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Caspar Creek Ski Trip: An Ascent of Mount Duke
Timestamp Free: 2020.05.31 - 13:36:07
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Lillooet Ranges / Joffre Group
Participants: Mike McLure, Chris Wilson, Alistair Nixon, Andrew Rennie
Difficulty: 3: 3rd class rock, some vertical snow climbing, skiing to 40 degrees
A 2-day ski trip up Casper Creek, ascending the NW ridge of Mount Duke.
Mike, Chris, and I arrived at Alistair's place in Pemberton late Tuesday night, grabbed a few hours sleep and headed up the Duffy in the morning. We parked just before the bridge at the standard summer turnoff to Cerise Creek and began skiing up the logging road.
Before too long we took a left and skied up the road on the east side of Casper Creek. This road has plenty of slide alder on it and after a few kilometers becomes a bit of a thrash. So we bashed rightwards into some clearcut which became easier, we also had a track from a group that had been in there recently as well.
We set up a nice camp in the forest below some prominent cliffs on the north side of Mt. Duke's NE sub peak, near a partially frozen stream which acted as an excellent water source.
After setting up camp we skied up to the Vantage-Duke col (2hrs but we were tired), there wasn't a breath of wind and the view of the Joffre group was of course spectacular. We scoped the line on Duke's N face and it looked reasonable even for a novice skier such as myself. Then we had some stellar turns down from the col and we traversed right along the hillside above camp getting as much pow as possible on our way back. We ate some fantastic dinners that Mike and Chris had brought, drank some whisky, watched the full moon come up and hit the sack.
We got going at a reasonable time in the morning, and made it back up to the col in 1.5hrs (around 11 o'clock). Then we began skinning up Mt. Duke's NW ridge which had some variable windblown snow and was a bit exposed but wasn't scary. After that we removed our skis and began to negotiate the 'crux' of the ridge. It's a rock step which is quite visible from the col and below, and as we'd hoped the left leaning snow ramp across it got...
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