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My First Garibaldi Neve Traverse
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.07 - 04:01:26
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges
  (5 days)
Participants: John Baldwin, Wayne Nagata, Steve Grant
Difficulty: 3: Blizzard, whiteout
First impressions of a very special place, during an eventful Neve Traverse.
I had learned to cross country ski in Ontario, and after I moved to BC had progressed to the point where typical trips were Diamond Head and the Microwave Towers in Manning Park. I'd been up to Lake Garibaldi both in the summer and on skis.

One day I was in Sigge's Ski shop, and noticed he'd posted a map on the wall. Marked on it was a route from Diamond Head across to Lake Garibaldi, then past the Microwave Towers and down the road almost to Whistler. He and some friends had just done this long version of the traverse, as a daytrip, on lightweight skis. They seem to have met some BCMC'ers along the way on a multi-day traverse. In those days the BCMC was the exclusive preserve of alpine gear, and the Neve was done as a 4-6 day trip. Sigge referred to them as "monsters". So far as I know, no one has since done the long version of the traverse in a day.

I decided I wanted to do the Neve. I read lots of mountaineering books, including "Freedom of the Hills". I took an Outward Bound Winter Mountaineering course. I took a first aid course. I bought heavier cross country ski equipment. Then it was time to look for a trip.

I went to MEC and asked about it. In 1975, MEC amounted to one room upstairs in a building along 4th Ave in Kitsilano. Steve Brown, who was one of the core people who put MEC together, and who designed the logo, gave me a phone number to call. In those days, it was not odd to do such a thing.

The number was for the VOC. The person who answered the phone happened to be John Baldwin. He said he and another person were about to do the Neve. They were leaving the next day, and I was welcome to join them. Again, that seemed quite normal in those days.

It was quite a scramble, but I got ready in time. John, Wayne Nagata and I drove to Diamond Head,...

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