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McBride Range Direct
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.12 - 01:27:31
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges
  (3 days)     Elevation Gain: 1800m
Participants: Klaus Haring
Difficulty: 3: Glacier skiing, route finding, river ford may be difficult
A weekend foray from Cheakamus Lake directly to Drop Pass and climb of Fake Peak on the Forger Glacier, then back the same way.
When I read Jordan Peters report the title "Alternate Route to Whistler... " confused me at first, I thought it was about a different approach to this range. But it reminded me of my own traverse and exploration of this area in 1991. How time flies... I did the trip with Lisa Baile and Peter Pare and we approached via Garibaldi Lk and the Sentinel Gl., down into the Pitt R. south of the Sphinx, then up to the Isosceles -Luxor col and down to another tributary of the Pitt. Then we followed the normal route to Sir Richard and exited via the Fitzsimmons valley because of poor weather. See McBride Range Ski Traverse Remembered

But this story is of a trip 2 weeks later. At our camp in Drop Pass, the day of the arctic gale, although it had been cloudless, I wondered whether we might have to exit via Cheakamus Lk if we were pinned down by a bad storm and wondered what it would have been like. In the stormy weeks that followed the thought kept coming back into my mind. So when a good weekend approached and I had Friday off I decided to check it out by myself.

I started very early and drove to the Cheakamus Lk road which was bare but blocked by an old rockhard snowbank plowed across the start. There was only one thing to do, start walking. Soon I could put on skis and skins and I left them on for the icy up and down trail to the lake.

The ice seemed safe, frozen rock hard, frost still sparkling on it from a cold night. I took off my skins and shot out onto the lake. Doublepoling and skating alternately I cruised almost the whole length in barely 20 min. But near the SE end I found a continuos moat of open water. The bank was bare and steep, so the water was too deep to get off the ice. I wondered how far I would have to go back. Finally at the very end there...

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