You got there HOW????? Or the Baumann Variation of the West face of Phalanx. Skiing with Frank you are guaranteed SOME novelty… Today it was access. The conventional route into the Phalanx Glacier is to ski up Blackcomb Glacier, over to the Spearhead Glacier then to boot pack up a steep chute (maybe 100m? long) called The Stairmaster.
Previously we entered this area by skiing down the Spearhead Glacier, going around to Phalanx and back up and over Poop Chutes. Either way, or any way its a big day to check out the Phalanx Glacier!
The Proposed route
A Closer look at the proposed route.
And you thought getting there was going to be dangerous!
Or maybe it just looked that way.
Here’s a panorama of the ramp on Husume that Lee, Toby and Brian skied.
Don’t fall over to skier’s left
Corona Bowl Approach
Toby decided to join us! He didn’t have bc gear so he bootpacked. You can see Lee coming up behind him.
Skining started to get steep…
The view of Corona Bowl with the Spearhead Glacier behind
Off come the skis as we climb climb climb past the buttresses of Corona Bowl and on to Phalanx!
Looking back down you can see Sapphire bowl. Great opportunity to check out some new lines!
We keep heading up with Frank solo-aid climbing this gnarly class 3+ exposed face. On some of the wind-sheltered sections; the snow is turning rotten with about 30 cms of facets – probably a result of the thin snowpack around the rocks and a high TG due to warm days and recent clear cold nights. I won’t want to be on this face late in the afternoon
Finally at the top! You can see the Blowhole and the top of Horstman peak!
The rest of them make it up!
We then skin to the top of Phalanx Peak’s twin summits. In the saddle is where you come up if you do the Stairmaster couloir bootpack. The nice tight lines are controlled AT skiers, while the big swoopy wasteful ones were some other style…
The view down Stairmaster into the Spearhead Glacier. You can reach the Stairmaster by staying on the high traverse from the Spearhead over to Corona Bowl but keeping on the traverse to the obvious flat bench of Phalanx. See our trip to the Phalanx via Spearhead for more on that.
More turns down Phalanx Glacier
More turns on the group gang bang of the glacier.
Frank lays down some art.
Nearing the bottom – Brian with James Turner in the background
Skiing back up the Eastern Ridge, you can see our turns in the background! Guess which ones are Franks…
The Area of Phalanx Glacier – oooo the potential! You can see our tracks from the last picture way up to the right!
Where are we anyway? Phalanx peak is the small blip in the middle back of the picture. Lee wanted to bag the pyramid peak with the twin couloirs in the backdrop but everyone else wussed out so his peak-bagginess was vetoed.
Looking across from Poopchutes (sortof) towards Blackcomb Glacier, Ruby Bowl, CBC trees and the Grey Zone.
The tracks from the top to 265 was our down track, the track from 266 is our ski out.