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Phelix Creek on Skis: Ski into Brian Waddington Hut
Timestamp Free: 2020.07.06 - 20:31:30
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Cadwallader Range
  (2 days)
Participants: Klaus Haring, Nico Brul, Leoni
Difficulty: 3: Dense tree skiing
A weekend trip in deteriorating weather.
Last weekend I was leading an ACC trip. Interest was low, in spite of some clear weather towards the end of the week. I had the usual problem of lack of transportation. After putting one person on a waiting list and a cancellation I had only two passengers with skis and packs inside my Suzuki Sidekick, a full load. Driving up Blackwater road it soon became apparent that this approach is suitable for 2WD. The first 2km were bare, then smooth ice and compact snow, a generous 2 lanes wide on gentle grades. The road was plowed to a few 100m beyond the 11km marker, that is 13 km from the highway. The Phelix Cr. junction is at the 12km marker just beyond the bridge. The yellow km markers appear to be measured from the Blackwater Cr. bridge.

There is at least 1/2 m snow at the start of the road, becoming more higher up. From the car it took us a little over 3 hours to the end. All day long it had been overcast with the sun only a fuzzy ball of light that gave no heat or shadow, now it began to snow lightly and continued all weekend. In spite of all the snow there was quite a bit of alder showing. We first stayed in the flat valley bottom which was quite uneven with many well covered dead falls. When the valley steepened we soon were forced to steep sidehilling in very dense forest, short, steep switchbacks alternating with level sections and even small drops. It was tough going and difficult route finding, any flagging we saw soon disappeared. On the road we had followed old ski tracks, but they headed up the alder slope where we traversed to the creek bed and we never met them again. The hut register showed no entry for 2006. On the final steep slope below the lake the boulders were capped by huge snow mushrooms, it looked like an icefall. It was tricky finding a way and...

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