Climb: Mt.Vayu-N.W. Ridge
Date of Climb: 9/5/2004
Left Vancouver 8am with Nick and Jeremy in the trusty Subaru, arrived at trailhead about 1 pm after some food and potty breaks. Tried to follow Alpine Select approach but ended up on a 4 1/2 hour bushwhack. Set camp just above the meadow on the moraine in perfect weather and no bugs.
No one heard the alarms so we were an hour late leaving at around 7 am. An easy walk up the Pancake Glacier brought us to the start of the route. A fresh little dump of snow buried all the loose rocks so progress was a bit slow. We decided to keep to the right side of the ridge where it looked more interesting and found some really good pitches, avoided the gendrame and Nick had a 25 ft. fall about 2/3 the way up.
Upon placing the pro, he started forward and the whole TV sized rock came down. It was in a very narrow snow filled 65 degree chute. All I heard was a rapidfire "FUCKFUCKFUCKFUCK! I was second and since he had gone up then down and around an outcrop and placed the pro higher up, I had just removed the pro where I was. I heard him falling and desperately tried to hook the rope over a puny bump, wedge it with my axe and waited for the jolt. Jeremy was yelling "put it back in , put it back in". Luckily NIck self arrested before that. The only damage apart from some bruising was a broken toe. Well that certainly woke us up. After a little regroup we were on our way without much further difficulty. A nice level 5 ft. summit spot for a lunch break and then down the east ridge to the col between Vayu and Peak 8800. Here the difficulties started. A huge bergschrund quicky followed by a gaping maw of a crevasse on a very steep slope didn't make it look to tempting. Nick rappelled down and took a look up, down, right and left but since we had no pickets, or pulleys and he didn't bring crampons, we decided to escape down the south side of Vayu. It meant a 4 hr. bushwhack traverse around Peak 8800 back to camp at the foot of the glacier, but better that than a friggin sketchy descent into the maw.
Broke camp at 9 am, stuck close to the north side creek right down to the river then paralleled it back to the car with almost no bushwhacking. Much better approach route! Stopped in Pemberton at the Pony Espresso for good grub and back to Van. by 3. All in all a great trip. Will try to post some fotos later.
Follow Jamie creek to the Pancake glacier creek. Keep on the North side within earshot all the time and you'll avoid hours of bushwhacking.