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Camp and Snow Wall on Lord Glacier # 3852

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Date: 2003.05.20
Vantage Point: From slopes approaching col between Henderson and Mills

Caption: Camp on Lord Glacier, with snow wall protecting tents. In back is a unnamed subpeak of Mount Tait.

PhotoDescr: This was our base camp for days 5,6 and 7 on the Bridge River Headwaters Ski Traverse. Building a large snow wall is a common practice on most icefield trips, to protect the tents (almost hidden) from the constant wind. These walls can usually be built mostly from blocks cut from the center, thus lowering the tent platform at the same time as raising the walls. However this particular one was supplemented slightly by the snow pit in the foreground. The smaller wall in the back is the outhouse. By the time we left this camp, the main walls were leaning over at 45 degree angles, melted by the penetrating heat of the May sun, even though every day the temperature was below 0 C, and it was usually completely whited out. More than one set of tent poles has been broken by walls that collapsed in the noon heat. In mid-day, the temperature inside the tent is above 20 degrees C, even in a whiteout. Radiant heat! To keep the walls upright, we had to later construct big butresses at 90 degrees to each wall. Many of the peaks on the Bridge River Icecap are like the ridge of Mount Tait in back - simple rock scrambles projecting only a few hundred feet above the icecap. Notice the difference in ski design between the long thin 210 cm Atomic Telemark OT with the much shorter shaped skis off to the right. The shaped skis have heads like a Cobra, great for turning, but not quite so good for the long stride and glide sessions. The Cobra skis are equipped with shaped climbing skins, with a blue lepoard pattern. See Bridge River Icefields Traverse.

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