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Alpha in a day
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.22 - 08:31:29
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 2300m
Participants: David and Ian
Difficulty: 3: A long day.
Alpha is climbed by a newby alpinist and his brother.
I've been trying to convince my brothers to start climbing for the past few years. One is preoccupied with mountain biking, the other (Ian) with river kayaking. Neither Ian or I are kayaking all that aggressively these days and last weekend's high water Whistler Creek Race on the Callaghan River ( didn't appeal to us at all (I competed a number of years back and came dead last - So I jumped on the opportunity and convinced Ian to come climbing. I suggested an alpine climb, and sold the idea to him as "bad ass hike". He bought it.

Alpha East Ridge in the Tantalus range seemed to fit the bill. Ian noticed that Kevin McLean's guide mentions that the route can be climbed in a day from Squamish by a party that is "fit and fast". I tried to explain that climbing guide book authors are chronic sandbaggers, but Ian was too naive to let the notion go. "I'm pretty busy this weekend, let's just do it on Saturday after the party Friday night"... I was nervously considering the pros and cons:


-We are fairly fit, and fast at hiking.

-Crossing the Squamish should be a breeze for us with our river kayaks.

-The weather looked as ideal as possible and made the high potential for a bivi seem palatable.

-I have been climbing before.


-Ian has only ever climbed once or twice in a gym years ago. He had no idea what we were in for.

-Lots of lingering snow could be a show stopper.

So, off we went. Leaving Vancouver at 5am, crossing the Squamish at 6am (the gate over the road was open, and we had no troubles driving to the cable crossing and leaving our truck there). Up at Lake Lovely Water by 8:30 am. At the shoulder of the east...

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