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Tenquille-Owl Ski Traverse
Timestamp Free: 2019.06.27 - 05:35:44
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (6 days)
Participants: Betsy Waddington, Robin Tivy, Doug Brown, Sandy McGuinness, Marvin Lloyd
Difficulty: 3: Route finding challenges due to 1:50K maps not being accurate.
A surprisingly challenging ski traverse due to steep frozen slopes in mornings, and deep mushy snow with avalanche hazard in afternoon. Route finding challenges every day.
Summary: The Owl-Tenquille traverse can be done either north to south or vice versa. Furthermore, at the north end there are several variations possible. All north end routes go through Tenquille lake. But you can get to that lake either from the Hurley road to the west, or Tenquille creek to the east, or from Railroad pass and north of Goat mountain and around.

On May 20, 2009 we had attempted the longer variation, starting from the Railroad pass road and passing north of Goat Mountain to reach Tenquille Lake. However on that trip we only reached Tenquille lake due to a broken ski. See The Broken Ski Tour: Railroad Pass to Tenquille Lake. So for the current trip (2019) we planned to resume the traverse at Tenquille lake and go south. To get to Tenquille lake in May we figured the shortest was to use the "Branch 12 summer trail".

The route through the mountains features many possible variations. Due to snow conditions, we made many decisions while on the trip itself, which I will outline in this report.

Day 1 - Car Shuttle, then ski to Mowich Creek
Under sunny skies, four of us started from Vancouver at 7:00 in my Suzuki Grand Vitara and met our 5th member, Marvin Lloyd, in Pemberton at 9:00 AM. Marvin was driving a giant Dodge RAM 3500. We drove both vehicles to the beginning of the Owl Creek road, then unloaded all the packs and extra people so as to have the cars as light as possible up the steep Owl Creek road. There were about a dozen waterbars. Normally I take waterbars at an angle, but on several of them my Suzuki was spinning one wheel and I needed to back down and make a second attempt. We reached the 3000 foot contour (900m) before being stopped by snow. Here there was ample parking and we left the Suzuki.

We then drove back...

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