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Peaks at the Head of Eight Mile Creek # 4986

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Date: 2004.02.22
Vantage Point: From head of valley

Caption: The 2000 foot north sides of the unnamed 8000' peaks at the head of Eight Mile Creek, SE of Cirque. Check out the huge chimney on the V2 rocket-shaped buttress. There is a complete tunnel at one constriction in the upper bit. No ice visible, but maybe in spring -- lotsa blank sections should make a brutal climb. Cool 45 degree couloirs at right end guarded by massive double cornices. Cirque Peak is out of photo right.

PhotoDescr: I had wanted to check out these features for quite some time, for obvious reasons. This trip turned out to be a bit of a recon (again!) in light of waist deep powder.

The rock of the immediate area is somewhat solid, but very compact, hard to protect and prone to large exfoliation: Justin almost managed to cream himself with a large chunk of rock while testing the "pitonability" of a crack on our bivy boulder.

Now on the other hand, the skiing in these parts is amazing. After admitting climbing wasn't in the cards, we took some decent runs off the moraines below the faces, made extremely challenging in mountaineering boots!

While brewing up in the evening, we heard voices and watched four skiers make an awesome descent from the Place Glacier via the narrow couloir from the ridge at right side of photo. They were quite scared of avalanches (rightfully!) and cut off to the sides of the slope before making a quick exit to trucks at the bottom of the valley. They had been dropped off by heli on Olds that morning; looks to be a cool but expensive day trip. As well, the slope in the photo has heli landing sites staked out and appears well used for this purpose.

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