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Taillefer-Shadowfax Loop
Timestamp Free: 2020.07.06 - 21:10:02
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Cadwallader Range
  (2 days)
Participants: Robin McKillop, Fred Touche Class 3-4 rock.
The party completed a counter-clockwise loop around the headwaters of Phelix Creek, climbing Mount Taillefer and Mount Shadowfax in the process.
Driving up the Phelix Creek logging road Robin managed to negotiate his 4x4 through some monster waterbars to an eastern spur until this road became completely impassable. We continued on foot along a decommissioned road until it transformed itself into a right-of-way of fallen timber that eventually came to an end. The real bushwhack stated here, above an eastern tributary of Phelix Creek. The timber was open but the ground covered with meter-high bushes that turned the trek into a thrash with associated slipping, sliding, and swearing. Trying to avoid the bushes by going higher didn't work but to our surprise we spotted a funny-looking cabin sitting near the creek bed below us. We slid down a partially snow-filled gully to investigate. It looked more like an elaborate lean-to than a cabin. The walls were as porous as a sieve and the roof covered with a shredded blue tarp. It certainly looked it hadn't been used in a few years. [px]LeanTo.jpg[c]lean-to[/px]

We followed the north side of the creek and then curved north along a fork to a series of small lakes south of Mount Taillefer. The snow under our feet didn't always hold our weight and we were treated to deep postholes approximately, but not necessarily predictably, every ten steps. The fog kept us guessing as to which one of the surrounding rock features was Taillefer. After an embarrassing blunder trying to identify the mountain, we slogged up a snow gully on its south face, intersecting the east ridge of Taillefer about 150 m from the summit. By now we were subjected to an unanticipated and unwanted snow storm - after all, it's June, not Christmas. We piled on "waterproof" clothing and scrambled to the high point where the sky suddenly opened up, then closed up before we had time to enjoy the view....

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