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| |-+  July-August 2003 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  July 25, 2003, Helm Pass, Garibaldi Park, BC
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Author Topic: July 25, 2003, Helm Pass, Garibaldi Park, BC  (Read 2008 times)
Jonathan
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July 25, 2003, Helm Pass, Garibaldi Park, BC
« on: 07/26/03, 10:53 AM »

Maintenance closures of the Black Tusk Microwave (Westside Main) and Brandywine FSR routes into the high alpine have made accessing late season snow tricky this year.  The Westside Main is currently blocked by a large man-made obstacle (concrete blocks and logs) 3 km off Highway 99 at Function Junction (scheduled to re-open in early August) while the Brandywine FSR is undergoing work for a micro-hydro project until the 21st of August of this year.  (see bivouac.com for more details).

After confirming that the huge obstacle on Westside Main was still in place, David B. and myself, still determined to crank turns in the Black Tusk area, headed up the Eastside Main (same turnoff from Function Junction but using the left hand spur that turns off the Westside Main road about 300 yards from Highway 99) and parked in the Helm Creek/Cheakamus Lake parking lot at around 10am/2800 feet.  A pleasant but arduous day of hiking followed, with steady switchbacks up to the alpine for the next 3 hours, a wander through the wildnerness campsite at 5100 feet and, finally, on to snow near the Helm Pass at around 5600 feet.  There was lots of snow around at this elevation (Black Tusk had its usual snowfields in place and the Helm Glacier looked good and had at least one track on it.)  Due to time constraints, we ended up just bootpacking to the top of a convenient patch at 6200 feet around 3pmj and cranking off about 30 turns with lots of photos in between (I'll try and add these in).  After this, we packed up and headed back out, ending up down at the car after about a 10 hour round trip walk at 8pm or so in the evening with a couple of breaks and an impromptu (but planned) bath in a creek by Dave.

Alas, due to the lengthy access, the ski/walk ratio was rather poor but we got some skiing in and the views of the Tusk, the Helm (Helm Meadows is, perhaps, prettier than the Garibaldi Lake side in some ways) made the day worthwhile.

Jonathan.


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