The Great Divide Ski Traverse (ish) – The Central Rockies

From Fortress we began the Central Rockies Traverse. It really had a mixture of everything. Here are some more pics.

 

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This part was fun along the Wood River. Really. So much Fun. We loved traversing steep slopes for kilometers with little snow through thick bush. We needed a chain saw gosh darn it!

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Going up Clemenceau Creek. This was another unpleasant part -the moraine below the Clemenceau Icefield. It had little snow, and there was lots of mud. It was also hot. We had to carry our skis in many places, and we also got covered in mud. Yuck!

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Camping below Mt. Clemeceau with Tusk in the background. This was our favorite camp. The view was just tremendous! Tusk is such an amazing peak. So amazing, Liam may even consider going along the Wood River again to try and climb it…maybe. There would have to be lots of candy on the trip for him to make it…

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The morning we try for the summit of Clemenceau. It was blue bird. Tusk is on the left.

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Navigating through the crevasses on Clemenceau in the morning light. It was a maze!

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Liam and Ben on the Summit of Clemenceau (3658 m)- the fourth highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

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Liam on top of the world. The view was completely 360 – no peak got in the way. 🙂

 

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Jake and Ben descending through some crevasse mazes on the way back to camp.

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This is taken the day after Clemenceau – on our way to Apex Mountain. Mount Tsar is on the far left. Tusk is the dark one on the right side.

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On the Summit of Apex Mountain. Mt. Clemenceau is on the far left.

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Skiing to the Chaba Icefield early in the morning.

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Skiing towards Chaba Peak, on the right.

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On the way up Chaba Peak – Jake’s binding broke…causing a whirl wind of trouble. Thus Jake and Liam would have to come out at the Columbia  Icefields to pick up a spare set of skis. Sigh. At least there was a buffet at the Icefields…Score! And free relish packages…:)

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The summit ridge on Chaba.

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Jake managed to “fix” the binding, at least to the Icefields Center with wire. Looks pretty good Jake!

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Rappelling down Chaba Col – one of the crux’s on the trip.

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The Columbia Bypass. We went above the cliffs to the Columbia Icefield. This was a difficult section – very crevassed and steep slopes. This was also the hottest day. We all got hot and very bothered.

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Going up the bypass with Mount King Edward in the background.

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Digging out the cache on the Columbia! It was deep! More than one Liam (and Meghan) in depth! 🙂

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We tried to go up Mt. Columbia in the morning. But soon the mountains became shrouded in clouds…after this picture was taken it soon became a whiteout and we had to navigate by compass and GPS to the road.

And once again – stay tuned for the third section: The Southern Rockies.

 

 

The Great Divide Ski Traverse (ish) – The Northern Rockies

At 5:33PM on June 3rd, two figures emerged from the woods. They wore ski boots and carried skis on their backs. They ignored the blooming flowers and budding leaves. After awhile they paused at the “Welcome to Lake Louise” sign. They smiled, slapped hands, and snapped a few pictures. Then they bolted to the hostel for beer, food, and comfort. They had only one thought of concern – the ski boots. Eventually they would have to come off…and the smell could very well close the hostel for health and safety concerns.

 

Huzzah! We made it to Lake Louise! Finally! It sure has been an adventure thus far folks! Over the next day or so, we will write a few posts. Here are some pictures of the last 40 days – over 400km on snow/ice/road/trail/and bush. For simplicity, we split the traverse into three parts: North, Central, and Southern. Here is the Northern section first.

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Liam leaving his DoorStep on April 25th

 

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This was Liam on April 25th. At least, him and his “burden” (aka Gestapo The Backpack). His pack was 92 pounds. He started to have second thoughts…and almost retreated back to his home where he could over indulge in tea and baths.  Damn Mexico!

 

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And this was Jake. His pack was 105 pounds. Maybe he should have taken that office job…it would have been air conditioned. And came with cookies during coffee breaks.

 

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On Jake’s DoorStep.

 

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Liam against Gestapo and Gravity. Take One.

 

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Take Two.

 

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Take Three. Success!

 

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The four of us at the start. Meghan, Liam, Ben, and Jake. Little did they know what adventure had in store for them…

 

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Having Creme Broule at Wates Gibson Hut in the Tonquin. Thank You Meghan!

 

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The Hooker Icefield. Our Road.

 

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The gravel flats by Scott Glacier. This area receives little snow and loses it quickly. It was also hot. Hot hot!

 

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Camped below the Hooker as the storm moved in.

 

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5 Days Later…

 

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Finally on the Hooker! Descending to Camp.

 

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Camping on the Hooker.

 

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Selfie. Most days Jake got a nosebleed. Whatever from remains a mystery…Liam and his110 SPF sunscreen. The greatest thing invented since Fire and Sliced Bread.

 

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Packing up Camp. And looking towards the Clemenceau Icefield.

 

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Looking towards Fortress Lake and our wonderful/delish food cache

 

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Digging out the Food Cache at Fortress. It was hard. The snow had turned to Ice…Oh well. At least it was still there. 🙂

 

And so concludes the Northern Rockies part of the Great Divide Ski Traverse. Stay Tuned for more!