Friday, June 24, 2011

Spring sprung on Mt Athelstan!


With only two days left before summer it was time for one last spring corn session. The weather this spring has been anything but cooperative to enjoy the usual views of the bigness of the Upper Lillooet. We left Vancouver Saturday night at 5:00pm and found ourselves setting up camp before sunset on the lower slopes of Mt. Athelstan near Pemberton. The weather looked promising as the evening progressed. 

                       




It was good to catch up with Jack, Dave and Zdenek over some fire cooked dogs and beverages.

 
With the massive ascent in front of us we got an early 5:00am start out of the tents and were on our way through the typical cut-block spring thrash.


   

After a few hours we found ourselves emerging from the forest and just below the ominous clouds that loomed above.


The upper slopes of Athelstan are covered in pumice from the ancient volcanic history of the area.

 
And then we entered the ultra thick cloud cover.

 
We got peaks through the occasional sucker hole.  


This is what the view should have looked like. This shot was taken a year and 2 weeks earlier.

 
We decided it was too thick to summit so we stopped 300m before the top. Not sure what's going on here but it looks intimate.


And we dropped in and "felt" our way down.

 
We eventually got below the ceiling and found the 4600ft avalanche path that led to the truck. Great views of the Lillooet ice-field opened up.

   
     
This couloir turned out to be great and just kept going!


We finally skied it out right to it's end over a few gaping holes into the creek and right to the spring wild flowers.

   
Only 5 minutes in the alder and we landed at the truck for some pops!

 

We'll be back!

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