Beneath my boots there is little give in the snow, still unsoftened by the morning sun. Firmly placing my ice axe and pressuring the edges of my boot soles to gain purchase, I traverse carefully, aiming for the line of sunlight creeping steadily across the surface of Macbeth Glacier. Once in the sun, where the warmth draws sweat from my forehead and beneath my backpack, the snow is soft enough to kick deep, bucket like steps in. The ascent to the divide goes quickly with the anticipation of seeing new country beyond. From the crest, a 2,250 metre-high saddle between Couloir Ridge and Mount Iago, my brother Greg and I gaze eastward into the untrodden wilderness beyond the Spearhead Range. No signs of human presence mar the vista: no logging cuts, no roads, no huts, no trails, no aircraft - just valleys and mountains and glaciers, a landscape shaped only by the forces of nature.
Wilderness. For the next week, this is the world in which we will live - the land as it has been for centuries. It will not always be easy nor entirely pleasant, but it will be rewarding. We heft our packs and start off down Iago Glacier. Our trek had begun the previous day, August 1. Along with two friends, we drove from Whistler and hiked to Singing Pass, then traversed below Overlord Glacier and across the boulder-strewn Fitzsimmons Glacier. Beside Overlord Glacier we watched eleven mountain goats, some of them kids, scale with astounding ease the crumbling, reddish rock on the north face of Fissile Peak, while we stumbled down a loose moraine - a ridge of gravel and boulders left when the glacial ice retreated.
That night the four of us camped by a small pool on the rim of another steep moraine separating Macbeth and... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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