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Trip Report    

Mount Garibaldi/Diamond Head

On Saturday morning we met at 65th P&R at 4am and arrived at Cat Lake parking lot beyond Squamish BC by 8:30am (remember passports for border crossing). The drive up the Forest Service Road beyond Cat Lake to where snow covered the road is very rugged going and high clearance vehicles are required. This section took an additional hour (9:30am), and it was another hour before group gear was sorted out and we were under way (10:30am).

We continued up the Forest Service Road and then departed it to make our way to the Black Tusk Snowmobile Lodge (was once a ski resort). From there we continued up to the Brohm Ridge and continued along this ridge to the edge of the Warren Glacier where we set up camp by 3:30pm. No need to follow the ridge-line exactly, as you'll avoid elevation gain/loss by tending toward the north side of the ridge working along broad sections frequented by snowmobiles.

The campsite is on a pronounced ridgeline as you approach Warren Glacier along Brohm Ridge. At camp we melted and pumped water, prepared our campsite, ate dinner, and settled in to sleep at 7pm.

Sunday morning we woke at 3am for a 4am departure, which allowed for an initial hour of crossing the Warren Glacier in darkness, but provided enough light to view possible routes to connect with the Pitt Glacier. We traversed around and up a steep slope, gradually shifting our direction from NW through N, NE, E, and SE as we made our way up Pitt Glacier.

At the top of Pitt Glacier the schrum was extensive but with a way around to the right or a snow bridge to the left. Right around and up is steeper snow and requires a longer traverse above the far more wide-open and deep schrum to the snow gulley which brings you to the summit ridge. Left and over the snow bridge allows for a choice: straight up 60 feet to the base of a rock/scramble section or traverse right to the snow gulley.

We went straight up and worked through two pitches on the rock/scramble section, with lead climber finding a place to build an anchor and belaying the rest of the party to the anchor for two pitches. Very loose, chossy, dirty, climbing. More like climbing a dirt pile with boulders mixed in, and loose hand/foot holds. Impossible not to knock rock down on the climbing party below, and several large pieces of rock flew down over people's heads. Not a good situation.

20/20 hindsight, probably better to have climbed to the base of the rock, but then traversed to the snow gully from there avoiding the rock scramble.

From the top of the rock/scramble section it was a short pitch on steep, wet, sloughing snow to gain the summit ridge. We set up a fixed line from the last anchor at the top of the rock/scramble/choss area to another anchor on the summit ridge. A walk up from there along the ridge for 200m horizontal and 200ft vertical.

On the way down the summit block we set a fixed line down the summit ridge to the top of the snow gully, another fixed line down the snow gully to the base of the rock-scramble section, and another fixed line from the rock to below the schrum.

60 meter glacier ropes were of significant benefit in setting fixed lines of sufficient length. I wouldn't consider doing this climb without 60m ropes.

We summitted by 10:30am, were back in camp by 2:30pm and were back to the cars by 7:00pm, with enough time and light to drive back down the very rough forest road to Cat Lake parking lot before dusk. We were back at the 65th P&R by 2am.

Long day, but very thankful to get everyone to the top and back to the TH safe & sound.

 

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