Today dawns bright and clear. Food at the Durrand Chalet is astonishingly good. One does not have to qualify this statement with pablum such as “food here is good for a place in the hinterlands at close to 6000 feet”; the food is good PERIOD and Kim, the chef is exceptional. Maybe that is why a few of our group is not present when Ruedi – who is precisely on time – departs at 7:45 am. It is noteworthy that in subsequent days no-one else is late for the early morning start times.
Our route takes us up Goat Peak; to the Ledges and then over the Durrand Glacier towards Durrand Col. The view is spectacularly bluebird looking north down the Durrand Glacier.
Winds are steady from the south at Durrand Col. 2571m 0434733 5678579. Here is the view looking south over the col.
Looking north from the col
Ruedi takes off to dig a pit to assess stability on our traverse to Forbidden Peak. The traverse to Forbidden Peak is rocky and exposed; the first people over the ridge have a bit of snow for purchase but its a bit of a scramble for last ones in the group.
Allan approaching Forbidden Peak. Symphony Glacier below is for the present, untracked. The skin track of the other group can be seen heading past Centrale Peak to Symphony Peak,
Then we are off down the Forbidden Glacier heading down a north east slope. Here is where I make my first mistake and incur Ruedi’s wrath; I take a header and after getting up ski down too far and end up below his traverse downtrack. I then compound this mistake by kicking the heel throw of my tele bindings loose as I ski down the glacier and send a ski rocketing down the slope. Luckily the ski catches air and ends up sticking in the snow at a manageable point and not a few kms down the glacier. Still I effed up royally and am lucky not to be postholing.
Here is Bill starting his run
Carl on his run looking east down the glacier towards Upper Fang Bowl and Fang Creek.
Bill and Bill on the second part of the slope.
After reassembling at the bottom of the glacier and apologizing for mistakes off we skin up to Falcon. We’ve skied down almost 540 m or 1750 ft to close to the toe of the glacier at 2091m 0435535 5631072. Perhaps this is time for a map.
The top of Falcon is wind-blown and scoured. The last 5 m has already been trashed of remaining snow by the first 3 in the group trying to get up so its boots off to the top up the last bit of this “Hillary Step”. Then following a short break, as soon as the last person in our group struggles up, off we go down the very same slope we clambered up. In short order, we’re back down at the bottom of
Forbidden Glacier again. Here are Bill and Steve making short work of the last few turns coming down this south facing slope; its slightly crusty from radiation but you won’t know it the way these two are slicing and dicing.
The rest is routine. We head off down the Durrand Glacier and then down past Needle Ice Fall and back to the Chalet. Here is Allan on the home stretch. Our final total for the day is 1875m or 6150 feet
The front of the Chalet at sunset.
The Durrand Chalet at sunset looking west to the southern Monashees.
Dinner and then dessert. Top picture: From L to R: Sharon, Pete, Steve and Bill R
Dessert – from L to R – Greg, Lindsey and John.