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Forger Glacier Labelled Mini-Panorama # 4006

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Date: 2003.01.08
Vantage Point: From the divide which separates the North (Snowbowl Glacier) and South Forger Glaciers

Caption: Looking SW to the Forger Glacier and Beyond.

PhotoDescr: Photo taken on the fourth day of a mid-winter ski traverse through the McBride Range of Garibaldi Park.

After battling whiteout conditions the day before, the weather offered a respite that allowed us to travel the remarkable terrain between Wolverine Pass and Drop Pass with relative ease. Our route across the Forger Glacier is visible, the prominent crevasse-free bench that crosses the glacier from left to right. This portion of the traverse was a highlight for me, with granite pinnacles on the ridge above, many slots above and below our perfect bench, and a huge drop into the depths of the Cheakamus Valley below.

Unfortunately this turned out to be our last good travel day, as a big, wet, Pacific storm rolled in and seriously hampered our efforts to travel. The following day we managed to negotiate the somewhat technical terrain between Drop Pass and Gray Pass, past much good granite that refused to reveal itself. On our sixth day we got shut down trying to cross the divide between Drop Pass and Sphinx Glacier by 100 km/h+ winds, major ice riming, zero visibility and tricky routefinding. We dug a hole and erected our tent-fly canopy to wait for a window of opportunity. 18 hours later we finally got our window, so we paid our respects to our tent-fly shelter that had valiantly fought, and lost, the battle with the wind, and left our impromptu bivi. While scrambling through a rockband to the divide we had to grip our skis and poles with all our strength to keep them from flying away in the still-very-intense winds. Our window was closed on us again as we got to the divide, so we felt our way down the Sphinx Glacier to Garibaldi Lake and the Burton Hut. We thanked the weather gods for allowing us passage over the divide, then made a hasty and humble escape down the Rubble Creek Trail.

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