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Author Topic: June 15, 2012 Rainbow and Park Glaciers  (Read 1293 times)
runningclouds
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June 15, 2012 Rainbow and Park Glaciers
« on: 06/16/12, 05:46 PM »

We left the parking lot a 2:15 under a canopy of perfectly clear night sky. No wind, hard snow, skinning was fast along Ptarmigan Ridge. We had to switch to crampons several times before the sun came out. Ptarmigan Ridge has lots of snow on its N side, acres of perfect corn snow at the right time of the day.

Rainbow and Park glaciers are in great shape, crevasses slowly opening up including one spectacular one, at least 50 m deep, that we crossed on a narrow snow bridge. We rounded all the other ones.

We checked two possible spots for crossing the bergschrund around 9850 ft (3000 m), one of them possibly doable if the snow held. But we did not try, the sound of running water spooked us and we retreated. The bergschrund has become the crux of the climb, the days of easy passage are over for near future.

The easiest crossing appears to be on climber's right. Crossing there looked easy but the detour requires a long traverse on a steep slope below the Cockscomb which was shedding rock at irregular intervals during the whole time we were within 0.5 km.

Skiing Park and Rainbow glaciers was fantastic, the perfect antidote to not getting the summit. The first turns were a mix of corn and new snow patches, both with different speeds, so the turns were a bit jerky but between 9200 and 6900 ft (2800 and 2100 m) we got perfect corn, smooth hard base with 0.5 inch melted out just right for a superb run with big smiles all the way down.

The slog back was just that, tired and feeling the effects of radiation we laboured under the sun back to Artist's Point. We did not see any people until passing a couple of dog walkers suntanning next to Blueberry cat-track.

A chicken and pulled pork burgers at Graham's returned us safely into civilized world.

Slideshow:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/runningclouds/sets/72157630152322444/






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