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Mount Samson North Face Direct
Timestamp Free: 2020.01.22 - 19:46:42
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Bridge-Lillooet Divide / Sampson Group
Participants: Steph Durocher, Reid Holmes
Difficulty: 5: AD+
Ascent of the North Face of Mount Samson
After considerable drooling over various routes in Alpine Select, Steph Durocher and I decided to try the North Face route of Mount Samson for a nice weekend trip. Since Matt Brown had fallen 'ill' the day before we left, we took off with his pickets and ice screws and set out for the face. After a quick pizza dinner at Busterinos in Pemberton, we headed up the logging road towards the Hurley River Valley. After turning onto the final road, listed as a 4wd-hc access in Alpine Select, Steph maneuvered his off-road vehicle, a 1991 Firefly, across the numerous cross ditches and streams on the way up to the end of the road. We eventually stopped 300m from the end of the road as it was still covered in a few feet of snow. Upon stopping, we discovered the car was stuck in first gear, as the exhaust system had been wedged against the shifter on one of the less-successful ditch crossings. After a little bashing with a fist-sized rock, Steph was able to 'repair' the transmission. We hiked to the end of the road and took a quick look at our intended route. We decided that the major obstacle we would face would be gaining the glacier in the first place. The toe of the glacier looked high, ominous, and very fragmented, with dozens of uninviting large loose seracs. We figured we would have to climb the rock buttress to the west to get on the glacier.
The approach is indeed a rough trail. Much like the approach to Mount Currie, it is much better developed at the beginning and tails off about a third of the way in. The trail is well marked with flagging tape, tape of every conceivable variety. There's blue, yellow, pink, pink 'road center', red 'riparian management zone', yellow and white 'creek', and red and pink markers. It is...
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