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Connecting the Dots - Spearhead Traverse
Timestamp Free: 2019.11.18 - 19:46:56
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges / Spearhead Range
Participants: Marie d'Anglemont; Fred Touche
Difficulty: 3: Ski traverse.
The Spearhead Traverse involves crossing about a dozen glaciers and high passes. We traversed in a counterclockwise direction.
Armed with John Baldwin's new high-tech map, we set off on this famous ski traverse around the headwaters of Fitzsimmons creek. This creek, by the way, runs right through Whistler Village. The traverse is seldom done in the summer, but we figured this year's record snow-pack would simulate spring conditions in July. Our difficulties started right from the base of the Whistler chair lift; some official-looking construction worker wouldn't let us drive up the road to the Singing Pass trailhead. He claimed that the road was impassable, and besides, the trail was closed. This meant that we had to lug our packs and skis right from the village parking lot to the trailhead. Arriving at the trailhead, we encountered a sign informing us that the trail was closed. We casually ignored the sign and started hiking on the trail that seemed to be in excellent condition.
We eventually discovered that the runoff from the record snowfall had destroyed several footbridges spanning the creeks that cascade down from the Musical summits. Worse, many trees had been pushed over by the snow, making portions of the trail resemble a bushwhack. At one particularly fast-flowing creek, we used a logjam to bypass a demolished bridge. Crossing the slimy logs was, in my opinion, the most daring part of the whole trip; slipping off one of these logs would mean being swept down a 45-degree body of flowing water. Amazingly, Marie crossed the logs without any outward signs of concern, although she let me shuttle her pack and skis.
About a kilometer before reaching Singing Pass, we were able to strap on our skis, and after a few hours reached the ridge overlooking Russet Lake and the Himmelsbach Hut. After a late lunch break, we skirted around the south side of Fissile Peak. This is when I first...
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