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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Default Garibaldi Lake Circumnavigation

Nick and I ran around Garibaldi Lake yesterday (Aug 16, 2017). We started from Rubble Creek TH and headed up to the Cinder Flats and turning up Helm Creek to get to the Glacier. We had to cross a few streams here so if doing it again, I would cross the flats to get around to the next entry to Helm Glacier that I've used in the past to access Castle Towers from the Chekamus side.

Helm Glacier was in good shape. Dry at the bottom with snow covering the upper glacier and no sign of crevasses.

Route to Castle Towers was mostly snow free and any patches can be bypassed. Good to go with ski poles! We scrambled from the sub-summit to the main via the loose gully that has not gotten any less scary. From the main summit, we planned to traverse to the furthest sub summit and then continue down the ridge. Descending was pretty unpleasant though with a short rope, a rap would have been easy to get to the notch. With thick clouds around the summit, we weren't feeling too confident so returned back to the main summit and then retraced our steps back into the first gully on the scramble route. We descended ~100m of loose scree in the gully and then hit a tongue of snow that took us nicely to the glacier.

It was still cloudy so navigating the glacier was partly by feel and GPS (Wikiloc app has been my GPS maps of choice lately). We hit Mt. Carr on it's west ridge and after trying to descend it's east ridge in the fog, we gave up and regained the glacier the way we came.

Crossing the glacier, we got a bit confused around the Bookworms but found our way to base of the North Ridge of the Sphinx. Nick was hoping to solo the NR and had carried rock shoes but it was cold and windy and we were pretty tired so he was easily convinced to skip that and we headed for Sphinx Pass. At the pass, we decided we'd be disappointed if we didn't tag Sphinx, so we took the scramble route up to the summit and back down to the pass.

From the pass, crossing the Sentinel Glacier was a breeze. We stayed high on the snow and didn't have any troubles to gain the ridge coming off Table Mountain. We tried to minimize the elevation gain and loss here and traversed around the North side of Table to get to Table Meadows. This is a beautiful spot for sure. Looking up towards Mt. Price, we were a little worried about having to bushwhack but by linking meadows and aiming for a gully on the GPS that took us right to a burned ridge, we made it up Price with minimal fuss. This was the only time we encountered bugs but they were horrendous. At the summit, we had nice views of our whole day's route as the fog lifted off the glacier. From there, we hit the hiking trail back to Garibaldi and then jogged down the trail back to the car.

The glacier was in surprisingly good shape and crevasses presented minimal difficulties with only one that we really had to detour around. All in all a pretty awesome day and one we have been trying to tick off for a while. Inspiration credit goes to Peter Croft's 1983 traverse via a similar route noted in the Alpine Select Guidebook. More details here (scroll down): http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/th...=668163&tn=258

Our route: https://www.strava.com/activities/1137589368
~54km, 400m+, 12hrs

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 02:01 PM
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wow. This adds whole new meaning to terms like "trail running" and "being fit".
That "400m+" is probably a typo? (must be way more). Add a zero?
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 04:29 PM
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Run Forest...Run!

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 09:21 PM
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Wow
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
That "400m+" is probably a typo? (must be way more). Add a zero?
Whoops, yes, that's missing a zero.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jd22 View Post
Fast legs, bingoviews.com work.

That is an amazing photo!

Last edited by Manion; 06-10-2018 at 10:28 AM.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 08:08 AM
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Fast legs, nice work.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 11:49 PM
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wow, that is quite the day trip. I assume you guys wore runners. Did you need anything for glacier ice?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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@oldmatt - The only glacier ice we were on was on the lower Helm and it's pretty flat. Other than that, we were on snow. We used the little Petzl dyneema crampons and axes for the steeper snow.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 04:03 PM
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This is probably a really stupid question but...

Is there anyway to tell if you are standing on snow on top of a glacier, or just snow on top of rock?
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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@TheMagBumper - with certainty? I guess not. There are pretty strong signs though. Crevasses indicate you are on ice. Rocks poking through the snow indicate rocks. That being said, you can be very close to rocks and still on ice and vice versa. Probably best to assume that if you are on snow and near a glacier, there could be hazards underneath and act accordingly. Even areas with no crevasses can develop big moats around rocks. It is interesting though to see the mountains in the late summer with all the snow burned off and down to the glacier ice. I guess that's the only way to really 'know'...
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-28-2017, 06:09 PM
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Not too shabby!
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 10:45 PM
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Awesome work Eric! Inspirational as always.

A question I have often had when looking at these trips you do is, do you guys rope up when you're crossing a wet glacier?
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2017, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by strandypants View Post
Awesome work Eric! Inspirational as always.

A question I have often had when looking at these trips you do is, do you guys rope up when you're crossing a wet glacier?
Thanks man. Here on the Coast? Almost always no. We would use one for crossing unavoidable crevasses or moats but our usual strategy is to avoid them rather than try to cross. Part of our planning process is knowing if a glacier (or any technical climbing) is what we think we can tackle safely without a rope. From there we decide to either bring one or do something different depending on what we're motivated for.
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