stability. It was an 11 hour round trip from Elfin Lakes, started 6 am, summit 1:30 pm, back at 5 pm, ~20 km, ~1600 m ascent.

Elfin Lakes hut was pretty quiet even on the Sat night - must be something on in Van!

Lots more photos at

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 07:03 AM
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Great photos on flickr. You had an interesting route choice heading over to the Tent col and then to the standard route. Probably 20 years ago now my wife and I camped on the Gargoyles at 7000 feet. Went up the route you describe to the Bishop Glacier the next day. Where you went towards the col with Tent we went straight up to the plateau between Atwell, Dalton Dome and Garibaldi and climbed Garibaldi from there. Just wondering if you considered that route? On our trip (it was June) the snow was smooth and we never got involved with any seracs or open crevasses.

Geez, I'm trying to remember if we climbed it using floppy leather boots and three-pin bindings on skinny skis. It was around that time we transitioned to alpine. Didn't have a camera then.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 08:03 AM
Scaling New Heights
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Wow, phenomenal photos on flickr !
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 08:13 AM
Off the Beaten Path
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Great TR too! I really like the adventurous nature. Way to ignore the distractions in the city and take advantage of the window of good conditions!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 09:21 AM
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Damn it, Ron! Let me know next time you do a trip!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
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Thanks guys!

Stoked, my ski partner had gone straight up to Dalton Dome before but said it was difficult getting on to Garibaldi summit from there, at least in winter conditions. Impressed at anyone doing this in bendy boots and 3-pins. I still have my 3-pin gear from the 80's but I doubt I would get down a groomed run on it, the evils of plastic boots

Dan, like all the best of plans it was last minute. We had intended going to Steep Creek but the avi forecast was not so good for there. Keep in touch for next time!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 09:41 AM
Off the Beaten Path
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Fantastic report and pictures! I have done the same route, except I climbed to the summit of Little Diamond Head and traversed along the ridge from the summit area descending after a bit to gain the Diamond Glacier beyond. I made it up the Bishop Glacier to the col between Atwell and Garibaldi and to the large upper plateau. From there the final short climb up Garibaldi is accessible via a steep gulley, which can be icy. Bring crampons and ice axe for that section!

The upper route is very inspiring and highly recommended, but as you mention Ron, best done when conditions are stable.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 10:48 AM
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Inspiring TR, looking forward to more of them from you and thanks again for the the shot of us on Diamond Head,
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 11:51 AM
Hittin' the Trails
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Nice photos, and thanks for the TR.

Did a similar trip a couple of years back, but in summer and in the reverse direction (Brohm --> Elfin). From Brohm ridge we went over the Tent-Garibaldi col as well. After camping on the upper Bishop glacier we went up the east face of the Atwell/Garibaldi Massif onto the Cheekye Glacier plateau the next day. The final steep section to gain Garibaldi summit proper was ~60-80m of very chossy steep rock (reportedly 4th class) that we decided not to climb. I'm guessing it'll be fine in winter though when it'll be snow covered. We hiked out via the Diamond glacier, Ring creek and Elfin.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 01:17 PM
High on the Mountain Top
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What a great plan B!
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 02:15 PM
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Great report, Ron, I'm envious
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 07:27 PM
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Good set of photos[8D].
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 10:06 PM
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Envious as well. Superb set of photos.... What a bluesky day you had.

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post #14 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 12:21 AM
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Gold medal day with photos to match: beautiful!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 09:57 AM
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Nice TR and photos ... blue sky, spectacular views and a some good turns... definitely a gold medal day.
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