Terrarosa Glacier in British Columbia (Photos)

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Terrarosa Glacier in British Columbia (Photos)

Postby HitchHiking » Tue 05 Oct, 2010 10:12 am

Terrarosa Glacier Expedition 2010
A 12 day traverse among the Fire Spires

This is a area that has held me spell bound since i first read of the legends that the area holds such as lost gold, sasquatch, missing persons and other strange happenings. In 2009 my good friend and hiking partner in Canada, Adam and myself made for the area but were turned back after 4 days because of freezing rain making the area much more dangerous.

In 2010 we planned to give it another go.

Team Members; 12 days
Evan: Sydney, Australia
Kevin: Rosedale, BC
Adam,: Agassiz, BC

Logistical Support/4 Day Team Members
Ron: Chilliwack, BC
Kelly: Chilliwack, BC

Day 1-3, The Approach

We left Fire Creek FSR in the early afternoon. Ascending from the highest spur above Fire Lake, with fully loaded packs for 12 days, we reached the alpine ridges where snow and ice was still covering the numerous lakes that lay in and along the meadows along the way. We arrived at a suitable spot for a camp that would serve as central location for the next two days that would enable us to ascend a couple peaks that are between the Glacier and the next camp, that the three of us would later move onto while Ron and Kelly would stay behind at camp one on day three, in order too reach the vehicle within their hike out on day four.


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On day two, the five of us ventured out onto the highest ridge just north east of the Terrarosa, and descended down into a lake and onto a peak that towered above which offered spectacular views of the opposing Fire Spires, in particular, Matkw, Flicker and the Flames. The unnamed peak we climbed, with 3 loose craggy summit blocks, was quickly scrambled by all 5 members, and offered the three of us an excellent vantage point of where to access Terrarosa Lake and the North West Headwall of the Glacier. The peak would later be called by the expedition members as K-Ridge, due to it being named after Kelly who showed a valiant mountain goat effort in blasting up and down all three summit blocks.

On day three, the three of us loaded up our camp, and with the outmost courage and generosity, Kelly and Ron helped carry some gear of ours within their day packs, to help us get to the high point on the ridge and up steep snow slopes before descending down to Terrarosa Lake. We reached the highpoint between our Camp One ridge and Terrarosa Lake in a few hours and said our thanks and goodbyes to Kelly and Ron as they headed back to Camp One. The three of us then descended down into Terrarosa Lake and up onto the ledge at the headwall of the Terrarosa Glacier where our Camp Two would be for the next two nights.

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Day 4&5

On day four, Adam and I headed to the ridges on the west side of Terrarosa Lake and down into some low sub-alpine meadows directly across from the massive Stave Glacier while peering down at the Upper Stave River. Kevin stayed back at the camp at the lake, exploring the shores and taking in the beautiful scenery while trying to prove me wrong by trying to catch a fish in the lake. Adam bet him that there was absolutely, no fish in the lake, he said there would be fish. Adam won. His bag of almonds was now Adams. But he did manage to spot a lone golden eye duck swimming around, so at least he made a new friend.

On day five, we packed up and proceeded up the north west headwall of Terrarosa Glacier, and found our next location that would serve as Camp Three for the next 4 nights as we climbed all the Fire Spire Peaks and several unnamed peaks and some highpoints on the Glacier. We came upon a snow free rocky outcrop, protruding up off the north end of the glacier, with just enough of a flat spot to put up the tent. It was dubbed ‘Our Island’ for the next four days as we descended and ascended up and off of it while exploring the Glacier. Its couple hundred feet of vertical rise off the glacier gave us enough refuge from the snow and ice everyday, as being we would return to camp and dry out our socks and boots on its rocky snow free slabs.

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Day 5-8

Through out the next several days, we climbed the east and central summits of The Flames, Matkw Peak, Flicker Peak, Flash Peak, Ember Peak, and two unnamed peaks on the central and west side of Terrarosa Glacier and a peak rising 6636 ft on the north west side of Terrarosa which I dubbed ‘Ignite’ Peak. The climbing/scrambling changed consistency in regards to rock quality, from rotten flakey knife edges, to strong bomb proof granite, then to loose scree ramps, with just enough snow coverage to kick some good steps in if we needed to divert from the rock. The climbs were all around class 3, with some moderate exposure at times which put us in check as to not make any mistakes. On Matkw Peak, we decided to snow climb up to the central ridge between Flicker and Matkw, and start the climb from the long ridge leading from Flicker to the summit of Matkw. A beautiful long knife edge proved to be a little more of a sporting line than taking the direct route.

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Day 9-12

On day 9, we decided to change up the scenery a little and head down to the south east end of the Terrarosa Glacier, which would give us a great location for exploring the South East Headwall, and a central location for climbing Ashes Peak, Spark Peak, and an unnamed peak next to Ashes. We ended up setting up camp at the base of Spark Peak, down the south east headwall of Terrarosa Glacier, in a valley, between Spark Peak and Stanford Peak, right at the headwaters of Stanford Creek. From this location, we climbed Ashes, Spark, Stanford Peak, and an unnamed peak next to Ashes. Myself and Adam descended down to the bottom of the headwall of the Glacier from camp and explored the waterfalls and ledges while Kevin climbed back up onto the glacier and climbed Ashes and an unnamed peak next to it. We had a poke around for gold in the creeks but to no avail.

The next day, Kevin and Adam climbed up Stanford peak, While I drop down the otherside of the ridge to again poke around for gold and minerals and see what the glacier had exposed over the many years of it slowly gouging the earth.

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On day 11, we decided to give ourselves a two day exit strategy down into the Sloquet creek, with hopes of easily hooking up with the old spur road off the North Sloquet. With an easy initial descent from our camp, in which we followed a snowed in canyon almost right down to the valley bottom from the lake, the bush suddenly closed in around us and it became a whole new different world in absolute contrast to what we were use to for the past 11 days in the alpine. Fording the rushing tributary creeks of the Sloquet, holding onto slide alder along the banks, then crossing into the dense bush, being wrapped in vine maples and barricaded by devils club over the tops of our packs, the going was slow, averaging 200m an hour on the valley bottom. With three separate bear encounters in less than a few hours apart, we now felt like we were in their territory, and in one where we were their first encounters with humans as of how close they came to us with the outmost curious looks and head tilts they displayed as they always had to come close to us to get a better look.

We crashed through the bush until dark and myself and Adam had lost Kevin along the way- as to where he decided to stick to walking up to his waist in the creek- we were fine crashing through the bush, we set up camp at around 10pm as soon as we hooked up with the old overgrown North Sloquet spur rd. Being separated from Kevin through the night was a little worrying, but we knew all was good as we had the plan that sometime we would eventually meet up on the road around our pick up location on the Sloquet FSR. Sure enough, on day 12 around 830am, Kevin came trampling through our camp we set up in the centre of the old spur road. From there, we realized that we were only a few km away from our pickup location, which wasn’t even scheduled until the next day.

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We decided to walk out a day early and see if anyone would be kind enough to give us a ride into town. We hooked up with a Forester working in the area on an IPP project and he took us right into Squamish. From there, we caught the Greyhound, and we were back into our home towns by 11pm. No need for Kelly to make the big 6 hour drive to pick us up, (West Harrison FSR is still closed at this time near the 60km mark), so the entry for this trip was that we took the long way around and through the Lillooet FSR to hook up with Fire Creek FSR).

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It was an amazing trip. The only sign of any groups or persons in the area was from that 2 week traverse from a group coming from Snowcap Lake to the North Sloquet back in 1984 who had been the FA party on Matkw Peak. Their memos were tucked into little black film containers on two of the peaks in the Fire Spires, The Flames, and Matkw.

Adam Kevin and I are currently planning another attempt possibly for 2011 to explore more of the area and scramble a few more peaks.



Cheers
Evan
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Re: Terrarosa Glacier in British Columbia (Photos)

Postby stepbystep » Tue 05 Oct, 2010 3:57 pm

That's awesome mate, thanks for sharing - love pic # 6
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders ~ Edward Abbey
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Re: Terrarosa Glacier in British Columbia (Photos)

Postby DanH » Tue 05 Oct, 2010 9:11 pm

That is a great trip... and a very relaxed one too. Great stuff
experience comes after stuffing up - stuffing up comes after having a go - having a go comes after I get off the computer!
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Re: Terrarosa Glacier in British Columbia (Photos)

Postby Lindsay » Wed 06 Oct, 2010 11:40 am

Fantastic trip Evan. Your photos are amazing.
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Re: Terrarosa Glacier in British Columbia (Photos)

Postby HitchHiking » Wed 06 Oct, 2010 7:37 pm

Cheers fellas, Glad you like em, thought it would be neat to get something up from a good distance away. :)
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Re: Terrarosa Glacier in British Columbia (Photos)

Postby nickL » Wed 06 Oct, 2010 9:03 pm

great trip report evan - fantastic photos - thanks for sharing
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Re: Terrarosa Glacier in British Columbia (Photos)

Postby isoma » Fri 08 Oct, 2010 10:31 am

Great stuff there Evan.
Looks like my idea of a 'peakbagging' trip. Unfortunately, I dont have much need for the ice axe or crampons here in Queensland.
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Re: Terrarosa Glacier in British Columbia (Photos)

Postby HitchHiking » Fri 08 Oct, 2010 8:19 pm

isoma wrote:Great stuff there Evan.
Looks like my idea of a 'peakbagging' trip. Unfortunately, I dont have much need for the ice axe or crampons here in Queensland.

Yeah not to many remote glaciers in Queensland I guess. Yeah there is about 7 peaks in this formation and it was amazing to explore around and then climb a peak or two a day. :D
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Re: Terrarosa Glacier in British Columbia (Photos)

Postby HitchHiking » Fri 24 Dec, 2010 6:33 pm

Sorry to bump an old topic but I have finished the Day by Day report video from the trip for anyone who is interested.

http://www.youtube.com/user/terrarosage ... bkv3tHS-ao


Cheers
Evan
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