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Castle Towers in a Day
Timestamp Free: 2019.11.14 - 22:12:02
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1723m
Participants: Jelte Harnmeijer, Martin Berka
Difficulty: 3:
A long slog up & down Castle Towers in 16 hours. Forest, meadows, some lunar landscape, glacier, boulderfields, snowslopes and gullies - variety was a highlight of this trip.
This was one long day. Not a technical one, just a long slog with great rewards. I do not tend to push things too far when I am on my own. This time we did and it was excellent.

Castle Towers mountain (2676 m) is a nice big mountain lying east of Garibaldi Lake. I'd say it is similar to Mt. Garibaldi, with glaciers on all sides and rocky spires sticking out on ridges south (Phyllis' engine) and east of the summit, though obviously there are big geological differences between the two. I spent several early mornings staring at the mountain from Garibaldi Lake campground, thinking about how nice it will be to get up. I have been contemplating this frequently last year - so often that Kristin began to laugh when I floated "let's go to Castle Towers this weekend" yet again on a Thursday evening.

Jelte is just the right guy for a trip like this. Fit and willing to push me that extra bit when I begin to settle down and think it's so bloody gorgeous here that I don't really care about the summit (get lazy). On Saturday night we drove to Whistler and slept on a logging road. It was -17C in the alpine two nights ago, with 90-130km/h winds but this night it was a pleasant -5C. We got up at 4, drove to get coffee in Whistler and at 5:09 hit the trail. Nice and cool, with headlights all the way to Helm creek campground. We passed several massive old growth cedars; they look even bigger when they jump at you in the dark. We were pleased to find out that it took us 2 hours to hike 9km (and 6-700m up?) with reasonably heavy packs. The winds picked up as we left the forest for the meadows, and Black Tusk was covered with shades of purple and pink and was crystal clear. Not bad, we made our way through the lunar landscape behind the glacial moraine of Helm glacier that was blown...

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