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[TR] Marble Canyon - Unplanned Bivi Off Pavilion E

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Trip: Marble Canyon - Unplanned Bivi Off Pavilion Edge


Date: 5/18/2008


Trip Report:

Since Don had been hit on his motorcycle and was out with a gimpy leg, Graham, Jesse and I were given the task of going climbing with Simon Richardson.


The forecast was for broiling heat with frequent avalanches so we decided to do some cragging and then maybe a long route in a dry location.


Saturday we drove out to Hope and went climbing at Nicolum Knob:






Jesse leading Dead Soles 5.10c




Simon seconding DS





Jesse leading Land down Under 5.10a on the second tier.


After this pitch it was too hot to climb so we went to LoTW and swam around for a bit, then drove up the canyon to Marble Canyon and an excellent free camping spot.


Sunday morning we got up early, packed up, and headed for Pavilion Edge. Jesse and I backed off this with a snowstorm coming in, back in late September. This time we had good weather and even some beta as to the upper routefinding from a contact of Lyle's.



The approach scramble and opening pitches went pretty quick, since Jesse and I knew where we were going.



At our old highpoint, which is a 1-pin, 1-bolt station, we somehow managed to forget all our routefinding beta. The guidebook was relatively obscure about where to go. We traversed right about 15m to a gear belay and various party members tried a steep corner crack in white rock above, but it felt surprisingly hard and we concluded (wrongly) that this was not the way to go.


Back to the bolt and pin


and Simon tried to go straight up from the belay. He got a ways up into bad rock and came back down. We all sat around and WTFed for a while. It was bail off or head left so Simon led out left. After a long slow lead, it was Graham's turn to second. I led along right behind Graham and in fact made more of a pinkpoint as G left the gear, what there was of it, in for me. This pitch was kind of hard and really exposed traversing on sometimes bad rock. Simon's belay was on a partially detached ledge and consisted of two nuts (one OK, one bad) and one so-so Tricam. Somehow we got all 4 of us onto this ledge without breaking it off, and tried to decide what to do. We got in two knifeblades, one of which was bomber, to back up the bad nuts in the belay. Straight up was overhanging bad rock, and the same below. Back-leading the traverse, or leading off into the unknown, further left seemed like the only two options.



Jesse following the first traverse.


Graham eventually psyched up and led off out left. He went about 10m hard left with no pro, breaking a couple small holds off, then climbed up a bit, broke some more holds, and got in a blue TCU. Past this he gained a rotten pedestal with a rosebush, then said "It might just go!" and climbed out of sight above. Rocks rained down from his position. Eventually we heard an "Off belay".


Simon climbed out left and vanished, then Jesse. Finally it was my turn (we were climbing as a party of 4 by this time instead of as 2 parties of 2).



Simon seconding Graham's scary pitch. This one was harder than the previous one and the rock was worse.


We eventually convened again at a set of one-cheek gravel ledges in a dihedral/cave feature. At least there was a good crack here. Jesse tried to lead straight up but the rock was overhanging and rotten and he came back down. Then I grabbed some gear to try a leftwards traverse but Graham checked the time and it was 8 PM. We decided it would be better to bivi all together and in a location where at least there was good pro, and set up some hanging bivis where we were. Some of us had one-cheek ledges and some were just stemmed across the corner or on sloping shelves. We used our packs to reinforce the ledges a bit, and Graham made a bosun's seat out of rope. We settled in for an unplanned and mostly unequipped bivi.


The night was pretty long. I had on a jacket, neckwarmer and tuque and I didn't really manage to sleep, just nod and shiver. Every 5 or 10 minutes I would shadowbox and rub my legs to stay warm. Jesse and Simon acually managed to snore a bit. At least it was not too cold a night, and with the full moonlight, we could tell how time was passing.


In the morning, when it was light enough to see again, we had a discussion about what to do. It looked like 1 more pitch up and left would take us to some sort of tree ledge, but we couldn't be sure we'd get there at a manageable grade. We ddn't know about the rock quality heading down, but basically, everyone was cold, sore and/or scared and no one wanted another lead like the last 2. So we decided to take our chances bailing off, and rap. I was all for a three-rope fixed rope descent to guarantee making the gully bed if we couldn't find intermediate anchors, but Simon persuaded me we should just do standard rappelling.


I went first and found a short crack about 50m down that took bomber gear. The next rap was another 50m or so to a sloping gravel ledge with some piton-accepting seams and a pocket for a cam. The final rap was almost 60m and got us down to the bed of the Great Gully.



Rapping off the wall



Simon rapping into the bed of the gully



Graham rapping into the cave below an overhanging chockstone partway down.


Getting down the gully involved overhanging chockstones, plenty of loose rock, pricklebushes and one muddy waterfall, but we made it down OK. We were back at the car just before noon, in time for a nap and some long-delayed breakfast.


So Jesse and I are 0 for 2 on Pavilion Edge now but at least we know where not to go. Graham and Simon got rooked into an unexpected adventure but all in all, everybody survived so all's well that ends well.


Gear Notes:

Kbs useful. Bolt kit might help too.

Otherwise rack to #4 Camalot will do.


Approach Notes:

Follow YBR approach and head up and left above the Lower Walls.

Edited by G-spotter

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jeez..I was sort of planning on never talking about this again..


the spacious bivy




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Good job promoting BC's adventure climbing potential. :laf:


Will this set the tone for the rest of the climbing season?

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I went to Nicolum today and on-sighted the crack/layback climb jesse is doing (Land Down Under) ... that was mega fun... good gear and nice realxed climbing.. the 5.10 crux was low down before the flake and the flake was pretty much 5.9 and easy 10a ..

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What's the condition of the trail these days? Did you have any trouble finding the bottom of the routes? Did you climb anything else? There's one other route to the left of Land Down Under called The Exaggerator. On the far left side of the bluff up another trail there is a single pitch climb called Kemosabe and left of it there's a 4 pitch route called Highway 12. Kemosabe is probably very scruffy right now but I`ll try and clean it up a bit when I'm back home in 10 days.




Oh, almost forgot! Mike W put up a short little 5.11 sport route further up the hill from highway 12. I'm not sure what he graded or called it in the end.



Edited by tlinn

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I only did First BLood and LDU ... the trail was nice and easy to follow (not quite as nice as harrison though) and I wanted to do Exaggerator and Life on a chain but I was late for something and had to go... Im going back soon to climb everything!

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