January 10, 2011

Illecillewaet Redux

Being invested in the uptrack somehow made the return to Illecillewaet more appealing than the dozens of other Rogers Pass options documented in the official guide.  Thanks to Gordon and friends leading me there, having some knowledge of an area is good when travelling solo.  Greeted with clear skies and low temperatures, yours truly trudged up Illecillewaet with frozen eyelashes and a little worry. 

Mt. Sir Donald's Morning Plumes
Worrying about the plumes blowing off Mt Sir Donald.  Would the windchill be tolerable?  Would yesterday's smokey fluff be transformed by the wind into deadly unstable slabs?  Would the wind render the fluff into breakable crust?  The positive answer to all the worrisome questions was:  no.

Later in the Day:  Clear and Calm
Following the same track as yesterday, but with much better visibility, I reached Lookout Col early enough to make a few laps up high before descending the Great Glacier Trail.  Yesterday's trailbreaking didn't go to waste (thanks, Ken & Gord!), though a few spots were totally blown in. 

Lookout Mountain, Rogers Pass, BC
The difference in comfort between the shade and sun was amazing.  The shade was just tolerable, and the sunny side seemed balmy.  Needed sunglasses, even in early January.

The scale of Rogers Pass is immense.  I saw three other skiers on the uptrack, but they diverged and crossed the basin to ascend the Illecillewaet Glacier.  Their tracks are barely visible on the 'calm' photo of Mt. Sir Donald, above.  It was a 2-hour trip for the 3 young men to make their way across the basin.

Mt Sir Donald towered 3000 ft plus above my high point for the day.

Vantage of Grizzly Mtn, Shoulder, Teddy Bear Trees, & Glacier Park Lodge

Lookout Col backside down to Alsukan Trail was tempting, maybe next trip.

1 comment:

Dante said...

What an amazing trip Jack. I'm real jealous!