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The Mount Davidson 'Day Trip'
Timestamp Free: 2020.01.23 - 16:47:27
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges
  (2 days)
Participants: Sandy Briggs, Don Berryman, John Pratt
Difficulty: 5: strenuous and maybe with short bits of low class 5. some rappelling
A climb of Mount Davidson from Panorama ridge. It was intended to be a day trip, but after 20 hours, a bivouac was necessary on the return.
First published in CAJ 66 1983 as "Two Miles and a Half"

An ascent of Mt. Davidson (east of Garibaldi Lake) from Rubble Creek car park via Panorama Ridge, Gentian Peak, and Castle Towers.

"...there is no quality in this world," wrote Herman Melville, "that is not what it is merely by contrast." That is what I was thinking, or at least feeling, as I stretched out prone on the soft green carpet in Gentian Pass that morning and allowed the sun's arrows of warmth to pierce my back. Then I ceased thinking, passed through a phase of genuine relaxation, and sank into the restorative sleep that only fatigue can bring. A short time before I had been crouching with Don Berryman and John Pratt under a boulder high to the east, staring into the darkness and listening to the patter of "zero percent chance of precipitation" as it greased the lichen-covered rocks on the slopes around the "Castle Towers Hilton".

Some weeks earlier, in one of our not infrequent attacks of megalomania, the idea arose that it might just be possible to climb Mt. Davidson from the highway and return in a day. No one took the trouble to check the distance or the cumulative elevation gain involved, with the result that the idea did not go away. Indeed, the prospect of bouncing over Panorama Ridge, Gentian Peak, and Castle Towers along the way was actually contemplated with pleasure. The 'Davidson Day Trip' had been born!

Three-thirty in the morning on 10 July 1982 found us padding up the Black Tusk trail in sneakers, our boots stuffed on top of our packs and our bobbing head lamps creating weird silhouettes among the trees. As we passed through the upper meadows the bright moon faded, the sky turned blue, and the spring snow pack forced boots and running shoes to trade places. That was a...

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