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Tantalus North Ridge from Sea Level
Timestamp Free: 2019.08.26 - 01:55:10
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (3 days)     Elevation Gain: 3000m
Participants: Todd Ponzini and Derrick Johnstone
Difficulty: 4: Rock to class 4, crevasse danger.
A party of two climb the North Ridge of Tantalus from sea level in three days.
Most people who climb Tantalus fly in. But I was once told by a member of the local mountaineering community that if you fly in, you haven't really climbed the mountain. I could see his point, and after brushing up on going light by re-reading Twight, an idea for a Canada Day adventure was born - we would go up the Sigurd Creek trail, climb over the shoulder of Pelion, camp somewhere, climb Tantalus via the North Ridge, and come back - all in three days.

The forecast for scruffy weather did not deter us, and day one found us moving well up the Sigurd Creek trail. This trail takes you into the rugged and pristine Sigurd Creek valley. The trail was in good shape, with just some minor shrubbery in the avalanche paths, and the bridge to Pelion and Ossa that was recently built by volunteers was intact.

A long and hot climb up to the 7000 ft pass on Pelion's shoulder gave us our first view of Tantalus - wow! I've seen this view before from the tops of both Pelion and Ossa, but it impresses me every time. It's a beautiful peak flanked by ice and rock, and a fine example of coastal ruggedness from any angle. Derrick and I enjoyed the view and rested before hurrying down to a fine campsite at the head of Mawby Creek. We found flat ground and good water, and enjoyed the sunset after 11 .5 hours on the go.

Next morning - up at 5am - and cloudy. The forecast said showers.....but we could see to the top of Tantalus.....let's go! We followed the ridge south from Pelion, and soon had to deal with 300 feet of steep downclimbing on heather, moss, and grassrock (a new term). This must be the difficult section reported by Paul Kubik's ski traverse group from a few years ago. We soon got past this section and followed the ridge as the clouds slowly dropped. A long trudge up...

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