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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Default How to befriend The Judge?

Prologue

Judge Howay has a reputation. So does Alastair. It was inevitable that their paths must eventually cross.


The Day of Assessment

On Sunday, May 29th 2011, a group of five approached the base of Judge Howay to look at the standard route from the east via the Hanging Valley. They rode a motor boat to reach the north end of Stave Lake and bicycles to travel up the Stave River FSR. The also brought a canoe, which was used to get back to the boat, anchored away from the dock, and possibly for additional exploration. Near the 15 km mark on the road, they stopped and evaluated the conditions for crossing Stave River. They had found an Environment Canada website very helpful in monitoring the daily changes in the water level (http://www.wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/grap...ml?stn=08MH147). They waded across a shallow branch of the river to take a closer look at the bush on the other side, where the route starts. I was not among them, but was told they had a very useful and relaxing day.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
1. On the boat.
2. Cycling up the Stave River FSR.
3. Views of Robie Reid and Judge Howay.
4. The Judge right up ahead.
5. Wading part way across.
6. Base of the standard route, heading up in the trees on the right, across a rocky gully through a flat step known as the Water Platform, and left into the Hanging Valley.
7. Closeup of the Judge from the road, the summit on the left.
8. A look into the lower part of the Hanging Valley.
9. The top part of the Hanging Valley and the summit.
10. Canoeing back to the boat.


The Day of Trial

On Thursday morning, June 16th 2011, the six of us assembled by the boat launch at the southwest end of Stave Lake. Meet the team:

Alastair
The main organiser, a versatile explorer and alpine mountaineer. For this trip, he provides a 30 m rope, a canoe, a two-wheel transporter for it, and a four-wheel cart for the backpacks.

Blair
Craig's skiing buddy, an avid hiker, explorer and traveller. For this trip, he provides a motor boat - a crucial means of transportation across the lake, a bicycle, and a SPOT device.

Craig (craigS)
An experienced hiker and skier, always up for something new and challenging. Provides a bicycle and a yak trailer for transporting some of the backpack load.

Jeff (jeffhan)
A strong climber and hiker, currently recovering from a shoulder injury after a recent ski accident. Brings along a bicycle and an ice screw.

Luke (TNJed)
An experienced rock climber and mountaineer, great organiser. Brings along a 30 m rope and a bicycle.

Yours truly
Just tagging along, hoping to get a breath of fresh air away from the city. Provides some doughnuts and mineral water.

Each of us carries a snow picket, basic personal gear such as the harness, ice-axe, crampons, slings, biners, prusik cords, as well as an avalanche transceiver. All of us have helmets, except Blair - he prefers his trusted hat, which apparently possesses some special protective abilities acquired during visits in exotic places like Papua New Guinea. In addition to the ice-axe, Luke and Jeff each carry an ice-tool. A few of us have GPSs, and we've got the total of four stoves, three snow shovels, and a couple of snow probes for all of us.

Many things can go wrong today, so careful planning and execution are essential. Indeed, this is the first attempt for all of us, and so a lot of planning and consideration went into this trip. A variety of resources from the Bivouac website were utilised, including the GPS tracks and trip reports by Robin Tivy and Fred Touche, as well as photographs by Paul Kubik, Drew Brayshaw, and others. Documented past attempts, successful or not, were thoroughly analysed (https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=18689, http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/as...spx?aid=166881).

We experience the first setback at the launch dock - the gate, normally open at 7 am on weekends, is locked until 8:30. We see mostly clear skies above the city, but lots of heavy clouds over the area we're heading to. The weather is supposed to stay precipitation-free until next evening, then rain is in the forecasts for Saturday and Sunday.

We put all our stuff onto Blair's boat and set off across Stave Lake. After an hour or so, we're at a landing dock where everything gets unloaded. The boat is anchored in open water a couple of hundred metres away, and Blair together with Alastair canoe back to the shore. Now we need to secure the packs, the extra bags (to be stashed by the river), and the canoe on the carts and figure out an efficient way of moving it all 15 km up the road. We play with different possible transport arrangements. Finally we get moving, changing our biking and steering shifts every 2 km.

1. 2. 3. 4.
5. 6. 7. 8.
1. Assembling the carts and loading the stuff onto them.
2. By the landing dock at the north end of Stave Lake.
3. Experimenting with human pulling of the cart.
4. Experimenting with pulling the canoe. This is a bit tricky, because we don't want the canoe to be dragged on the ground at either end.
5. A single-bicycle pull and single-steer system.
6. The canoe is being pulled by two bicycles and steered in the back by one person. One of the pulling bicycles is also hauling a yak trailer with one large backpack and a few smaller bags. The sixth of us is enjoying a break on an unloaded bicycle.
7. Further up the road.
8. After a shift rotation.

During my shift on a bicycle pulling the cart and Alastair steering, the pull sling gets entangled in one of the wheels, dislodging its axle out of the socket in the wooden frame. It seems like we won't be able to re-attach the wheel without disassembling the cart, requiring a wrench or a similar tool which we left all back at the dock. After some struggle, we manage to pull the two wooden bars of the frame apart enough to re-insert the wheel and continue the journey.

Another problem emerges a bit later. The canoe cannot be easily balanced on the transporter without occasionally hitting the ground, resulting in a few small cracks in its fibreglass shell. This forces us to move any heavy load out of the canoe onto the four-wheel cart and our backs. Fortunately, the cracks turn out not too serious, and Alastair later patches them up using duct tape.

Near the 15 km mark on the road, there is a place suitable for launching the canoe to cross Stave River. Looking at the turbulent flow of the river from the road on our way, I have been wondering how on earth we might be able to get to the other side, but the water seems quite managable at the spot where we've just stopped. We stash our bicycles and carts in the bushes, change the footware, and begin the crossing operation. The idea is for Alastair and each of us to paddle across, taking some of the load along, then for Alastair to return with the empty canoe to pick up the next person. Half way across the canoe has to be disembarked and pulled a short distance upstream through a shallow section, followed by an energetic paddle across the main river branch to a calmer cove where we will land.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
1. Loading the canoe.
2. Luke and Alastair arriving at the landing cove.
3. Alastair and I paddling across.
4. Approaching the shallow section.
5. Successfully landing across.
6. Alastair returning.
7. Alastair and Jeff moving the canoe through the shallow section.
8. Craig and Alastair entering the landing cove.
9. Some exciting rock climbing opportunities.
10. More cliffs on the east side of Stave River.

So far, so good. It's 3 pm and we have completed three out of five crucial steps of this expedition, as Alastair laid it out. The next two are the bushwhack up to a camping spot, and then the actual climb to the summit. I point out to Alastair that his five-step plan does not seem to include the descending, and he agrees with me upon short thinking. Oh well, it's The Judge...

We stash the canoe and all unneeded stuff by the shore and get ready for the bushwhack. Heavy duty gloves and helmets/magic hats are on. Unfortunately, neither of our GPSs can get the signal right here by the river. We are happy to spot flags marking the route up, left here by Gerry (Coastal Climber). We also carry some flagging tape ourselves. Let's hit the bush.

Within five minutes, we lose the flagging. Alastair and Blair choose to go lower, while Luke, Craig and Jeff, followed by me, try ascending. Welcome to hell. My backpack extends some 20 cm above my head, causing me to get stuck in the alder and crawl over mossy boulders and mud every couple of steps. I fall behind. Constant shouting to ensure no-one gets lost. This lasts for about half an hour. Then the footing improves, but still no flagging. I gather from the shouting that the others have managed to converge in some easier terrain. I approach them soon, and a pleasant surprise greets me - we're back on the flagged route. The price of getting there for me is one of my brand new hiking poles, swallowed by the bush on my way.

This doesn't mean it's a walk in the park now. Steep and bluffy, lots of dirt scrambling, veggie belays in constant use, at one tricky spot we need to crawl under or over a fallen tree, impossible with our backpacks on. At least we don't have to worry about routefinding, although it's possible to make out goat paths, which the flags appear to follow.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
1. Rest stop in the bush.
2. Passing by some big trees.
3. Impressive size.
4. Alastair getting ready for a scrambly bit.
5. I believe this must be sulphur tuft or another Hypholoma.
6. Dwarf dogwood or bunchberry, Cornus unalaschkensis
7. A hairy fiddlehead.

In less than three hours we reach the Water Platform, a flat step where it's possible to cross a major gully blocking the way to the Hanging Valley. This is also a creek bed, and the rocks are slippery when wet. There's a huge drop downstream and a slim chance of survival, should anyone lose footing. It's time to refill the water bottles, as this is probably the first source of water we encounter since the river.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. Craig enjoying fresh water.
2. View down Stave River, a huge drop ahead.
3. Alastair and Luke.
4. Alastair refilling his water bottle.
5. Crossing the Water Platform.

After a drink and snack break we cross the Platform and enter the bush on the other side. We see a couple of flags but lose them right away. Enter the alder zone, the going is painstakingly slow but at least not too steep. Alastair and Luke stay lower, where the bush is nasty, the rest of us try to follow goat tracks a bit higher. Some of us even spot a goat on a slope way in the distance! General direction - the Hanging Valley. Finally we can see it through the bush, blanketed with snow and disappearing in the clouds further up.

1. 2. 3.
1. Craig ploughing through a milder section of the bush.
2. A mountain goat.
3. First views of the Hanging Valley.

It's a steep descent from the bushy alder zone to the valley. I stay a bit higher, thinking we might want to cross it and continue up, but the other guys stop at a spacious, multi-level rocky platform with some potential for setting up the camp. That's probably a good idea, as it's 6 pm already, there's running water around us, and no particularly obvious bivy spots ahead. We settle on the inviting rock and call it our home for tonight.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1. Alastair and I (below) pitching our tents.
2. Blair and Luke's tent is set, Craig is working on his.
3. Craig and his Hubba.
4. My tent and a view across Stave River valley.
5. Our little village.
6. View up the bottom part of the Hanging Valley.

We cook supper and discuss our plan for the following day. The weather is a big uncertainty. If it rains, we will try and wait it out, giving the summit attempt an extra early start on Saturday. If it doesn't, we will go for it tomorrow.


The Day Of Judgment

We wake up at 5 am, and there's been no rain. The visibility is poor, though, so the track points uploaded to our GPSs are going to be useful. We come to the edge of the snow and gear up. The snow is hard, our crampons are on and ice-axes are out right from the start. We also put on and check our avi beacons.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1. Gearing up.
2. This is where we're heading, more or less.
3. Up some avi debris.
4. Blair, Craig, and our camp below.
5. My tent.
6. On the upper slope, where the valley splits.

We pass by a large waterfall and ascend the slope to the point where we need to cross over to climber's left in order to enter the southern branch of the Hanging Valley. The going is easy, but the visibility very limited. We soon stop to wait for Alastair, who didn't take advantage of the numerous washroom facilities at our camp and had to find them around here. He re-joins us after a while, bringing with him an important message of a valuable lesson he has just learned; namely, do take your harness off when you go for number two. We look at one another perplexed. What exactly got contaminated, Alastair? Not much, just these two slings, I washed them in the snow as best as I could, but this one is white, you know... Undaunted, we continue up.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. Lower part of the southern branch of the Hanging Valley.
2. Jeff, Luke, Blair and Alastair.
3. A breather stop.
4. I am going ahead, Luke is getting ready to follow.
5. Traversing across the steepening slope.

We are now in the mid portion of the valley, where it widens up, and it's not obvious which exactly is the best route up. The next known GPS waypoint is way up higher at a bottleneck gully section called the Hourglass. When it clears up for a few seconds, we realise that we are too far left, so we traverse across the steepening slope until we reach a narrow trench extending as high up as we can see. We debate for a while whether to stay inside it, risking being swept by a potential snow slide, or walk up along its edges, facing problems with moats between the snow and the rock walls of the gully. Alastair suggests roping up, some of us would prefer to keep the pace, in the end we decide to continue unroped up the trench. We know that we may have to use the rope soon, though, when crossing a small glacier we expect to find above the Hourglass, depending on its current condition.

The heat reflected off the snow is beginning to hit us. Soon we realise we are breaking out of the cloud layer and we can finally see some blue sky above. This is nice, but also a potential cause of concern because of the impact on the snow quality. The gully narrows and steepens. We are passing through the bottleneck of the Hourglass.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
1. Entering the trench, still in the clouds.
2. The moods are good.
3. Up the narrowing gully.
4. Alastair and I.
5. Approaching the bottleneck of the Hourglass.
6. Alastair ahead. The moats are not bad at all.
7. Jeff above the cloud layer, Grainger, Nursery and the Clarke-Recourse-Viennese group peeking out in the distance.
8. Seems like Luke can smell the summit already.

Coming out of the Hourglass we can't really tell where the glacier starts, and there are no visible cracks in the snow, so the ropes stay in the bag. The slope is at a fairly sustained 45 degrees on average, reaching 50 degrees in a few sections. We are aiming at the col above, which seems not too far, but it's taking forever to get there. Alastair traverses to the right slightly to avoid rock bands above, triggering some snow slides in the process, fortunately of limited scope. Soon we reach the col at the top of the slope, elevation 2200 m.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1. Alastair, Craig and I nearing the col.
2. Blair has stripped off some layers due to the heat.
3. Luke stopping for photos.
4. Fairly steep.
5. Blair, Luke and Jeff coming out of the Hourglass.
6. Luke and Jeff topping out at the col.

The col is a relatively narrow ledge, with a steep drop into a gully on the other side, the lower parts of which cannot be seen. To the right is a small rocky subpeak, and to the left a massive snow arete that we hope is heading up the summit's way. It doesn't look technical, but is steep enough to raise some concerns, as a slip down either of its sides would most likely be fatal. We rest and discuss our options.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
1. Where we just came from.
2. The drop on the west side of the col.
3. A small subpeak on the north side.
4. Resting at the base of the arete, hopefully leading to the summit.
5. Craig, Blair and I discussing our options.
6. Alastair and a view south to Robertson Peak.
7. Closeup of Robertson Peak.

Upon some deliberation it is decided that we set up a fixed line up the arete, using two joined 30 m ropes. Luke and I build a bomber belay station as high as our comfort level allows us to go up unprotected. Blair is keen to go up first, plant a couple of pickets on the way, and build another solid anchor at the top of the arete, where the other end of the combined ropes would be fixed. Jeff volunteers to belay Blair, while the rest of us enjoy a break and take photos. We're not really sure if the arete is the only obstacle left on the way to the summit, or if perhaps another tricky step awaits us still, where we might need the pickets again. We'll worry about it when we get up there.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1. Alastair and Jeff set up the rope at the bottom belay station.
2. I'm taking pictures, while Jeff, with Alastair next to him, is belaying Blair, who's already planted one picket on his way up.
3. Blair past the first picket.
4. Blair has now planted two pickets.
5. The col and Jeff the belayer from Blair's vantage point.
6. Looking across the slope from Blair's location.

Soon it becomes obvious what we have neglected. The knot joining two ropes got stuck in the biner at the first picket (which might have possibly been avoided if larger biners were attached to the pickets). Alastair comes to rescue - while Blair secures himself at his location using another available picket, he prusiks up the rope to the first picket and feeds the knot through the biner. Then he secures himself at the picket, detaching his prusik from the rope, which allows Jeff to continue belaying Blair up until the knot gets stuck at the second picket, at which point the whole procedure is repeated. We acknowledge that this is not necessarily the best procedure in general, but considering the snow conditions we were dealing with, it was more than adequate from the safety perspective.

While Alastair remains secured by the second picket, Blair continues up but then he runs out of rope 5-10 m before the top of the arete. Luke and I come to the bottom belay station, suggesting an extension of the line using slings and cordelettes, but Blair yells to us that it's not worth the hassle, as the snow is good enough to finish up the final few metres unprotected. He reaches the top, disappears from sight for a while, then we hear his roar of elation - does that mean he's on the summit? We are really hoping so...

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. Alastair below Blair during the pass-the-knot procedure.
2. Blair has fnished building the top anchor, the fixed line has been put in place, Alastair is about to continue prusiking up. Luke is next to Jeff at the belay station.
3. Craig watches as Blair reaches the top of the arete, Alastair is past the second picket, and I am walking back to change my gloves, having attached my prusik to the fixed line, being next in the line to go up.
4. Alastair has reached the end of the rope, about to top out.
5. Alastair beginning to realise that this really is it.

After that we go one by one, determined to find out what's up there at the top of the arete. Well...

1. 2. 3. 4.
1. I'm passing my prusik through the biner at the second picket, Craig is getting ready below.
2. On my way up.
3. I'm off the fixed line, about to top out.
4. Blair and Alastair are photographing me like some crazy paparazzi. I ask them if this is the summit. They say yes. Of course, I don't believe them.

5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
5. Craig is following.
6. Getting closer.
7. Off the fixed rope.
8. Now he's smiling!
9. Checking things out on his right...
10. Stopping for a moment to pose for Blair.

11. 12. 13.
11. Jeff is almost there.
12. The last step...
13. Yes!

14. 15. 16. 17.
14. Luke can feel it...
15. &%@&^#&*@!
16. I'm definitely joining you guys...
17. Hey man, good to see you again!

When I top out, I see Blair's and Alastair's scattered junk, some rocks that might be mistaken for a cairn, an ocean of clouds below, and nowhere to go any higher... Unbelievable!

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. This looks like the summit.
2. The SW subpeak and the top of Robie Reid on the left.
3. Closeup of the SW subpeak.
4. Alastair above the sea of clouds.
5. Me and the top of Mt. Clarke.

6. 7. 8. 9.
6. Luke, Blair and I.
7. The three of us, Robertson Peak in the distance.
8. Alastair and Blair.
9. Robertson Peak.

10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
10. Craig.
11. Alastair.
12. Luke.
13. Jeff.
14. Blair.
15. Me.

16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
16. Jeff and Blair, me taking pictures behind.
17. Luke taking a group photo.
18. Jeff taking a group photo, Alastair still can't believe it.
19. Me taking a group photo.
20. Jeff taking a group photo and being quick at it.

It's a long way down, so we get going. Alastair is the last one descending, so he takes down the top anchor, while Jeff puts him on belay. Finally, Jeff dismantles the bottom belay station and we are ready to start a steep descent down the Hourglass.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
1. Jeff prusiking down, Blair above near the top.
2. Jeff downclimbing.
3. Blair getting off the rope at the bottom station. He has descended facing out most of the time and went to the side of the existing steps because he didn't want to destroy them for those who might want to use them for downclimbing after him. Some snow was released in the process, as is evident from the slide tracks on the right-hand side of the arete.
4. Alastair at the top anchor waits until Craig finishes prusiking down, Jeff waiting at the bottom.
5. Jeff has finished taking down the bottom belay station.
6. Closeup of Viennese, Recourse and Clarke topping out through the clouds.

We are trying to organise our descent so as to minimise the chances of dislodging the snow onto the others. We test the snow several times and it seems much more stable than earlier, when the sun was out in full blast. Craig and Blair go first, bravely walking down face-out until it gets too steep, when they switch to downclimbing. The rest of us follow in a similar mode. I go down faster and after a while catch a glimpse of Blair and Craig down below in the valley. Luke, Jeff and Alastair switch from downclimbing facing in to walking facing out a few times, then I lose them from sight.

7. 8. 9. 10.
7. Craig descending into the Hourglass.
8. Jeff, Luke and Alastair below the col.
9. Blair in the middle portion of the Hanging Valley.
10. Craig and me behind him in the distance.

I try to catch up with Craig and Blair, but they're pretty fast, and soon I see they've been doing some bumsliding down an avi trench. I feel tempted, but don't want to get my back horribly wet, so just stay up on my feet. Their tracks lead to the edge of a bush patch, which is not the way we came up. I walk up through the bush to the snow, where I see a moat blocking my way. Back up the bush and slabs to the snow higher up, lost the tracks now. My GPS is giving me confusing info because of the frequent signal losses earlier in the day. I see a waterfall I remember from this morning and start descending by its side until I find myself at the top of a cliff. Back up the snow, some 150 m in elevation, then finally I find a route back down to our camp. It was a wrong waterfall, it all looks different from up above, and our morning tracks in the snow are practically all gone!

Luke, Alastair and Jeff are still behind me. I thought that they have perhaps stopped to eat, but Jeff later tells me that the reason for their delay was that he slipped in the gully. He lost footing while turning from the downclimbing to the face-out position, one of his gaiters got caught in the crampon and he didn't manage to self arrest until about 20 m lower. That scared all three of them quite a bit, and they continued downclimbing facing in with all due caution until they got out of the trench.

I'm approaching the camp as the other three guys appear behind me. Craig welcomes me "back home", and I'm only gesturing back, too exhausted to speak. I don't even feel very hungry, just thirsty. I know I should eat something warm, lest I may feel cold at night, so I come out after a while, joining the others in the kitchen and dining area, a few levels up above my tent.


The Day Of Acquittal

The wakeup call on Saturday is at 7 am, but I become aware of the rain in the middle of the night already. It alternately intensifies and abates, and by 6 am I notice that I'm lying in a puddle of water under my tent, fortunately not inside it. This is not a good prognostic for the day, as the steep and bushy descent awaits us.

The others are likewise concerned, and we decide to keep our ropes and harnesses handy. The other guys start heading out before me, walking up the snow slope in hopes of finding a less bushy route in the trees above the alder. Alastair waits for me at the edge of the snow and signals where the optimal route is. This "optimal route" still involves crawling up the mud, and he recommends I use my ice-axe, but I'm OK with my hiking pole. The other guys are waiting in the trees above, and the route gets better from then on. We pick up the flagging and only have to face some nastier bush near the Water Platform. Entering the Platform requires special attention, as no rocks are dry around there now.

Now the route gets steep and we need to be extra cautious. We reach one tricky spot where veggie belays are not enough, and a decision is made to drop a handline. Jeff inadvertently steps onto a slippery root while lowering himself, and bumps against the rock face, fortunately without any serious consequences. Further below, the other tricky spot with a fallen tree is bypassed on the side using long tree branches, and it all goes well. We follow the flags all the way down to the river.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. Craig soaked through.
2. Luke controlling the hand line at the base of the upper tricky step.
3. Jeff lowering himself, about to slip.
4. Jeff recovers and is helped by Luke.
5. Me hand-lining down.

We canoe back across the river, then retrieve our bikes and carts from the bushes. We improve our transportation procedures a bit, using two bikes to pull and two back people to steer the loaded four-wheel cart, which is expertly supervised by Luke. We reach the dock on the north side of Stave Lake before 5 pm and the launch place at its south end by 6 pm.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. Luke and Jeff at the loaded cart back on the road.
2. Back at the launch place at the south end of Stave Lake, waiting for Blair to bring down his truck.
3. Jeff, Craig, Luke, and Blair's boat loaded with our stuff.
4. Captain Blair.
5. Alastair helping secure the boat onto the trailer.

For those who are interested, here is our route plotted on a 3D Google Earth map. The river-to-camp leg is that of the third day, when we followed the flagged route most of the time. Parts of the track have been smoothed out to eliminate the artifacts due to drifts and loss of the signal on numerous occasions.



Epilogue

What else could be added to the above? It's great to have accomplished something together with people who you can trust and who know how to get things done. It's liberating to have convinced The Judge to rule in your favour. It's even more to have befriended Him.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 12:05 AM
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Phenominal trip!

-Ryan
/waiting for the appeal
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 12:09 AM
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Great trip report!!! That looks like a nice climb,especially going up that deep trench.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 12:42 AM
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Epic.

and an excellently written TR, made me feel like I was there for every step of it.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 01:17 AM
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Amazing stuff Marek. Congratulations. I told you already, you should consider writing a book about mountaineering in B.C. Coast Mountains.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 01:36 AM
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Epic TR as the trip itself.

Honestly you deserve having "one of the best TR author on clubtread" under your title.

Thanks a million for the great organizing and unbreakable team work!
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 02:30 AM
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Wow. I still have to read this in detail but the skim read and pictures were amazing. Congrats on a successful trip and thanks for such a valuable trip report.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 02:50 AM
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The best read i have had in a long time! I am insianly envious of that trip!! Well done
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 03:38 AM
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What an amazing adventure! Those are some stunning photos. Thanks for taking the time to write up a detailed trip report so we can see what it all entails. Too advanced a trip for me but at least I can live vicariously through your TR.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 05:38 AM
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awesome trip and report
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 06:16 AM
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My goodness, this is really top-notch.
I too have just skimmed through this and am looking forward to carefully reading it tonight.
Spectacular trip everyone, congrats and kudos to all. [8D]
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 07:27 AM
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Wow! Great trip and an outstanding TR (nice work Marek!)....congrats to all of you!
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 07:34 AM
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Thanks for the great trip report Marek. It was a really great team, and a fun time. Big thanks to Alastair for all the time and work he put into planning and organising.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 07:59 AM
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Bravo and congratulations!

Well done on the narative with sets photos that complement the storytelling exceedingly well. I very much enjoyed this TR [^] and wonder if Longshadow has room to make it one of the feature articles? We haven't had a new one in a while.

Quote:
quote:except Blair -he prefers his trusted hat, which apparently possesses some special protective abilities acquired during visits in exotic places like Papua New Guinea.
I wish I had such a hat.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 08:36 AM
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Read every word, and couldn't think of a better way to spend my wednesday morning. The Judge didn't stand a chance with that crew.

I love that Alistair patched the canoe with Duct Tape.
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