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North Powell Divide Traverse
Timestamp Free: 2017.10.17 - 16:08:15
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Powell Divide
  (15 days)
Participants:
John Baldwin, Linda Bily, Lisa Baile and Peter Pare Some steep route finding.
Mountaineering traverse across ridgetops south from Toba Inlet to Eldred River along the sin Toba-Powell divide.
Editors Note: This article is one of a series of articles introduced by John Baldwin in Great Skyline Traverses of the Coast Mountains. Note that this "north Powell Divide" is a completely different traverse from the "South Powell Divide." .
 Length: 70km, Elevation Gain: 6700m
 John Clarke, 1984, CAJ 1985 p28; 1985, CAJ 1986 p57
 John Baldwin, Linda Bily, Lisa Baile and Peter Pare, 2005
 References: CAJ 1990 p58; CAJ 1999 p104; Guide to Climbing & Hiking in SW BC, Bruce Fairley p124;

A beautiful narrow divide with incredible sweeps of granite both in the alpine and in the surrounding valleys. This is one of the few long skyline traverses that doesn't involve any significant glacier travel. Highlights include views of Toba Inlet from the shoulder NW of Julian Peak, Mt Alfred and numerous tarns. This is a good trip for a low snow year.

The recommended route follows the sinuous divides west of the Little Toba and Skwawka Rivers from Toba Inlet S past Mt Alfred to Emma Lake. Logging roads out of Toba Inlet are very overgrown and a helicopter drop off NW of Julian Peak is suggested. Most of the route is reasonably straightforward, except for two sections. A steep step on the divide 5km SE of Julian Peak (and immediately above the lake at 4072ft) is avoided by descending diagonally across S facing slabs from the 5800ft col at GR110857 to the 5000ft col 1km to the E.

The second difficulty is a major discontinuity S of Peak 6520ft. John Clarke was able to get down this via a difficult diagonal ledge 1km SE of the summit. This past summer our party found an easier detour descending slabs from the col with Pk 5941ft. The crux is near GR170720 where easy bushy ledges can be found across the strong diagonal slanting slabs.

John Clarke's trip in...

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