Trip: Squamish-Garibaldi provincial park - Mt, Atwell-South ridge (AI3 AD IV)
Date: April 8-10, 2016
Peak: Mt. Atwell (Garibaldi provincial park) Squamish
Route: South ridge (AI3 AD IV)
Round trip: 24 hrs
Climbers: Jean-marc Savoie/ Mike Guiditis
My friend Mike and I finally got around to climbing Atwell. It involved lots of steep exposed ridge walking, sometimes knife edged. Mostly easy except for 2 technical sections involving moving around rimed up rock walls. One early on, the prominent large triangular rock and higher up near the summit rime tower. The cornices are huge and scary. We were 1-2 hours too late on this climb. We should have camped on diamond head peak to start on the ridge sooner. We paid for this with a fearful day threatened by snow, ice rock fall and possible wet slab avalanche hazard. Escape meant facing these things anyways. Best time to climb is march April but it has to get below freezing the night before. Mega EXPOSURE like i said. Not a beginner route. Any questions or you need beta call 778-870-4421.
Pic of mike on summit belaying me up the other side and pic of me standing on ridge on the way up.
We packed our overnight kit and skis as this meant we didn't need to make our way back to diamond head. Leaving camp at diamond head wouldn't be totally bad though. Regarding protection we used a single 60m 8.0 rope and:
-3 alpine draws
-2 small pins
-2 axes each
-1 picket and 1 msr fluke
-3 aluminum screws
Could have used another picket. Only used 1- 22 cm screw. Zero rock pro found due to being loose volcanic rock. Snow pro was sufficient. Lots of tat and couple bail biners.
Left at 4 pm on the 8th due to dragging our asses. Drive from squamish up to parking lot for elfin lakes. From here its about 3 hours to the hut, we stopped here to eat (beds, fuel, stove). We continued on to the top of colunmer/ gargoyle ridge and crossed over (by this time its dark-2 more hours hiking). We stopped to camp at the beginning of the hill up to diamond head. Nice camp spot behind trees. We woke at 3 and didn't get going till 4. We basically made it to summit of diamond head for sun up. From here follow ridge to summit. We descended main east face couloir. Camped at bottom of glacier and egress via ring creek to elfin hut in the morning.