Tuesday, May 18, 2010
This is the view i wake up to everyday when i'm home. from left to right, Mt dalton 2653m, garibaldi 2678m (just barely seen hiding in the middle)and mt atwell at 2655m high. To say i've been antsy to get up those mtns and ride them is an understatement. I'd just never been on a mission to go up there. Finally, a week ago (the day after the plane ride) i got to head up there with my girlfriend kimmie. A late night decision to go up and an early morning saw us on our way. Our plan was to climb garibaldi, which is the highest peak in the region, then hopefully get on dalton while we were close. Atwell is a mission of it's own, and currently a little too far out of kimmie's league.
Another glorious day greeted us as we made the mission to get to splitboard land. Once on our boards, it was pretty easy going as the lower elevation snow was still frozen solid. With the fast conditions, i was able to take some side route exploring looking at future lines. While doing so, i also thought i'd be able to cut some corners and ended up above a pretty big crevasse zone, which forced me to backtrack back down to a mellower section of the glacier.
The general approach up there is pretty easy and straight forward. When we finally got a view of the main glacier and peak I wasn't really surprised to see old tracks up there as it had been mostly sunny for over a week and a few super nice weekends prior.
Getting closer to the final headwall, i knew the ice axes where going to be coming into play. As it was kimmie's first climb using one, i gave her a quick how to and a lesson in self arresting a fall with it.
I skinned up as high as i could and checked out the climb then set a new boot pack up as kimmie watched from down below. I was fairly surprised at the quality of the snow. Not frozen! Firm, but was still winter snow that would not be too bad.
I reached the summit fairly quickly and it was awesome. To see this mtn everyday when i'm home and to finally be on top looking down was epic. As i waited for kimmie to make the climb i scoped out the summit ridge and the possibility of getting over to dalton which is super close. However, upon scoping the whole ridge for a way down towards dalton, the only one i found was 65 degrees for a few hundred feet and dead ice. The climb up for me would have been easy, the ride down... no way. I needed a longer rope than what i had to be able to rappel down it. So summitting dalton ended right there. Another day.
Kimmie was doing great with the ice axe and was all smiles when she made it to the top. I was so stoked on bringing her up there and getting her up on a big peak. Especially since it may have been her last day snowboarding for the season.
We hung out on the summit for a while and enjoyed the views and ate some lunch while waiting for the snow to soften up a little.
Time to shred! I sent kimmie down the face we'd climbed up, then i traversed over and found some rocks to launch off. Then it was high speed turns the whole way down the glacier.
We were able to ride almost the whole way out, which is always awesome. As we made our way over brohm ridge to awesome views, we realized the day was still pretty early and it was full on spring in the valley, which i always forget when i'm in the mtns.
After making our way up almost 2700m from sea level, once home kimmie and i pulled the bikes out and went for a 2 hour pedal around some of our favorite trails to end off one of our funnest days of the season.
gear for the day. splitboard, full pack, poles, crampons, and ice axes
table mtn and black tusk
kimmie climbing up
mt atwell, squamish and howe sound
epic looking chutes
kimmie topping out.
me and kimmie
looking west and north off the summit
billy goating. this nub had a little bridge over to it and huge drops all around it.
the drop off from that nub
spring time is high speed shredding
kimmie's that little dot! she rode the main line down from the summit (lookers left; summit is hidden) and i goated through the rocks to go launching, farther lookers right (just before the highest pinnacle on the ridge line).
a very happy kimmie on her way down