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Mount Callaghan from the Squamish River
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.07 - 15:36:20
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1350m
Participants: Jordan Peters, Todd Ponzini
Difficulty: 2: Straightforward ascent on skis
A day trip skiing on Mt. Callaghan, accessed from the Squamish River.
Extended Title: Blank Spaces and the Motorized Wilderness
 They cannot scare me with their empty spaces /   Between stars-on stars where no human race is /   I have it in me so much nearer home / To scare myself with my own desert places. 
  -T. S. Eliot "Desert Places"
"Somewhere up the Squamish River" was Todd's idea. I concurred. Gas prices that are set to eclipse rent as the largest income hole are making "backyard mountaineering" seem quite attractive at the moment. Perhaps if the petrol doesn't back off we will soon see resurged interest in the "locally neglected" peaks around the Indian, Pitt, and Stave Rivers -- though somehow I doubt it.

Adding to the choice of destination was our belief that the Squamish River is beautifully neglected and unde rtraveled, although, admittedly, it is so for good reason. I am continually impressed with the vast, complex remoteness of the Squamish tributaries; it is true Stanley Smith country, ugly and "fast healing" of any industrial ingress. The blank, greasy, jungle fjords and icefields that typify so much of the Coast Mountains for me get their start in the Ashlu-Elaho divide. The deep, clefted glacial valleys of Endurance and Shadow Creeks turn the stomach with something like the combination of reverence and revulsion.

But it looked as if our intended plums, Deserted and Chimai were both tragically off limits due to washed-out roads, and the Dipper Creek approach to the Blanca/Exodus area was both quite bare and quite involved, so we turned our attention to an ascent of Callaghan via the far-rising S branch roads, which are now bizarrely marked with the professionalism of a suburban cul-de-sac. Of course no skier worth his klister would ever dare set foot in the Callahgan Valley for fear of carbon...

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