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[TR] Joffre Peak - Flavelle-Lane 8/15/2010

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Trip: Joffre Peak - Flavelle-Lane


Date: 8/15/2010


Trip Report:

I don't usually bother to post trip reports as I mostly climb well-traveled routes, but this route received an utter shellacking in one of the other two TRs on here, so I thought I'd post with our different experience.


The Flavelle-Lane is on a small rib immediately right of the Central Couloir of Joffre. My friend Nick Elson had heard through the grapevine that local hardman Bruce Kay said it was the best route in the Joffre group, so we checked it out. The route description in Kevin McLane's Alpine Select is accurate.




Crampons were necessary on the approach.



After scrambling some very unpleasant choss, we got to the business, a splitter 5.9 corner on excellent rock that has one strenuous move at the end.



The next pitch was hard - on top-rope I thought it to be a sandbag at 5.9. The climbing is intimidating, steep face-climbing on very good rock with good holds and protection, but both the pro and holds are impossible to see more than a move or two ahead which makes for a challenging onsight. Nick is a very good rock climber and thought it was the scariest 5.9 he'd ever led.




After that pitch I ran together two pitches of moderate but extremely-runout rock. With careful route-finding I thought it was about 5.2 whereas Nick thought the topo description of 5.7 was accurate. He probably just climbed more straight up whereas on lead I wandered around a lot.



The next pitch was up a shallow depression. The climbing probably would have been easier in the corner itself (right of where Nick went in this photo), albeit a bit chossier.




The next pitch was a really good corner.



The Nick put on boots and kicked across a snowpatch and up a short step to the ridge above the Central Pillar of Joffre. I walked under it in my rock shoes on top rope, then ran a few more pitches of 4th class (some loose rock) to the summit.




After a pleasant but short walk down the Southwest Buttress we went skiers left into some snow slopes, which were tedious and unpleasant (no photos). We easily day-tripped the route from Squamish.



Perhaps my impression of the route is skewed by the low expectations I had going into it, but I thought it was among the better rock climbs I've done on the coast (by the same logic, I'm frequently disappointed by the mega-classic climbs). I thought the rock was excellent and the climbing interesting. Go do it!


Gear Notes:

Crampons, ice ax. We had a couple of knife blades and used them in one anchor, but we were taking a hammer (my ice ax) anyway. If you weren't taking a hammer, you could live without the pins.


Approach Notes:

Summer trail to Keith's Hut, up vague trails toward the mountain, then traverse right under the N. Face on heather slopes to the glacier. Be careful on the glacier, the serac on the left was quite active and spewed embedded rocks all day.

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Looks like some nice climbing. I'm not surprised that steep 5.9 pitch with sparse gear seemed tough with a pack. Great TR!

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You made a fine trip report and nice pictures...I don't care if they're "well traveled routes", please post more. I like seeing what is out there for routes and peaks to climb. (I'm especially interested in future Canadian trips) Thanks!

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Of course Bruce thinks it's good, he onsight soloed it bitd didn't he?


yup, and he climbed it in winter as well I believe


Isnt this elson guy some super alpinist as well,one day winter ascent of the eiger north face on his cv...


good style guys, nice report!

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Nice one Seth! Looks rad! So Bruce soloed this on-sight, and did it in winter, but bailed on me because following 'Yukon Gold' was too hard?!?!?!? Nick did the Eigerwand in a day in winter, he is a beast!

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