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Going Back for Gold - Traverse in the Gold Range
Timestamp Free: 2019.09.20 - 12:39:30
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Monashee Mountains / Gold Range
  (9 days)
Participants: Axel Betz, Dave Jack, Delia Roberts, Doug Brown, Jane Weller, René LeBel, Sacha Kalabis, Sandra McGuinness, Marvin Lloyd. Moderate snow, easy glacial blue ice, and rock up to 5.7.
This is the story of the 2006 KMC Climbing Camp. We flew into a camp on the south side of Gates Peak, climbed Kelly, Gates 1,2, and 3, Hughes and Cranberry and traversed north to Avalanche Lake.
It started in the usual way. Last minute jitters and worries about all manner of organizational and logistical camp items were interrupted by the whap-whap-whap of our approaching chopper. In a flash, the whole crew was whisked up to a beautiful camp amongst slabs and lakes at 6600 feet on the south side of Gates Peak in the Gold Range. Also as usual, all my worries were for naught: camp was beautiful, the climbing looked grand, and everyone was happy to be there. The 2006 KMC Climbing Camp was underway.

In 2003, the KMC climbing "camp" was a traverse of the southern Gold Range from Mt Odin to Margie Lake. see Striking It Rich in the Gold Range. Also (CAJ 87:101). This year we went back for more of the same fun, traversing north from Mt Kelly to Cranberry Mountain. I had initially planned to start camp off by flying into a location in the Kelly-Niflheim cirque known as the "Rock Garden". After announcing this in the KMC newsletter, Earle Whipple kindly wrote to me to tell me my plan was daft because the slide alder guarding the exit from the cirque is evil, vile, and not fit for human passage (he was more polite than that, but I got the message). Upper Thor Creek is a rarely visited place, and consequently I found it very difficult to get any recent condition reports. Nelson-based guide Dave Smith summed it up best when he referred to the "dark rumours" about the bush up Thor Creek. At the camp planning meeting, the crew voted to skip the bush (and thus an attempt on the north ridge of Niflheim) and fly into the alpine.

Day 1
Saturday July 22, saw us flying into our first camp between the two large lakes on the south side of Gates. It was sunny and the temperature was incredibly warm ... which pretty much set the tone for the next 9 days....

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