Overlord Glacier

Some things and some areas are just worth going back to again and again. After terryifying myself on Fissile’s NE face a week ago, I had to go back and check out the area for more lines. Well there sure is a lot out there. The basic route to the Overlord Glacier is the same as to Fissile. However, it was warmer then last week (avg of -5 as opposed to -10) but also windless. Solar aspects were definitely more of a concern and a layer that had been through a melt-freeze cycle on March 13th was a bit of a concern.

The slog to the Fissile – Whirlwind col brings Paul and I to this view. looking north down the Overlord Glacier – check out the east face of Fissile – inviting!

and south to Whirlwind Peak – untouched inviting slope

Paul and I bag Whirlwind. Love the view down Whirlwind Glacier; 1800m down is Cheakamus Lake – must be getting warm down there – ice is breaking up.

First tracks!

Paul making his signature – I love the way the light shines through the cornice on the peak.

Low angle skiing might not be the most xtreme thing around but the views are quite something.

There! We’ve tracked it all up and can go home now.

This is why I wanted to ski Overlord; to get a closer look at Fissile like a Missile. The route goes! Looks like about 55 degrees tops and maybe 200m to apron. No crevasses or open slots at the bottom.

Pano of Fissile’s East Face with the NE face to the right.

We mistakenly ski down skiers right on Overlord Glacier hugging the rock walls; the slope gets steeper and I have to stop at a convexity. With rock wall on one side and crevasses on the other neither of us feel too good about it so we skin back up and make our way over to the center of Overlord Glacier. It turns out to be a good choice as the west/skiers right side of Overlord is not pretty. The centre of Overlord Glacier has the odd crevasse or two but open slots are easily seen. A quick probe shows that HS is well over 320cms – while I wouldn’t recommend skiing this in a whiteout we feel pretty confident of our line down.

This shows Paul skiing down past the complex of crevasses in the middle of Overlord Glacier (I’m pictured skiing by it in the above picture); my tracks are the bigger ones in the middle. The sluff is from ski-cutting/bouncing a convexity. Ski-cutting the convexity

Only the top 10 cms sluffed (presumably on the March 13th layer) but I made big turns anyway just to be careful and because the snow was deep and joy-inducing.

The purpose of this pano is to show to some scale the size of the crevasse complex on Overlord. Our tracks are on picture left. The slots close to Fissile’s NE face rock wall terminus would be tough to navigate so going down skiers right on Overlord is not a good idea. This also means that if you go down the NE face and go skiers right – which is fall-line down the face – you would end up on Overlord Glacier uncomfortably close to these crevasses.

The bottom part of the glacier’s snow (around 1800 m or so) turns into slurpees so we contour on a bench over to Russet Lake and begin skinning back up. Remember that I said it was warm? Lots of pinwheels down Banana Chute. Lots of parties skied the NW face and Banana Chute today.

Paul with the obligatory “we did it” shot of Overlord, Fissile and Whirlwind.

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