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| | |-+  March 15-20, 2014 Wapta Icefields Traverse
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Author Topic: March 15-20, 2014 Wapta Icefields Traverse  (Read 1878 times)
tyreid
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March 15-20, 2014 Wapta Icefields Traverse
« on: 03/25/14, 10:54 AM »

We had winter conditions on the Wapta complete with "flying on instruments" navigation and great powder skiing. We approached Peyto Hut on day 1. Day 2 we traversed to the Bow Hut in limited visibility, skiing powder laps below Mt. St. Nicholas into the evening. Day 3 we summited Mt. Gordon en route to the Balfour Hut, where we enjoyed another evening powder session close to our chalet. Day 4 we skied three long laps on the Diableret Glacier, in some of the best snow conditions I personally have skied all season, with in and out breaks of beautiful sunlight. Day 5 we ascended to Balfour High Col, the crux of the route, in what started off as good visibility. Nearing the col the weather deteriorated, and it was a challenging descent to the Scott Duncan Hut in “pingpong ball” conditions, requiring slow GPS navigation and cordalette casting for terrain definition. Day 6 we exited the icefields via the Schiesser/Lomas route in what started out as continued challenging weather, but throughout the day progressed into beautiful views and more phenomenal powder skiing as we descended through subalpine terrain into the forest valley above Sherbrooke Lake.

Overall the snowpack up there is the thinnest I've seen it which is quite a contrast from say Rogers Pass. HS on the glaciers was less than 1.5 meters in places, especially at the northern end of the traverse. This zone had quite a dry spell this winter. We ended up using the rope a bit more than usual, especially in low vis.

Lots of photos on our blog.


* waptamar2.jpg (76.91 KB, 800x529 - viewed 708 times.)

* waptamar19.jpg (135.26 KB, 800x600 - viewed 707 times.)

* waptamar16.jpg (160.7 KB, 800x600 - viewed 711 times.)
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mikerolfs
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Re: March 15-20, 2014 Wapta Icefields Traverse
« Reply #1 on: 03/25/14, 01:37 PM »

Looks like a fun week.  I saw from your blog that one of your partners is named Freya.  That is my daughters name too!  Maybe they'll tour together one day.  It will be a while though, my Freya is only 9.
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tyreid
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Re: March 15-20, 2014 Wapta Icefields Traverse
« Reply #2 on: 03/25/14, 03:52 PM »

Looks like a fun week.  I saw from your blog that one of your partners is named Freya.  That is my daughters name too!  Maybe they'll tour together one day.  It will be a while though, my Freya is only 9.

Freya is a photographer based in Bellingham. Here's her website: http://fennwoodphotography.com
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Floater
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Re: March 15-20, 2014 Wapta Icefields Traverse
« Reply #3 on: 03/25/14, 07:45 PM »

Not sure this is the same Freya, but I may know her Dad, John Lockwood, great guy.  Sounds like you had a fun trip.  A bit intimidating crossing glaciers in white outs, but at least you found pow.  Did John go along?

This is a long way from Kayaking and Pygmy Boats so it may not be the same person.  He lives in Port Townsend.  If so say Hi to him from Gordy.
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