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Lyell-Forbes Ski Traverse
Timestamp Free: 2020.09.21 - 12:36:37
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
  (9 days)
Participants: Robin Tivy; Rick Collier; Bob Saunders; Reg Bonney; Jim Tanner
Difficulty: 3: Strenuous ski with heavy packs. Forbes was steep, with short stretches of exposed ice.
In via Glacier Lake trail to Arctomys Peak and then climb the five Lyell Peaks, then traverse over to climb Division Mountain, then Mons and finally Mount Forbes. Back out Glacier Lake Trail.
The Lyell and Mons icefield offers a classic 8 day ski traverse, featuring five 11,000 foot peaks (the Lyells), and then Mount Forbes (11,852 feet). The Lyells, with the exception of Lyell4 (Christian Peak), are straightforward snow climbs. Mount Forbes requires crampons, ice axe and rope, and depending on conditions, a couple of ice screws make things more comfortable. Day after day we climbed up great peaks. Weather was cold and wintery for May. Every day, amid cold blasts of snow we climbed and climbed, often returning to our tents late in the evening.

Day 1 - Saskatchewan River - Glacier Lake - Black Robe Lake
(May 10) Met Bob Saunders and his team in the parking lot just past the turnoff for the David Thompson highway. (Glacier Lake Trailhead). The National park is deserted at this time of year. We put on heavy packs with crampons, ice axes, etc. and headed down the friendly trail toward Glacier Lake. Had lunch at Glacier lake, investigated the ruins of an old cabin,and then hiked for another 4 hours or so to a point just where the trees give way to open meadow (034-504).

Day 2 - Up the morraine, thru the trees, to camp by Arctomys Peak
(May 11) The morning woke cold and bleak, with fresh snow covering the rocks and tall grass. It looked like a scene from the movie "Black Robe" which several party members had recently seen, and so much better than the winter scenes in Dances with Wolves. So the next hour or so was spent reliving all the brutal winter scenes in Black Robe as we made breakfast. I found it particularily satisfying to stick my head out of the tent every so often and shout "Black Robe" in an inspired voice, to get the troops psyched up.

Then after breakfast, we put on the heavy packs and started out for the morraine to the...

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