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Sky Pilot (Squamish to Britannia on foot)
Timestamp Free: 2018.08.17 - 09:10:23
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (2 days)     Elevation Gain: 2000m
Participants: Dave van Zeyl, Matthieu Sturzenegger
Difficulty: 3: Thick bush from Utopia Lake passed Parklane Lake.
Squamish to Britannia Beach foot traverse, via Sky Pilot West and South Ridge routes, Utopia and Park Lane Lakes. Photo essay on Jane basin landslide.
Being the impoverished students that we are, our idea was to climb Sky Pilot by approaching on foot from the Apron parking lot. Because we took the Greyhound from Vancouver, not having a parked car meant no need to back-track. This let us exit via the Britannia basin, a watershed with a stunning history, including a rock slide at Jane basin (22 March 1915, taking 56 lives), an outburst flood on Britannia Creek (28 October 1921, taking 29 lives), and 70 years of mining activity.
 In hindsight, the foot approach to Sky Pilot was easier than we envisioned, but we suggest looking into either a slight-routing variation or a complete alternative to our exit via Utopia and Parklane Lakes, unless you're carrying a 5-horse brush saw.

On Saturday, we took the 3 pm Greyhound from Vancouver, and at 4:30 pm we started walking the Mamquam River Main from the Apron parking lot. At 5:15 pm, we crossed the gate, followed Stawamus-Indian Main, and took a right onto Shannon Creek Road (likely not suitable for low clearance 4WD). We arrived at the Habrich spur at 7:30 pm. Since we had a couple more hours of daylight, we decided to flee the bugs and bivy just above tree line, in a breezy trough below Sky Pilot. The Habrich spur and trail to Sky Pilot are well marked, but parts of the Habrich spur are overgrown.
 Sunday, we left the bivy at 6:40 am, after jerry-rigging some toast and a couple first-rate cups of coffee. We ascended snow slopes to the west ridge, and then scrambled along the well-marked normal route, reaching the summit at 9 am. We took our time enjoying the magnificent view and the mild temperature for 1.5 hours.
 We back-tracked along the west ridge, descended the south ridge route, then glissaded down snow and scree at the south foot of Sky Pilot, in order to...

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