The first time I planned to climb James Turner was as a side trip from our trip titled The Great Garibaldi Park Traverse - Part 1, but when we couldn't find a campsite in the bush and swamp around Billy Goat Lake and had to bushwhack a couple km further to below the Shudder Glacier it seemed too far away. A cloudy morning discouraged us further and we decided to save the "Rest Day" for later and a good thing, we needed it badly to complete our grueling trek on schedule.
The 2nd time was as a ski tour. I skied through the Blackcomb Decker col, down upper Wedge Creek to Wedge Pass and camped at Billy Goat Lake. One advantage of a ski trip is you can set up your tent almost anywhere on the snow where bush and swamp might make it impossible in summer. The next morning I headed up the valley to James Turner. When I rounded the south ridge I found a very steep snow slope, too steep to climb on skis leading to the summit. There were a few rocks poking out. Too few to use as stepping stones and too many as not to pinball in case of a slip. I climbed to the first rock. It looked too dangerous without iceax and crampons. The snow was too hard to kick secure steps and a dull overcast filtered any warmth from the sun and gave no hope of it softening up soon.
In the afternoon I moved my camp to the flats below the Decker Glacier and climbed The Spearhead from the south as a consolation price. I remember one strange incident from that last night. I was woken by the sound of footsteps breaking through crusty snow. I could see nothing in... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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