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nortonchum 09-24-2007 12:46 PM

Larrabee, Sep 23, 2007
Last Sunday was our second trip to the States in a row. Initially we planned to go to the Whistler area, but changed our mind because of the amount of the fresh snow in the mountains. Four of us - Stefan, Larry, Ross and I hoped that there wouldn't be any snow across the border. After we passed Glacier town all our hopes went away like a dream. We saw a lot of fresh snow on the tops of local mountains. Stefan's Jeep computer showed 0 C temperature outside, when we were at Twin Lakes in the morning. It was so bloody cold that we had to rush ourself in to start hiking A.S.A.P. We set off for the trail at 8:00AM. The chilly weather made us moving fast - Low Pass, High Pass, the basin, the southeast slopes. We were at the low part of the ridge crest in less than two hours. Things got more difficult from there. Obviously, Larrabee is not a very hard mountain to climb in a nice dry and sunny day. But it wasn't in our case. Thick fog came down at that point and the visibility became very poor. The fresh show with the ice made it very slippery to climb. There we go, we got it all - a cold weather, three inches of fresh snow with some thin ice underneath of it, a really bad visibility and plus, a very lose rock. When we reached the cliff we found that there were three gullies. One, on the right went up to the cliff, another,on the left went up somewhere on the top of the buttress. We chose the one, which was in the middle. The gully didn't look that difficult, but the snow and thick fog made it quite challenging. All slabs were wet or even worse, they were covered by fresh thin ice. Very often I had to dig the snow to find a good rock to grab. When I thought that I found a good looking rock and tried to commit to it, over suddenly, this rock peeled away from the mountain. My hands were really cold, because of the wet gloves. I had to wring out my gloves every 10 minutes, they got soggy very fast. Also, we had some problems to find the correct route, because of the fog. We almost were at the point to call it a day and turn back, when Stefan shouted "I see the summit". We pressed harder and reached the summit 5 minutes later. Wow !!! Finally !!! We summitted at 11:35AM. It was windy and cold up there. We got some partial views from the top. All the southward and the westward views were covered by the thick clouds. We signed the summit register, had a brief lunch and went down at 12:10PM. I was concerned about our descent, mainly because of fog and poor visibility, but we managed it alright. After we were out of the gully it was a straight forward hike. We were back at the Jeep at 2:20PM. In the end, it was a nice trip with a little bit harsh weather at the top.

Members of the team
1. Stefan signing off for the trail
2. Ross
3. Larry
4. Nikolai

Going UP

1. Morning. Very cold. At the High Pass trail.
2. Fresh snow
3. Our destination, Mount Larrabee
4. Thick clouds in the vallay
5. At Low Pass
6. Tomyhoi covered by fresh snow
7. At High Pass
8. Mount Backer from High Pass

Climbing the southeast slopes, gaing the ridge crest
1. Mount Larrabbe. The basin (bowl) is covered by fresh snow
2. Stefan is climbing the talus
4. We had to plod the snow covered talus to gain the ridge crest
5. Ross amd Larry
6. Stefan is out of route
7. Ross and Larry gained the ridge crest

Nikolai and Stefan at the top

Views from the summit
1. American Border Peak
2. Views towards to Canada
3. A GPS shot
4. Glacier on the North part of the mountain
5.-6. Clouds were hanging around at the top all the time

Going down. It was all foggy

Stefan is downclimbing the gully

We are out of the gully. We climbed the gully which was in the middle.

Hiking down on the trail
1. Larry and Ross
2. Some clouds over the mountains
3. Larrabee. The top is still covered by fog.
4. A view down from the Low Pass trail
5. Ross is at the Low Pass trail

simonc 09-24-2007 02:07 PM

Much better views than on Mt. Beautiful yesterday. You guys did a really good job on bagging this with sketchy conditions.

nortonchum 09-24-2007 02:21 PM

1. Our way UP.

2. That's how I gained the ridge crest. There is also another way on the left

3. The spot on the ridge creast near the cliff. We chose the middle gully.

nortonchum 09-24-2007 02:22 PM


quote:Originally posted by simonc

Much better views than on Mt. Beautiful yesterday. You guys did a really good job on bagging this with sketchy conditions.
Thanks, Simon

Baddoc48 09-24-2007 03:22 PM

Yikes . . . snow already

Time is running out [V]

I hope to get at least one more Baker hike in before the snowshoes come out!

Great pictures - thanks for the TR


greyowl 09-24-2007 03:46 PM

What a difference one week makes. Sept 15 Sept 23. You had to contend with some unpleasant conditions: the fresh snow and the cold made this a challenging climb which you describe in much detail and support with lots of photos. Really impressive!

Spunky 09-24-2007 05:43 PM

Nice going guys! [^] Challenge indeed to get up & back down without injuries.

KARVITK 09-24-2007 07:21 PM

Well done Nikolai and company. You were determined to reach the top, and you all made it. Your pictures show the new snow to add a lot of beauty to the landscape. Also it certainly looks some tricky spots to get around the steep rocky parts with snow on it.


nortonchum 09-24-2007 11:35 PM


quote:Originally posted by Spunky

Nice going guys! [^] Challenge indeed to get up & back down without injuries.
This mountain is really rockfall-prone. One rock, not a big one, hit my helmet out of the blue.[B)][:0]

culater 09-25-2007 09:03 AM

Indeed it is. I was afraid to touch anything last year there. [B)]
Great trip. :)

Wildman 09-25-2007 09:16 PM

Fantastic job in rough conditions guys. It is sure weird weather this year. I did this hike over a month later at the end of October last year and it had snowed a little but nothing like this. I was going to plan a group hike there this year but the weather is not giving the opportunity for it. Oh well.

burnabyhiker 09-25-2007 09:29 PM

Well done on another summit! [8D]
Summer has gone.:(

SKYHAWK 09-25-2007 09:41 PM

Wow,Congrats on bagging this peak in those conditions.What a change from last week!

nortonchum 09-26-2007 10:30 AM


quote:Originally posted by burnabyhiker

Well done on another summit! [8D]
Summer has gone.:(
Thanks Chris.
I hope October will be nice.[^] We had so many beautiful trips in October last year.

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