Ben leads us due W away from the hut until we can make an ascending traverse NW without losing any elevation. Soon we're standing at the base of the headwall below the Baker - Tilley Col. I offer to lead as trail must be broken and immediately regret the decision. Rockies' snow means variety; every 6 feet you transition from powder to ice to wind slabs then start again. We crawl up a subsidiary ridge towards the E face of Mt. Baker then swing N to reach the icy col. Time is about 2 hours from the hut. Turning towards Baker (our initial objective) we see an icy face leading to a narrow corniced ridge leading to a peak lost in cloud. Turning towards Tilley we see a sunny peak that is nothing more than a hike. It's a pretty easy decision. Although possible to ski the S face of Tilley, we'd heard from another party in the hut of instabilities the day previous on S facing terrain. We leave the skis, rope, and packs at the col and bootpack up to the summit where somehow there is an old metal barrel that stands as the cairn.
With the Wapta Icefield spread out below us we feel like the small creatures in the vast universe that we are. Back at the skis, there is... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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