Spearhead Traverse day 1 – Blackcomb to Fitzsimmons Moraine (Feb 19, 2010)

Words by Lee Lau. Photos by Lee and Tyler Wilkes unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.

Wilkes has never done a Spearhead. Paul’s last Spearhead was in 1998. I’ve done a few Spearhead Traverses but had a few projects I wante to finish up. With an avalanche warning for the Rogers Pass/Monashees area (and reputedly freakishly unstable snow region-wide), with very low snow levels in Northern BC it took me very little convincing to set out on another Spearhead Traverse this Olympic weekend. We took the fast route over towards MacBeth – going about halfway round the Spearhead. Both Paul and I had skied lines off Pattison and Tremor umpteem times and bypassed it. It’s a day trip anyway from the ski area boundary so can be done anytime. We headed to MacBeth interrupted only by making sure Wilkes (who had bonked hard due to lack to sleep and food) was OK. The Curtain Glacier off MacBeth’s summit is 1000m down to a campsite at the toe of the Fitzsimmons Glacier in moraine.

Camp was civilized; warm, running water close by, and sheltered from wind by large glacier erratics. Paul and I did a post-dinner evening tour heading up the Fitzsimmons Glacier and skiing off the W face of Iago to finish the day with 22km and about 2500m of elevation gain.

Paul off E Col

Wilkes off E Col – heading to Decker

Paul approaching Decker- Trorey Col

Wilkes and Paul skiing off Decker-Trorey Col

Wilkes needs to work on the skiing windslab with skins steeze

Down to the Tremor Glacier – up over Tremor Col and over to the Platform Glacier.

The route continues the traditional Spearhead in front of Quiver and around the Ripsaw

Paul approaching Quiver Pk

Wilkes traversing the Ripsaw Gl. Whistler Heli-ski clients paying 899/day get to bum-wiggle this fine glacier

Naden Glacier

Skootch across the Naden Glacier over to Naden-MacBeth col – then up the N face of MacBeth goes Wilkes

Lee dropping off MacBeth’s peak down the Curtain Glacier

Our approximate route down the Curtain Glacier

Paul off the peak

Wilkes ripping down the upper then lower Curtain Glacier and onto snow slopes about the Fitzsimmons moraine

Palatial campsite on the moraine

and what a view

Paul and I finished off with a 990m climb from camp to Iago then a night ski down Iago (pics are obviously taken a day later)

I turned in at about 10am to this view

Google Earth track with GPS track overlaid

Handdrawn approx route

Elevation Profile. Missing the bit coming down off Iago back to camp at the moraine

Spearhead traverse Day 1 from Tyler Wilkes on Vimeo.

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