- Chris Christie
- Squamish/Whistler, B.C, Canada
- This Blogtography is not a shameless self promotion but a way to keep in touch with folks and share my experiences of what I see and do through the eye of the lens. I feel fortunate to play a part in stoking people to get out and explore and find their own experiences no matter what they are. It really inspires me to capture a moment in time and tell a visual story. Quote- "If I only scrape a living at least it's a living worth scraping for ! " ( Dark Side Of The Lens)
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Got a call from Bruce Kay the other day to join him on a project he had in the North Joffre area. I'm alway's a little apprehensive when BK calls, an epic is usually on the menu.. He must have been pretty far down his phone list cause I had hardly swung an ice tool on anything steeper than 50 deg in the past 2 years. Anyway, Before I knew it we were heading up the drainage towards the wall and I started to wonder what I had signed up for. The route was waaaaay bigger than he had suggested.
(outlined in Red in image, green route was next weeks epic) The snow ramp to the 1st pitch of ice was steeper than anything I had skied this year. Bruce took off like it was nobody's biddness and 40 feet out with no gear, started to get hammered with spindrift from 1000 feet up.
It lasted about a minute at a time and breathing was super difficult not to mention the ice cream headache from having half the mountain stuffed into your helmet. After some time BK climbed the 1st pitch and I started off.
Stupid hand, buldging calves and screaming barfy's quickly became reality . The route consisted of blue ice, Snice, ( mix of ice and frozen snow) sticks were pretty good with sparse protection.
The cruxes were usually overhanging sugar snow with no gear in sight. A BK speciallty and he is so damn casual about the whole problem. Anyway the route ended up going a 1st ascent at 8 Pitchs, WI4+ with a few mixed rock moves thrown in.. We simu climbed the last 3 pitches with constant heavy spindrift.. I was getting clobbered by his leftovers.. Pretty dry mouthed the whole time. He forgot his headlamp and we topped out at 8pm in the dark not knowing the way down.. Crossed a 400 foot 45 degree hanging hanging slab for more pucker action above our route (Bruce Named it "Fools Traverse, anything but bomber avy condish-- Fergit it !!) and found a fairly easy snow ramp down to the bowl and another 30 minutes to our skis. Images of the climb were shot from the hip as the walls of snow coming down were pretty pant ****ting.and I was already multitasking untangling frozen ropes and dodging bullets... Left the truck at 8 am returned at 10pm. Not bad for 2 chocolate bars and chewing on ice to stay hydrated..
This route is a real gem.. Peeps travel half way round the world to find something like this, and here it is in our back yard.. A steep, committing alpine route with little avalanche hazard other than the approach and the Fools Traverse..
Till next time...