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The Great Tchaikazan - Lillooet Traverse Part 1: Success
Timestamp Free: 2017.11.22 - 02:56:17
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Lillooet Icefield
  (14 days)     Elevation Gain: 6000m
Participants: Helen Habgood, Jim Sibley, Mark Gray, Klaus Haring
Difficulty: 3: Steep skiing, some crevasses, somewhat exposed ridge climbing on foot.
A Ski Traverse from Tchaikazan Glacier to Lillooet River, climbing 10 peaks along the way.
In 1996 the ACC had planned another ski camp in the Manatee Area. We had been there earlier and that year decided to do a private trip, traversing south from Tchaikazan Glacier to Manatee then fly out with the ACC group.

Day 1
Near noon on a sunny day we parked at a wide flat area near Pebble Creek suitable for helicopter landing. Since Jim and Helen had made the arrangement for the whirlybird they had the privilege to be on the first flight and establish our food drop on the Ring Glacier. Less then an hour later Mark and I were winging our more direct way north. After flying up the N fork of Salal Creek the big Bridge icecap came into view. I had memorized my map well enough that I soon recognized Monmouth amongst some clouds. When the col east of Fluted came into view I saw that we would have to fly below the clouds, but the pilot began to circle then pointed down "There they are". I thought "Oh sh.. they were not able to fly through the gap. They were way down the Chapman Glacier. They also seemed to have set up camp on an old pile of avalanche snow below a big steep slope.

When the helicopter had disappeared it turned out that they were blissfully unaware of both facts. We discussed briefly whether we should backpack to the Tchaikasan Glacier, but with the visibility deteriorating with a few snow flurries we were not sure what the steep descent on the other side of the col would be like. So we just moved camp into the middle of the Chapman Glacier.

Later when it cleared again we climbed to the ridge above the Edmonds Glacier for our first view of the route south and had three short ski runs on the gentle north slopes. See photo Transition Peak from North

[photo]tch1.jpg[caption]Skiing down the upper Tchaikasan Glacier below Fluted...

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