Saturday, June 23, 2013
Access: Trio FSR, Harrison West
Approach through a cutblock at the end of Trio, towards a prominent snow gully I checked out a couple weeks ago when doing Doctors...Thought this would be a quick approach for Grainger...Yes it was.
With my two high school climbing buddies, Rich and Aubrey, and pro- mountain photographer from Alpine Edge, Chris Kimmel, and meeting up with fellow CT'ers Matthew, Paul, and Kat, we parked and headed for the Trio Creek Crossing at approx 11am.
I suggested we could sit around all day and build a bridge over it, or we could get started with our day... We all decided we need to bathe our feet and soak in the energy of the mineral rich Trio drainage...
Up and through old growth, we navigated towards the gully, but not after some slide stranglers and satan's spikes, which gave us a little sweat to start our day. 2 hours after leaving the trucks, we were in the gully, free and clear, shooting up to the alpine. Now that we know this route, it would be more like an hour to this point as we discovered on the way down, the bush can be totally avoided except for a 20 minute section close to where two creeks join into Trio at the bottom of the gully.
Once in the gully, we took a sharp right after the second water fall, up through a snow ramp sided by some of the last trees we would see until coming down. This route put us on the closer ridge so we could traverse Grainger East to West...But first we looked for a camp! Oh ya, did I mention this was one of those leisurely overnight trips where we could take breaks, do photo shoots and light off bombs? Yup, we wanted to make a weekend out of this and really take in the alpine energy.
We reached a good dry spot on the ridge at approx 1760m, and set up camp at about 4pm. It was still cloudy with low visibility but the sun's beam of blasting radiation would hit us every once in a while and its intensity would remind us it is Summer. We sat and waited patiently for it to clear so we could see our route...Then all of a sudden...Like a bomb going off, it cleared, and the sound of symphonic chimes engulfed us with euphoric alpinism. But it was actually my iphone going off, because I like to have it on in nature and use it to provide a soundtrack for this social gathering among the snow and rock.
It was about 6pm and we decided that we should go for it while we have a clear opportunity.
Aubrey stayed back at camp due to anal leakage he had from eating too much sugar free ice cream the night before. So, he was basecamp manager.
Rich and I pushed on, with Matthew coming in amongst us every once in a while. Chris came in and out as well, scoping out high points and setting up shots like a sniper in kabul. Kat and Paul I saw breifly, but once we got climbing, myself and Rich lost sight of them... Following the East Ridge, heading West, climbing the blocky towers turned into quite a fun route and a great way to see alot of the mountain.
Some fun scrambling up along the blocky towers, it was just Richard and I left on the final climb up to the summit. We did see Matthew again on the second block, but not after that.
We stayed high on all the towers, climbing up to the top of them all, heading towards the main summit. After stopping for photo shoots on all the summits, we finally found ourselves at the base of the final snow ramp up to the peak.
We stayed for a while, watched the sun starting to set, and started to head down. Then, just as we were going down, we see someone coming up to the final snow ramp up to the peak! Its Paul! We greet him but not before he calls us 'crazy assholes', we tell him he is almost there, and that he should go up, snap some pics and we will wait at the descent gully-a notch, where we all can take a quick way down together. He agrees and off he goes.
Waiting at the gully notch, Paul showed up quite quickly and Richard down climbed it halfway and set up a rapp. We had to go one at a time down to the belay, due to it being quite loose, but once Rich was down, he belayed Paul down, and I took up the rear, so we could do a little 'Paul Sandwich' and give him love during the darkness of the night. It was now dark and we found ourselves at the bottom, where I cut some steps up onto the snow, and we started the traverse back to camp...the long, snow way.
The moonlight lit our path along the snow slopes of Grainger, with a couple steep sections here and there, we made it back to camp at about 11pm, enjoying the night and getting some pictures along the way.
On the final approach to camp, we had a feeling someone was watching us.
Chris of course was still shooting us!
His photography and patience is unbelievable. Thanks Chris!
Overall, it was a fun little over nighter, with the total time being 1030am start, and a 830pm summit, which includes a two hour break at basecamp, I was pretty happy with our little Grainger Party. We all went to bed around 1am, detonating a bomb, and telling campfire stories, we all tucked each other in, and kissed each other goodnight, wrapped ouselves in our blankies and cuddled into the night.
We woke up at 7am, left camp at 10:00am, and were at the trucks at 12:30pm...ya, when you want to have a bum race down a snow gully with 7 people, it can get fast!
Thanks to Chris for his great work! We are sometimes not the easiest models to work with, but if you can catch us, you can shoot us.