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Mamquam via Skookum Creek - A long but rewarding ski trip
Timestamp Free: 2018.11.12 - 20:52:24
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges / Dreadnought Group
  (2 days)     Elevation Gain: 2075m
Participants: Pierre Signore; Perry Beck; Pierrot Harvie; Richard Howard.
Difficulty: 3: Some creek crossings, some steep snow climbing, some avalanche danger.
Mamquam Mountain (8,515 ft) was approached on skis by Skookum Creek and the Mamquam Icefield. The mountain was climbed by its northern slopes.
(Waypoints estimated by R Tivy from description) March 25 and 26, 2000

A rainy day during the previous week-end had given me a chance to do a reconnaissance trip along the Mamquam Mainline. The road was drivable for at least 11 km. It was time for another Mamquam trip. During the week, I managed to convince three trusty friends to join me on what was bound to be an epic.

So, this Saturday morning, the four of us left cars (alt: 1,500 ft) at 9:45 am under cloudy skies and muggy weather. We had parked at 12.5 km along Mamquam Mainline. The one kilometer of road skiing before ascending Skookum Creek East Branch provided a good warm-up that Perry and I spent making "plans for the future".

As soon as we hit Skookum Road, we started sweating all the toxins stored during the winter months. The first uphill section of the road was bare in places so we had to remove our skis on a couple of occasions. After the "R/S lines" bifurcation (fork in the road), the road somewhat leveled out and travel became less strenous. Crossing the main creek draining lake GR077085 (Watersprite Lake) (*3) was very easy on a solid snow bridge. This was in marked contrast with our last summer trip to the area where we had spent 45 minutes building a log bridge. We had lunch at 12:30 pm on the other side of the creek and enjoyed the views on the Gargoyles. The trip had been going quite well so far.

Next came the feared waterbar section. The trenches were partially covered with thin snow bridges that were melting in the hot temperature. Each crossing had to be cleared using all our resources and imagination to avoid the dreadful fall into the wet traps. I did my usual head-first dive into the abyss. Perry went for his famous telemark face plant. Pierrot wisely stuck to the back learning from...

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