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Mount Sproatt Loop down Hanging Valley
Timestamp Free: 2020.03.28 - 09:16:42
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1200m
Participants: Betsy Waddington, Robin Tivy, Steve Grant, Darlene Anderson, Greg Stoltmann, Matthias Jakob, Dave Williams, Pascal Williams, Laurnet Mingo, Kira, Owen, Matt.
Difficulty: 3: Very Steep slopes in the big trees, usually challenging frozen snow
From Rainbow lake trail, over mount Sproatt and down the hanging valley to the west. Interesting but strenuous loop for days when avalanche conditions are bad.
Sproatt is a trip I've done almost every year, usually when avalanche conditions are bad. Normally we go up and back the same way, but this year due to fast travel on the frozen snow we had time to descend via the hanging valley to the west. This year there were 12 of us, with 6 in Mattius's Toyota diesel right hand drive van, and the others in two other cars.

There was the usual delay on the highway as we approached Whistler. When we got to the usual starting point at the Whistler cemetery, we could see that the short road up to the water treatment plant was plowed, so we drove a bit higher and parked.

We put on our skis and went up the standard route along the Rainbow Lake trail, leaving that trail at the usual place to climb directly to Sproatt via the big trees on it's north slopes. As you may know, there is a lower and upper section of the climb, with a relatively level shelf in the middle at about 1340m. From the middle shelf we turned 90 degrees northwest and went much further out to the west, getting right onto the ridge which overlooks the lower part of the Hanging valley. (50.138620,-123.019914 at 1420m). I had been this way once before. (You can compare various track logs from different trips by going to Mount Sproatt page and selecting all the trip tracks within 1 km of Sproatt using GMap Form)

It worked out to be pretty good route. There was nowhere on the route where we had to take off skis. As usual, the others were ahead of me, so I was mostly daydreaming on my own, and counting 40 steps then rest for the usual long climb. Now I was up in the alpine and winding around the various bumps on the ridge. There was a maze of illegal snowmobile tracks at one point. Finally I reached the summit itself, and saw for the first time the huge communications...

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