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| | |-+  Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
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Author Topic: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation  (Read 3463 times)
runningclouds
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Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« on: 02/25/15, 03:59 PM »

We took an advantage of the nice forecast to ski around the Garibaldi Lake just south of Whistler. In my view this is a nicer and simpler trip than Garibaldi Neve, similar terrain but there is no need for the car shuttle.

The road is dry and open all the way to the trailhead. But upon arrival we were a bit surprised to see so much glass in the parking lot. There seemed to be remnants of car break-ins in all the parking spots. Quite disgusting.

The Rubble Creek trail is mostly snow free all the way to the 6km junction, some patches of dirty snow and ice start around 1400m. We stashed our hiking shoes at the junction and skinned to the W shoulder of Panorama Ridge where we set up a nice camp. Everything was idyllic until about 1 AM when it started blowing hard. I worried about our 3 season tent poles breaking.

Saturday morning we barely managed to take the tent down and set out toward the summit of Castle Towers Mountain. Travel was difficult, most of the snow was hard crust with isolated windslab patches. Lots of stomping the edges in, specially on the step parts. By the time we reached the top of Helm Glacier we were somewhat behind but still hopeful we could make the summit. Skiing down to Gentian Pass was great dust on crust, easy turns just like on the groomers, maybe even easier.

Skinning up Castle Towers was however hard again and by the time we down climbed the short couloir at the top of Polemonium Ridge it was clear we had neither time nor energy to ski the summit. A bit of disappointment but at least the wind finally died down and the views were spectacular.

We crossed over to the Sphinx and enjoyed another easy ski run, almost effortless compared with going up. A late afternoon climb to Sphinx Pass was rewarded by another ski run from the pass. Skiing Sentinel Glacier sucked because of rain runnels between 1800 and 1600m.

The UBC Glaciology Hut was in good shape and empty and we took advantage of that.

Sunday morning we climbed toward the Table Mountain, skied down toward Mt. Price, had a bit of difficulty crossing the deep ravine, steep slopes with not a lot snow made for difficult route finding. The following climb toward Mt. Price was a scorcher: full sun, no wind.

From the col between Clinker Peak and Mt. Price we followed someone's tracks along the summer route which they (and consequently we) promptly lost resulting in a bit of bushwhack. In hindsight the winter route via Price Bay over the lake would be much better choice.

We skied and walked between Battleship Islands back to the junction, hiked out and were grateful for the adventure, the views and the fact that nobody broke into the truck overnight.

Photos and Google Earth screenshot:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/runningclouds/sets/72157650625025038/
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #1 on: 02/25/15, 08:04 PM »

Great photos!  Sampling Garibaldi without a car shuttle seems wise.
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Zap
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #2 on: 02/26/15, 08:24 AM »

I enjoyed your photos, maps and TR. It has been awhile since a group of us made a few  trips in the area. Your TR brings back good memories
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avajane
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #3 on: 02/26/15, 09:45 AM »

Way to get out there and work hard for your adventure. Beautiful pictures of a spectacular area.
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
runningclouds
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #4 on: 02/26/15, 05:11 PM »

Thanks Charlie, Zap and avajane.

I am always surprised at not seeing anybody on the Sphinx Glacier. I am sure others venture there, but compared to Spearhead or Garibaldi Neve the great cirque of Castle Towers, Carr, Sphinx, Deception and Guard is deserted.
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danpeck
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #5 on: 02/26/15, 07:23 PM »

Ah man!  I wanna go there!
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Peels
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #6 on: 03/02/15, 11:39 AM »

Hi!

I'm thinking about heading out that direction in a couple of weeks.  Do you think it would be safe to skin across the lake right now?

Thanks!! 
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Jason_H.
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #7 on: 03/02/15, 01:44 PM »

I've been there many times. All those peaks are very cool! Thanks for the TR and pics.
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runningclouds
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #8 on: 03/02/15, 10:12 PM »

Ah man!  I wanna go there!
Dan, let me know when you have 3-4 days to spare. I am ready to go...

... in a couple of weeks. Do you think it would be safe to skin across the lake right now?
Peels, that is very hard to say. On February 21 some guys played hockey and skated across the lake all the way to Sphinx Bay. However they did not say they went ashore. A week before friends crossed the lake between Sentinel Bay and Battleship Islands on skis "as fast as possible and questioning our judgement all the way." From my photos you can see that while crossing the lake is possible the biggest problem will be getting on it, both Sentinel and Sphinx Bay are partially melted and weakened where the creeks enter the lake. The Battleship Islands area was fine. Good luck!

I've been there many times. All those peaks are very cool! Thanks for the TR and pics.

Thanks Jason!
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Peels
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #9 on: 03/03/15, 12:49 PM »

Cool, thanks for the info. 
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runningclouds
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #10 on: 03/03/15, 05:06 PM »

You are welcome. If you go please post info, there is quite a bit demand for the "can the lake be crossed" info this year.
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radka
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #11 on: 03/03/15, 10:02 PM »

We, too, have an interest in this area. Apart from info on whether the lake can be crossed safely, we would also welcome any beta on Garibaldi climbing conditions. Any forums out there we should look at?

In addition, we would be curious about some logistical options for doing the Garibaldi-Neve traverse with one car. Rent a second car in Vancouver/Squamish? Taxi cab in Squamish (does it exist)?

Thanks!

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WillderDude
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #12 on: 03/04/15, 07:16 AM »

Crossed the lake from Sentinel Bay to Battleship Islands on Sunday 3/2 and it was totally fine. 

Completed the Garibaldi Neve 3/1- 3/2 and snow conditions were terrible the entire time: all aspects and elevations were wind and sun hammered.  I wouldn't waste your time in that area until they get some serious snow, unless you like skiing on ice.
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runningclouds
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #13 on: 03/04/15, 09:25 AM »

Radka, I totally agree with WillderDude regarding snow conditions. I skied Blackcomb backcountry on Sunday and it was bad, we skied two lines and went home, it just was not worth it. I'd wait for new snow or rising temperatures to make corn.

Some people will call a taxi from the Rubble Creek trailhead (or before they reach it). One thing to make sure is that you have a reception, if you can choose Telus network they have the best coverage in the area. Bell and Rogers should work too. Fido (Rogers subsidiary) does not work in the area. Or you can prearrange time.

In my view the best solution is to park at the finish and take the taxi to your start. Howe Sound Taxi is a local Squamish company, long time ago they picked us up at the Red Heater trailhead in the middle of winter.

https://www.facebook.com/HoweSoundTaxi?fref=ts

Good luck, I hope you have a great time!
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radka
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #14 on: 03/04/15, 07:30 PM »

Thank you for all the info!

With no new snow in the forecast, I think we will just wait for things to warm up a little bit - but hopefully not so much that the lake melts!
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runningclouds
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Re: Feb 20-22, 2015, Garibaldi Lake circumnavigation
« Reply #15 on: 03/04/15, 08:00 PM »

Here is a mountaineering report from Sunday March 2. Crossing the lake was not a problem for these guys. They have good pictures  showing the current conditions.
http://forums.clubtread.com/27-british-columbia/53713-sphinx-garibaldi-lake-mar-02-15-a.html
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