Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Garibaldi Névé Traverse

So, this is the first real thing I've put here... and appropriately it's quite a thing. At the weekend, Paul, Dan and I did the Garibaldi Névé Traverse on skis. This trip has apparently been on Paul's list of things to do since he arrived in Canada, which must be about 5 years ago by now. The trip is near Squamish... somewhere we end up quite a bit for biking and skiing. We dropped one car at the north end of the route, then drove back down to Elfin Lakes (where we skied with Jasmin before Christmas). Being rather late on Friday evening the road had frozen and we needed to break out Paul's never-used tire chains to get ourselves up to the top. That was the first time we were glad to be well prepared that weekend. We skied up to the Elfin Lakes hut in the dark, under a full moon, which was beautiful and eerie. More eerie was that the hut, which sleeps at least 40 people was totally empty when we got there. We made the most of the peace and quiet and got some sleep before the early start on Saturday.

Saturday morning came, we packed up and set out for the long (about 18km) traverse over the ice field to Garabaldi Lake. As we climbed up the visibility got worse, and eventually ended up being really no good at all.

At this point we were relying totally on my GPS to navigate, which was the second time on this trip we were glad to have appropriate equipment. Once we got near the point we knew we would need to turn and ski down the glacier, through an area with large crevasses, we stopped. We sat and contemplated turning around as it was just too dicey to try and descend with no visibility... but thought it would be best to have lunch before doing anything rash. Then this happened:

I couldn't believe our luck. The weather cleared and we had beautiful blue skies and sunshine. We descended the glacier (you might just make out or tracks in the photo below) and made our way along to Garibaldi Lake and the Sphinx Hut.

The Sphinx hut is a different thing to the Elfin lakes hut, a little triangularish cabin almost buried with snow by the lake. It was comfortable though, even with quite a few people crammed in... and warm. On Sunday the sun shone again as we skied across the lake and down the long, long, long, winding, long, and long trail back to the valley bottom.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

In with the new

Here it is, a new thing. It's quite like the old thing, which is where all the news from 2004 up the beginning of 2008 can be found.