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Soaked to the Bone on Mount James Turner
Timestamp Free: 2020.07.15 - 04:30:34
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges
  (3 days)     Elevation Gain: 2000m
Participants: Don Funk, Fred Touche
Difficulty: 4: Glacier travel, steep ice, easy scrambling.
A climb of Mount James Turner from the Wedgemount Lake cabin with the return done in bad weather.
Don Funk is habitually optimistic about travel times in mountainous terrain. On this September weekend he asked me to join him for a one-day climb of Mount James Turner. Fairley's climbing guide, which is also generally optimistic, suggests that it can be done in two strenuous days. Luckily, I managed to convince Don into getting a head start by leaving the evening before and staying at the Wedgemount Lake hut for the night.

We left North Vancouver at 9:00 pm and started hiking the steep Wedgemount Lake trail around 11:00 pm. After stumbling up the trail by headlamp, we reached the hut at 1:30 am. The next morning at 8:00 am, we headed for James Turner.

The standard summit route for James Turner crosses five glaciers separated by four passes. Our first obstacle was the Wedgemount Glacier, which is usually easy to traverse, but this time of the year, all the snowbridges are gone, leaving only [px]JamesTurner1.jpg[c]exposed ice[/px]. This does have the benefit of knowing exactly where all the crevasses are, so there was no need to rope up; just strap on the crampons and go.

Halfway up the glacier, we were blocked by a crevasse maze. Just like a laboratory rat, we came up against a few dead ends. After jumping across a couple of narrow crevasses, I was through. Don elected to use a more deliberate technique. He backtracked to the edge of the glacier, avoiding the maze altogether.

After a break, we reached the [px]JamesTurner2.jpg[c]Wedge-Weart col[/px] and then descended to the Weart Glacier by skirting around a small waterfall. Unlike the lower Wedgemount Glacier, the [px]JamesTurner3.jpg[c]Weart Glacier[/px] contained hidden crevasses because it was covered in hardpacked snow. There was, however, no need to rope up because wide, supposedly crevasse-free...

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