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| | |-+  August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
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Author Topic: August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete  (Read 31771 times)
danhelmstadter
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August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
« on: 08/25/07, 11:46 AM »

The mountains of the Great Northwest hold many secrets and pleasant surprises to a skiier, and I am continually amazed at the ski oppurtunites available within this great land, yesterday was certinatly no exception.
Sky had been talking about the costal mountains of BC for some time, and with the snow dwindleing in our southerly country, we agreed it was time for another trip up north. We crossed the border about 1am on friday morning, and enjoyed the low traffic through Vancover and beyond, but we were stopped cold at 3am for road construction closure on the Sea to Sky highyway, I threw out a mat and sleeping bag and caught a couple hours of sleep. At 5am the road opened and we made good time to the trailhead a few miles beyond Whistler. The trail up to the lake was brilliantly constructed, with not too many switchbacks, but not too steep, and we hiked the 4k vertical to the lake in two hours. Wedgemount lake is a buetifull glacial lake, blue green in color, fringed by green grass and wildflowers, and dramatic mountains towering over in every direction, the  foot of the wedge glacier looms with grandure to the east.  The area is equiped with really nice campsites, and a strudy hut which is open year round.
There were several possablitys on the north face, several couloirs.. but they were a little runneled and dirty, one had a visible crown of several feet at the top, presumably from last weeks storm, the northeast arete looked to good to pass up. We started up the glacier and were surprised to find corn snow from the first step. The hike up the glacier seemed to go fairly quick, we did negotiate one complex section of crevasses and funky glacial jumble, the higher we got the better the snow seemed to get, I knew we were in for a incredible ski descent, as i hiked up with perfect corn underfoot. We gained access to the arete by way of a smooth snowslope high on the glacier. The snow steepened and became a little variable for the last 1kv on the arete, the crux was 50dg narrow passage on the arete, massive glaciers sprawled out on both sides, with deadly drops in each direction. The Wedge is the highest mountain in the Garibaldi Provincial Park, towering over Whistler/Blackcomb, and other visible peaks.
The views from the summit were astounding, mountains in every direction, almost all sporting massive glaciers, it could be said that the glaciers were sporting the mountains. It is hard to put the descent into words, as it was a bueatifull dreamlike experience, over 3k (all on skiis) off the summit most of which was near perfect corn, the arete was nice and steep/exposed, and there were bueatifull cruiser sections with a little spicy glacial jumble section too. Round trip in 10 1/2 hours with some nice long breaks, This area definatly deserves more "skitime".
« Last Edit: 08/26/07, 11:31 AM by danhelmstadter » Logged
ryanl
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Re: August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
« Reply #1 on: 08/25/07, 12:19 PM »

sounds like great trip- glad it worked out for you guys.  pics?
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skierguitarist
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Re: August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
« Reply #2 on: 08/25/07, 01:52 PM »

Wow, sounds like an incredible discovery.  Love to see pictures and your future tr of this area!!!!!!!!!!!
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ron j
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Re: August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
« Reply #3 on: 08/26/07, 05:16 AM »

Way to find the goods, guys.
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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
skykilo
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Re: August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
« Reply #4 on: 08/26/07, 05:00 PM »

A few pictures to reinforce Dan's delight....


Closeup of the NE Arete cropped from the following foto.


View from above Wedgemount Lake


I don't recommend this.  Do as I say, not as I do.
"Dan, go ahead and cross that bridge, it'll make a great photo."


During lunch, we had this great view of our dessert.


"Can we get some exposure up here, please?"


Amazing fresh corn snow just below the crux


Then superb high speed corn - more firm and elegantly edgeable


What went down, must ski up.
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Pete A
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Re: August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
« Reply #5 on: 08/26/07, 09:34 PM »

man that snow looks nice!   amazing that its stayed so wonderfully un-suncupped all the way through summer.

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skykilo
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Re: August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
« Reply #6 on: 08/27/07, 09:28 AM »

The suncups we saw weren't very big for August, but I'm pretty sure most of that schmoove snow was fast-track MF metamorphism from last Sunday/Monday's snow.

Notice the mammoth crown on the NE Face in my dessert photo.  I'm also attributing that to last week's cycle.  The debris pile on the Weart Glacier was big, covering a significant width on a couple crevasses.
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daveb
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Re: August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
« Reply #7 on: 08/27/07, 10:19 AM »

Very Nice work!  Sweet turns at the end of August, this place rocks! 
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skierguitarist
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Posts: 292


Re: August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
« Reply #8 on: 08/27/07, 12:52 PM »

Thanks for the fantastic pics!!!!!!!!!
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Matt C
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Re: August 24, Wedge, Northeast Arete
« Reply #9 on: 09/16/07, 09:14 AM »

Here is another perspective of the route. I was up on Weart yesterday. Snow still looked good.




Larger version:

http://www.biglines.com/photosv2/2007/09/120x120/biglines_78446.jpg
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