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Alpine Club of Canada
ACC Vancouver Island
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On August 1st, Behnam and I (Amir) decided to leave at 10:00am from Vancouver to climb Mt. Wedge. After getting to the parking lot at 12:30 and having our lunch there we started the grueling hike to Wedgemount Lake at 1:20pm. 1145m elevation gain with a heavy backpack at above 30 C makes the hike a bit of challenge. At 4:20pm we were at Wedgemount Lake and set up our camp. Lesson 1: if you like to get a good camping spot close to the lake, leave Vancouver a bit earlier! We spent the evening reviewing crevasse rescue techniques and gathering information about the North East arete from other climbers. The leader of a team from ACC Vancouver Island had already investigated the NE route and advised us about the condition of the route. Putting all the facts together we got prepared to have a change in plan and try the west ridge. Few weeks of extreme heat wave in July had completely vanished all the snow and made Wedgemount glacier turn into bare ice. NE arete also missed a piece of snow on the steep section which would make it hard to climb. Point 1 (steep ice section beside the serac field) and point 2 (missing snow on arete) seemed to be hard to pass (refer to the last photo). On August 2, we left the camp at 5:40am heading right through bare ice glacier. Walking through icy glacier appeared like solving a puzzle. The water channels produced by high volume of melting water had made a new set of hazard on top of deep crevasses. We decided to continue on the glacier and change the route through Wedge-Parkhurst Col to the back side of Wedge Mountain and follow the West ridge to the summit. The terrain on the back side of Wedge Mountain is all rubble and unpleasant to walk on. Adding loose rocks and gravel patches made the ascent exhausting. Behnam and I along with an accompanying climber made it to the summit at 10:40am. The decent on the west ridge is also not very attractive and makes the progress slow. We were back to the camp at 3:50pm and left it at 5:00pm to finish the hike at 7:50pm. The weather was fantastic and except a few minute of scattered rain drops; it stayed all clear and sunny. On the down side, the mosquitoes and flies were terrorizing and left a good memory on our skins for a few days; Lesson 2: takes a lot of repellent. We still would like to go back next year and try NE arete and definitely sooner in the season this time! Amir Khanlou Aug 04, 2009
Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Kayla Stevenson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.
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