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Backbone of Garibaldi Park: McBride Ski Traverse
Timestamp Free: 2020.07.10 - 20:21:13
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges
  (8 days)     Elevation Gain: 6976m
Participants: Betsy Waddington, Robin Tivy, Doug Brown, Sandra McGuinness
Difficulty: 3: Steep dangerous contouring above cliffs, avalanche danger, cornices, difficult route finding
South to North ski traverse from Diamond Head to Whistler. Details of tricky sections. See also Route Description
The McBride Range is the backbone of Garibaldi Park dividing the three major watersheds of Garibaldi park: Cheakamus, Pitt, and Lillooet River. There is no quick way to reach the McBride Range. Although there are several trip reports already written concerning this range, which we re-read every night, I think there's still lots to be said. There are lots of critical sections of the route, that take more than one or two words to summarize. So here is an attempt at a useful report that you can print out and take with you as you explore this fabulous country.

The traverse took us 8 demanding days, without a full rest day. Like any route, it could be done faster if one really knew the route in advance, and had exactly the right equipment, and had good weather. But there are numerous legendary Mcbride traverses that took longer than 8 days, so I wouldn't recommend planning on much less.

Day 1 Thursday May 11 - Diamond Head to Gargoyles
On May 11, we met Doug and Sandra at 7:30 AM at the church parking lot in North Vancouver, then drove both their Nissan and our Subaru up to Whistler. Here we left our Subaru in the Singing Pass Parking area and then drove their Nissan back down the highway to the Diamond Head parking lot.

To find the Singing Pass parking area, here are instructions. From the highway, turn right (east) on the main road into the village (Village Gate Blvd), then left (north) on Blackcomb way, and right into the gravel parking lot. Then follow signs directing you left to "Singing Pass parking". Where you park there is a sign saying "Overnight Parking for Singing Pass Permitted in this Area Only".

We finally got started from Diamond Head at about 11:00 AM. There was a band of snow on the trail right to the parking lot, so we could start...

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