Athelney Pass , Guthrum, Icemaker, Ethelweard. Aug19-22 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Default Athelney Pass , Guthrum, Icemaker, Ethelweard. Aug19-22

Footage from the trip.


We headed out early Friday morning. Leaving the Taylorway church meetup spot at 4:15am.

The drive out was a breeze. Made it to Pemberton in record time and up to the trailhead with only a slight bit of route finding through the maze of forest roads.

Bryan drove his jeep and me my Xterra so as to have a backup vehicle in case of any mechanical delay.

From the trailhead we made it up to the collapsed cabin in about 5.5 hours. The pass is beautiful but it was so smoking hot! After setting up tents and hunkering down for a nap. About an hour later a helicopter circled overhead. It was a party of 4 coming to the pass for the weekend 5 day stay with some goodies and a plan to hike out on their day 5. It was super awesome to have them show up and share some wine, some laughs some good stories all around and a few extra people around to deter grizzlies. We dunked in the creek a few times a fridges experience and then explored around the lake that overlooks the toe of the glacier coming down from ice maker and Ethelweard. On a smoking hot day this lake is like an alpine paradise. The waters are not so cold that you cannot swim a touch.

Saturday we started out at 5am and head up up Gurthram. It was a loose mess getting to the first steps and from there it was an interesting scrambling, cool ridge walking and amazing views of the Icemaker Glacier all the way to the summit.

We rested and I recall saying. Oooo don't worry we have lots of time.

From there we dropped down towards ice maker and climbed the snow slope to the summit. It was hot, so hot but there was a gentle breeze that made it bearable. On Icemaker the views got better. Ben rattled off every named peak in the area while Alex and Bryan rested and took shots. I believe at this point I was feeling fairly tired and found a place to layout for a while. Ooo yea don't worry we have tones of time.

From there we headed down towards Ethelweard SE1 going over the small bump then down to the col. From there we crossed the glacier towards the South East ridge of Ethelweard.

The stories are true. You need lots of time. You need to find the right gully or you will have lots of trouble. We topped out on the ridge finding ourselves on a large block with nowhere to go. Blast and I was tired. O how I was feeling tired. The true peak looked so far away.

Down we went off the Ridge and back onto the Glacier putting our crampons on again for the "More times than I can remember that day" time.

We headed down towards the pass on the glacier until a large gully presented itself. Going up this gully it is very loose and filled with spires jutting up from the mass of the mountain side. There are many choices here that you can take and if your lucky you will guess right. We split up at a junction more than half way up. Bryan and I working left and Ben and Alex going straight up the gully we had chosen.

Bryan and I found ourselves on a crazy rib up the center of the peak. It was near verticle wall up a chimney that I would never want to downclimb. When we got to the top we looked up and saw that we had chosen wrong. There was a huge fang in front of use with near vertical wall on both sides. This has to be one of the narrowest spines I have been on. We made our way around the fang and then up more until we found a way down left to another gully that took us up to where Ben and Alex waited.

We were on the east side of the summit looking up at a 15 foot crack above some tough moves in. I was way out of water and gassed and saw no way I was going to do it. Fresh and hydrated maybe but I had already had an abb cramp.. have you had one of those? pretty crazy! so I was looking at a no go.

Ben stepped up and got up it. Hands down watch a clutch step up. Alex tossed up the rope and we all made it to the summit. Looking down from the north side we saw another gully that looked like a walk up and chuckled. Ha the easy way.

Coming off the summit of Ethelweard took a long time. The gullies are super loose and require a one at a time approach to descending and ascending many sections in order to keep the rest of the party out of the line of fire.

Finally down at the Glacier the sun was behind the mountains in the west and two of us confessed to not having our headlamps. Yea you betcha. Amature hour at its greatest. I had left mine at camp as well as Bryan. Thankfully the skill and patience of Ben and Alex shown through and stuck with us down the snowy edge on skiers right of the glacier. They helped us along as we traveled in twos. looking back and helping us down safe.

We saw the party back at camp where their headlamps danced around camp as it got darker and darker. We headed right farther right along boulders and scree working our way to the toe of the glacier. It turned out not to be the best route. We ended up facing about 100 feet of steep smooth rock down to ice. It didn't look good and by now it was near pitch dark. Ben pushed on working our way back towards the glacier and we found a gully down the smooth rock down some loose sandy crap and onto some snow.

Crampons back on and onto the ice. We crossed the big blue in the dark. it was relatively flat with few crevasses wider than a few couple feet and the rest were just cracks compressed from the huge amount of ice above us.

We made it back to camp after over 19 hours out in the mountains. Sore, tired, sore and tired and hungry.

The next day. Sunday Alex and Ben planned to go up onto the other side of the valley and get some peaks. I declined. I was near cripple from the day before. I woke with them had my dinner for breakfast and saw that our neighbors were out and about. I headed over and enjoyed some wine and stories while the sun lasted. I headed back to my tent for a nap and they headed up the ridge.

A couple hours later I woke to hail and wind on my tent. I thought about them up top and thought more how if I was up there feeling the way I was after the 19 hour day I would not have been pleasant company let alone find it easy to book it down the mountain back to camp.

I heard our friends come through camp first. I stuck my head out and greeted them commenting that I had no regrets on declining the days climb. About and hour later Alex, Bryan and Ben returned. They were soaked to the bone. I need to express how happy I was inside not to be soaked to the bone.

We all hunkered down for a time until the hot sun returned and ben and Alex went at it again. heading up the ridge for some more peaks. It hailed and rained nearly worse than the first time. Alex showed how this time there was twice as much water in his boots as the first time with a gratified grin at how impressive that was.

Later that night we all dried out watched the sky and enjoyed everyone's company.

Day 4 we headed out. it took us 5 hours to get back to the truck and another hour and a bit to Pemberton.

Great trip. Glad everyone made it out safe.
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Last edited by MatthewBaldwin; 09-02-2016 at 03:06 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 12:31 PM
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If there's such a thing as location envy, I have it! Athelney is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen. It really should be annexed to the Lillooet provincial park. The more of us that go there, the greater the odds of that happening.

Your trip, from the 19 hour super-human day to the wine with new friends sounds like a five star experience.

So, how was the 'trail' up Salal ck? It never was much of a trail but is the path becoming more definite now?

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 12:48 PM
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Amazing adventures!!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xj6response View Post
If there's such a thing as location envy, I have it! Athelney is one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen. It really should be annexed to the Lillooet provincial park. The more of us that go there, the greater the odds of that happening.

Your trip, from the 19 hour super-human day to the wine with new friends sounds like a five star experience.

So, how was the 'trail' up Salal ck? It never was much of a trail but is the path becoming more definite now?
The trail in is super easy to follow. You head into the woods only when you have to and be sure to find the trail starting points when going in to the woods as there is a super easy going path though alder and forest. It looks fairly well traveled and as we headed out we put up more cairns for those who would follow.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 03:20 PM
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https://instagram.com/p/BJdb_NYgaU5/

We are still driving home so posting the link to this video from my phone...

So happy to have shared this weekend with you guys! Did you see the bear that came down from the meadow shortly after you left? We crossed paths with another one on the bank of the creek on our way down. He couldn't have cared less but we all shit our pants.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 04:40 PM
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The trail in is super easy to follow. You head into the woods only when you have to and be sure to find the trail starting points when going in to the woods as there is a super easy going path though alder and forest. It looks fairly well traveled and as we headed out we put up more cairns for those who would follow.
Excellent .... thx much. I gotta get back there

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jencloss View Post
https://instagram.com/p/BJdb_NYgaU5/

We are still driving home so posting the link to this video from my phone...

So happy to have shared this weekend with you guys! Did you see the bear that came down from the meadow shortly after you left? We crossed paths with another one on the bank of the creek on our way down. He couldn't have cared less but we all shit our pants.
I'm even more envious now I looked at your video! The first time i was in there was many years ago, in a helicopter, while doing forest survey work in the area. The place mesmerizes.

Was it a grizzly or big black bear? there are "shitloads" of grizzlies in that area, which would explain what happened to your pants :-)... in part this is because the wildlife branch has relocated troublesome grizz from other parts of south western BC to that area.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 07:55 PM
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I'm pretty sure the bear in the pass was a black bear, it was quite far away, but a decent size. We're not sure about the one down at the creek, we thought maybe a younger grizz?? It had a bit of a shoulder hump, and straight on it's face had the flat grizzly look, but I expected those features to be more pronounced. It's body was dark brown and it's face was lighter.

We knew there had been a lot of bear activity and we were annoyingly loud the whole way down. We didn't see any scat or prints until the lower creek and forest area. I didn't know so many bears were moved there though. Are the relocated bears tagged at all?
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 08:07 PM
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Summit Shot!
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 04:24 PM
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Epic pictures! Looks like a fantastic trip. I would love to go there for the labour day weekend or a later weekend in September. I was concerned the Upper Lillooet FSR would be closed do to landslide hazard after the recent heat wave? Good to know Salal creek was accessible last weekend.

Just wondering, is there any place one can find some beta on the scrambling routes around the pass? I know it's not in Matt Gunn's scrambling book.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 06:03 PM
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Epic pictures! Looks like a fantastic trip. I would love to go there for the labour day weekend or a later weekend in September. I was concerned the Upper Lillooet FSR would be closed do to landslide hazard after the recent heat wave? Good to know Salal creek was accessible last weekend.

Just wondering, is there any place one can find some beta on the scrambling routes around the pass? I know it's not in Matt Gunn's scrambling book.
The Salal side is easy scrambling, there are small pocket glaciers, but they can be avoided, the Ethelweard side is more technical.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 09:33 PM
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Great pics of your adventure! Nice to meet you guys!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 07:15 PM
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Great adventure, thanks for the report and the pictures. Are the trees close to the abandoned cabin tall enough to hang food?
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