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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    8,632

    Cambria Icefield

    Some stoke that will get lost in the sea of useless drivel that is this board lately.

    Tyler and Gav got the idea from Sharon and I to head to Stewart and check out the Cambria Icefield as a warmup for Alaska. Our old trip is here.

    Here's their trip. I'm still kicking myself in the balls for not going.

    Quote Originally Posted by wilkez View Post
    So the RV dirtbag splitboard crew had been hanging out in Terrace at Shames ski hill while waiting for the weather window to get up there. The weather had warmed up and socked in for almost a week and we were getting pretty low on stoke to go riding, knowing that all we wanted was some high alpine big lines. To find some better snow, we decided to head north to find some riding near Stewart, BC.

    The Cambria Icefield, near Stewart, is the coast mountains equivalent to the Columbia Icelfield; the bear glacier drains right down to the highway of bear pass at 400m. Bear pass is known as one of the most dangerous pass in Canada for avalanches with regular class 4 slides that bury the highway upto 21m deep that can close the it for days. Lots of mature timber was snapped like twigs this year down on the highway by huge slides. If you haven't seen this place for ski touring or sledding, you need to go. The terrain is HUGE!

    DAY 1

    View of overhanging glaciers from the Highway:


    Glacial Ice in the avi debris right on the highway. We scavenged some in the RV for some drinking water one night. Delicious


    Year round avi danger....this place is rowdy


    So we got our window and packed our gear for about 5 days hoping the weather would hold.The 12km bear Glacier starts at 400m and rises up through numerous slides paths and icefalls to meet the Cambria icefield at 1800m.
    Getting ready for a big carry up the Bear GI. What a slog


    View of Bear GI and Mt Cambria 2377m from the highway


    Some big slots on the Bear Glacier...




    The initial climb took us 6 hours and we were lucky to have a gps track to go off from our friends Lee and Sharon.
    Me probing the flat spot at top of bear GI at 1750m where we set up camp. Todd GI viewable across the valley


    By the time we were set up it was almost dark and time to build a quick kitchen, then hunker down for a cold night,temps where in the region of -15 to -20c at the night the 4 days we were there. Miserable sleeps every night!!

    DAY 2

    Next day it was time to tackle the beast that is the North face of Mt. Cambria, right above our camp.


    We skinned up onto the main icefield and then around the south face where we started to bootpack,camp is a speck in the distance now...


    View from top of Cambria across the Cambria Icefield to Mt. Otter 2650m-

    View down the 600m North face of Cambria, 60+ degrees at the top, mellowing to 55 and 50 at the bottom. It took us awhile to pump ourselves up to drop in on this thing...the biggest line of our lives. The snow was perfect and things were stable, but we knew this thing would sluff hard and it would be a steep, out of control run. After almost an hour of eating lunch and throwing blocks down to check the sluff, we were ready to rip it.


    I dropped in first and we both had to pick our way down the first section before it opened up,but we bagged it and were pretty stoked! It felt like forever, but it was one quick ride to the bottom. See the video for some action!


    The mighty north face of cambria viewed from Disraeli the next day. This thing is the crown jewel of the cambria icefield and we were pretty lucky to show up when it was in all-time conditions. Definitely the most committing line of our lives


    DAY 3
    We headed west across the top of Bear GI to Disraeli peak (2250m) to have a look at the NE face as it seemed (from camp) to have a nice pitch that looked ripable.


    Ohhh yeah it was primed and in the sun too. This one looked more mellow than Cambria because it was more open, but standing atop a 55 degree face with a shrund at the bottom is still unnerving...


    This was a fun face with more great snow. Although we were both scared at the top, once you drop in and start shredding nothing else seems to matter.


    It was so good we headed up for another lap. All time.

    Climbing through the rime at the top made for a few tense moments


    Heading back to camp with the stoke high. Success again!


    DAY 4
    After 2 big times faces conquored near camp, we decided to head up the icefield further and explore for possibly a more mellow run.


    An hour into our walk, we spotted this beauty near Mt. Otter and decided it needed to be slayed. Some unnamed peak 2438m, just to the north of Mt Otter, with a really nice SE face. So much for a mellow climb/run...




    This was a harder climb with a mandatory belay over the shrund. The top of the climb involved some wallowing in facets due to a poor route choice, but we made it. Yet another stunning view of Otter to the south:


    Gavan ready to Drop


    More blower pow...Steep Faces...In the sun...Coast Mountains...Pure awesome


    All-time drop in


    Claimed!


    Then a light glacier skip on the way back to camp


    And a long video (hopefully worth the watch) of some of the action. Definitely some of the best footage we have ever put together!



    We nailed this trip for weather/snow, I cannot possibly imagine better conditions for this place (except for the frigid cold sleeps). We are back in Terrace for a few more days at Shames before we head off on the ferry to Haines, AK on tuesday. Then we have 3.5 weeks worth of time to get out and base camp in Glacier National Park, so more pics/videos to come in May.
    Last edited by LeeLau; 03-22-2012 at 10:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    7,170
    no glocks? pffft....

    Seriously, that's an insane trip. Way to slay it!
    Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature... Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. -Helen Keller

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Vancouver/Whistler
    Posts
    8,632
    No glocks. No cutting liftlines. No Altards. Meh - I should delete this shit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Juxtaposition
    Posts
    4,803
    I'm guessing that is a long way from help?

    I can only imagine how much the photographer's heart was soaring at this time. There is nothing like snow on mountains and self determined adventure and exploration.

    Life is not lift served.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    in a van down by the river
    Posts
    2,594
    Hey Lee we can take turns kicking each other in the nuts... I'll start.
    I don't work and I don't save, desperate women pay my way.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Stabbotsford, BC
    Posts
    366
    FKNA!!! Best stoke I've seen on here lately! Right on, keep it up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    93108
    Posts
    2,223
    Very awesome

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    20 steps from the hot tub
    Posts
    3,506
    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    Some stoke that will get lost in the sea of useless drivel that is this board lately...
    The world is filled with mediocrity, TGR is no different. But don't give up, there are mags who do appreciate this stuff.
    "Good girls go to heaven. Bad ones go to hell. And girls on fast bikes go anywhere they want." Elena

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    8,836
    Maybe no glocks, but I'm blown away... awesome TR!
    Screw the net, Surf the backcountry!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Hugh's Mom's House
    Posts
    10,711
    Don't stop.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    3,375
    THAT is pure stoke right there.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    B.C.
    Posts
    210
    So epic. That video was awesome. Must do a trip like this some time.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    10,028
    Gott damn !!!!! Thanks for the post.
    "You damn colonials and your herds of tax write off dressage ponies". PNWBrit

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    700
    Spectacular. Thanks for the stoke.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    blissful ignorance
    Posts
    494
    all time, FKNA!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hell Track
    Posts
    6,284
    good stuff.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Between a rock and a soft place. Aberdare and The Brecon Beacons, Wales
    Posts
    2,016
    Now that's what they call a TR right there.

    Thanks.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    20
    Glad everybody enjoyed. Lee scooped me on my own TR...how bad is that. I just never post on TGR so I guess he spammed it for me!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Whistler
    Posts
    58
    Right on Lee,king of the spammage,and it all started with you taking me into the backcountry a couple of years back

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    1,559
    nice. it looks like you got to ski some great lines in condition. Always cook in the vestibule in winter.
    off your knees Louie

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Whistler
    Posts
    58
    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    Always cook in the vestibule in winter.
    Enough moisture in the tent as it is,without cooking in there!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    um, where do you think
    Posts
    1,287
    Beauty! Saw this on the local boards and am very happy to see it here. Way to get after it lads. I was there for 4 days 13 years ago but didn't have the balls to go after Cambria Pk. Played around on Disraeli, and went for some nice walks. The ski from our camp to the highway remains one of my longest descents to date. It's a very wonderful piece of the planet.
    www.mymountaincoop.ca

    This is OUR mountain - come join us!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Baltimore/Seattle
    Posts
    2,440
    Holeee shit! That was fantastic.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    63
    fucking amazing.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,802
    Awesome, thanks Lee.
    "The skis just popped me up out of the snow and I went screaming down the hill on a high better than any heroin junkie." She Ra

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