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| | |-+  Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
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Author Topic: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015  (Read 6214 times)
cumulus
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Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« on: 05/07/15, 10:21 AM »

I found some great corn up on Mt. Chaval last Saturday.





In general access to Mt. Chaval can be tricky. There's this:

First attempt early June 2012 with Rob (lumenation). Didn't get too far.

Most years it takes a while for the snow to melt out on Illabot Road. By the time it does, the foliage can be in full force:

Second attempt early June, 2014 with Trevor (Tbill). Long day into night.



So with the recent April snowfall and the road open most of this season I thought I'd give it another go.

The intent was to get going by 6am. Reality was a 9:30 departure from the car. Oh well, I figured I wouldn't get too far. I had no idea if the line of access I planned on taking that I had spyed on the map would even go. Could cliff out. Just do a little recon, see how it goes.  And if it goes, well it is a west face... I threw some ramen and a tin of sardines in my pack just in case--along with my standard just-in-case kit.



Access went well. Really well.

Some fantastic views along the way:



Popped out of the woods at 2pm ecstatic to behold this most welcoming sight:

I drank my fill, had lunch in the sun, and aside from the summit boot (with crampons) it was skis on from here on in.

approach I took:
Head up the south side of Illabot Creek and hang a right after the first major creek. This takes you aprx. 1K up through relatively easy old growth putting you beneath a big patch of open area (slide alder/thorny biomass). Skirt this as much as possible trending SE and then wind your way through cliff and steep gully passage(s) circa 4300' until you emerge due west of point 4593'. This puts you right at the beginning (or end) of that beautiful long trending W/NW gully that leads up to Mt. Chaval.





(our Lady of Chaval in the wind drift ?


I left my skins, stove and shovel at the base of the summit block. At the top I went up lookers left side, a little steeper than the right hand ramp, a choice I happily made in trade for mitigating exposure. A fall or slide there wouldn't take me over any major cliffs.
On the way down I took two turns in pleasant snow on the milder sloping summit plateau but then found the snow at the top of the right hand ramp to be quite a bit firmer than the rest of the face due to the curvature of the face allowing for less direct sun light. It wasn't bad, just something to watch out for. After that, super fun ski!


start and end of my ski is the barely visible 'S' shaped snow in the shadows, middle right hand side of the photo





Summit views were phenomenal. I was especially excited to take a peak down the NE side.


Snow King   Cascade Pass area in the bckgrd


Chaval Lake  Hurricane  White Chuck, Pugh, Sloan



moon rose blessing the ride out



Sure glad I grabbed the ramen and sardines... best ever!



Hiked out with the morning light.
Back at the car at 9:30.

Way too fast. I want to stay longer.


Very beautiful area and glad to hear that Illabot Creek was recently declared and given Wild and Scenic River designation




not enough pics?
more here
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Stefan
truthlives
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #1 on: 05/07/15, 10:40 AM »

Awesome!
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kamtron
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #2 on: 05/07/15, 10:46 AM »

Great trip report: Beautiful photos, good info, well-done ski!
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Snow Bell
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #3 on: 05/07/15, 12:14 PM »

Radtastic!
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Life is going to slide by you one way or another
philfort
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #4 on: 05/07/15, 02:02 PM »

Awesome! I love it when a planned approach goes easier than you expect/fear, and you just nail it.
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hedonaut
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #5 on: 05/07/15, 06:01 PM »

aahhh man that looks fantastic!  beautiful.  well played, S. 

gotta get back there and ski in that Buckindy range one of these days...
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danpeck
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #6 on: 05/07/15, 07:32 PM »

Good Stuff!
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Rowan Stewart
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #7 on: 05/07/15, 07:40 PM »

Fantastic solo mission!! thanks for the great photos and narrative.  Grin
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Walking makes the world much bigger, and thus more interesting.
-Edward Abbey
Kevin Steffa
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WWW
Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #8 on: 05/08/15, 12:44 AM »

Excellent! That route has the appeal of possible elegance combined with certain obstacles... That very same patch of 'thorny biomass' did me in on an old scouting run, so its great to hear that it is possible to weave between the cliffs/gullies past that. Congrats on a beautiful line!
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- Mossman
jtack
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #9 on: 05/08/15, 07:09 AM »

What a beutiful summit and fantastic ski line nice going!
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cumulus
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #10 on: 05/08/15, 11:31 AM »


Thank you all for the great comments!

and your comment Kevin about "certain obstacles" got me thinking it's worth mentioning that this route should not be done if crossing the gullies (just prior to arriving at the main W/NW corridor) in any sort of unstable conditions.  There's a big steep slope right above you (not visible) that can and does unload into those gullies when conditions are ripe. Something to keep in mind if you decide to go this way.

That said it's a beautiful spot. So many good lines back in there. Or tour along the ridge(s). Easy enough to drop a bike off at the Snow King trailhead if you didn't want to come back the same way  ...I'd totally be up for that!  and Buckindy.
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Stefan
eze
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #11 on: 05/08/15, 07:18 PM »

Well earned and well done Stefan!
A very aesthetic line in a beautiful spot.
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tabski
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #12 on: 05/09/15, 08:32 AM »

Fantastiche
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Kenji
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #13 on: 05/10/15, 04:21 PM »

Super trip, Stefan!!  Funny you mentioned Snow King as a smooth way out.  I just did an overnighter there, too tired today...
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Jake the Brit
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #14 on: 05/11/15, 11:14 PM »

That's a spicier line than those photo's suggest!
Congratulations. I reckon you'd have been one happy camper that night!
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cumulus
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Re: Mt. Chaval, west face, May 2 2015
« Reply #15 on: 05/12/15, 08:00 AM »

I thought I might see you up there... but as it was I saw nobody, not even another car (and it's a long beautiful drive in and out). Just a lot of bear tracks, entertaining myself by guessing their weight by the depth of the imprint.

As for camping... happy until the middle of the night when it got five degrees shy of comfort. No bag but I thought I had packed a tarp and I was wishing I had. Early in the morning while packing up I found it all folded up (it's dark green) beneath my pack (that I had my feet in). I cursed myself up and down several times... f-n idiot!  I got all warm just cursing myself.

And Kenji I mentioned Snow King more as extended tour possibility than an easy way out... but it may be, not sure, would depend on conditions I suppose.
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Stefan
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