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JasonG

[TR] Castle Towers, Mt. Carr, The Sphinx, Deception - Burton Hut Alpine Extravaganza 1/1/2013

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Trip: Castle Towers, Mt. Carr, The Sphinx, Deception - Burton Hut Alpine Extravaganza

 

Date: 1/1/2013

 

Trip Report:

Over New Year's I had the good fortune of joining several longtime ski/climbing partners on a trip to the VOC Burton Hut. We were trying to figure out where to go to avoid the crowds and Gord came up with this spectacular destination. Turns out that a stiff 6-7 hour ski weeds out folks (with the exception of Louie and Kirk from B'ham who joined us the last night). Over three days (five day trip total, with an approach day on either end), we managed to climb and ski East Castle Tower, Mt. Carr, The Sphinx, and Mt. Deception. All yielded ~1000m runs down to the hut at 1450m! We were blessed by good snow, fantastic weather, and stable avi conditions- what more could one ask for to start the New Year?

 

I think this may have been the best winter ski trip I have ever been on, due all the factors aligning just so. We live in a remarkable part of the world, and I feel fortunate to have such good friends to share it with.

 

Captions refer to photo above:

 

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Skinning across the massive Garibaldi Lake en route to the Burton Hut.

 

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Atwell (L) and Garibaldi summit close up.

 

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Skinning up Deception with the Sphinx behind.

 

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Topping out on one of Deception's summits with Mt. Carr above and to the left.

 

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Skiing off Mt. Deception

 

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The Sphinx, Garibaldi, and Deception (L-R)

 

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Skinning below Phyllis's Engine on the way to Castle Towers

 

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This notch accesses easier slopes on the east side of Castle Towers

 

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Booting up East Castle Towers

 

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Summit of East Castle Tower

 

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The true summit of Castle Towers is a bit of a challenge in winter conditions. We were content to stop and take photos from the east peak.

 

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Perspective. Skiing down the Sphinx Glacier with the Sphinx above.

 

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Skinning up towards Mt. Carr

 

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Gord leading the charge up the final steep bit below the summit of Carr.

 

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Endless ski terrain awaits on the east side of Mt. Carr if you have the energy to drop off the ridge away from the hut. We didn't, but Kit looks pretty happy regardless.

 

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Skiing the west side of Mt. Carr in fun conditions.

 

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Lower down on the Sphinx Gl. Spectacular!

 

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Looking at Sentinel Bay and the usual exit from the Garibaldi Neve.

 

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Some of the hoar crystals were impressively large (>1.5") on the ski out.

 

Gear Notes:

Hut booties, Whiskey

 

Approach Notes:

Rubble Creek to Garibaldi Lake. Make sure it's frozen.

Edited by JasonG

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Thanks Gene! I think access in the winter is actually a great deal easier (if you nail the weather), at least it gets more use in late winter and spring than the height of summer.

 

I'd almost forgotten about your trip in there a few years ago! Completely awesome.

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your photos do that area justice, thanks.

so much skiing back there! but as noted, catching viz is critical.

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I should add that guys like Lunger, the Traslins, and Sky could probably ski everything we did and more in a day from the road! Reading the hut book was humbling, to say the least. I will be interested to read what Louie and Kirk got up to, they seem to fit in the former list. We just skied easy lines close to the hut, but the potential is mind numbing. Such an impressive area.

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Indeed a great trip. Thanks Jason and Gord for all the research and execution of a great plan. Always nice to draft on the contrails of this crew. And Kit gets the honey badger skin track award, even if he was just trying to stay warm!

Heres a shot of Jason hard at work taking all the great shots, Why do I even bring a camera?DSCF04391.jpg

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Such a cool area! The lake goes on for eeeeeveerrrrr lol. Nice too meet you guys up there! You hit the weather a bit better than us. But thanks for what was left of some of the skin tracks. Photos look great too! We tagged East Castle, North face of Carr, and East Couloir? on Davidson the first day out when the weather was still good. We checked out the NW face of Castle but it was way too cracked up to navigate and rap into, so that was a bummer. The weather kind of went south and we made a 6hr slog over to Garibaldi in intermittent clouds, but the weather socked in below the summit which was also a bummer. Mellow day next and made it up deception in the storm, and then also tried to scamper up Price in the fading light but encountered some sensitive wind slabs and headed down and took off the next day in a whiteout. The approach trail was pretty heinous it got baked and turned into ice....

Have a good winter and stay safe!

Cheers,

 

-Kirk

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Thanks for the kind words everyone! Yes Mr. Dog, you need to move back north, and pronto!

 

Also, for those interested in how much you can accomplish in a day from the Burton Hut, take a look at Louie and Kirk's trip. Kirk makes is sound pretty casual above, but that is a stout day to climb Carr, Castle and Davidson!

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Wow, that Hunt character is crazy! Those are some of the wildest lines I've seen outside of Helmstadterville.

 

Unfortunately we were pretty far from Atwell and it was mostly hidden by Garibaldi. I have a few pics of the NE face on Atwell, but it doesn't come close to filling the frame or providing much detail (in shade).

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Great phtotos. Such a sweet zone if you don't mind slogging.

Many options for peak link-ups and ski lines. Only accessed by foot.

 

The other thing it's so close to Whislter but it doesn't

seem to get skied by the locals very often.

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