Forums Trip Reports Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
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  • #576674
    IrishGav
    254 Posts

    Base camping the Cambria Icefield has been myself and Wilkez’s big objective in BC since getting turned away 2 seasons ago due to low snowpack.

    We had been hanging out in Terrace at Shames ski hill while waiting for the weather window to get up there. The weather had warmed up and socked in for almost a week and we were getting pretty low on stoke to go riding, knowing that all we wanted was some high alpine big lines. To find some better snow, we decided to head north to find some riding near Stewart, BC.

    Cambria Icefield is the coast mountains equivalent to the Columbia Icelfield; the bear glacier drains right down to the highway of bear pass at 400m. Bear pass is known as the most dangerous pass in Canada for avalanches with regular class 4 slides that bury the highway upto 21m deep that can close the it for days. Lots of mature timber was snapped like twigs this year down on the highway by huge slides.
    View of overhanging glaciers from the Highway-

    Glacial Ice in the avi debris right on the highway. We scavenged some in the RV for some drinking water one night. Delicious

    Year round avi danger….this place is rowdy

    So we got our window and packed our gear for about 5 days hoping the weather would hold.The 12km bear Glacier starts at 400m and rises up through numerous slides paths and icefalls to meet the Cambria icefield at 1800m.
    Wilkez ready for a big carry up the Bear GI

    View of Bear GI and Mt Cambria 2377m from the highway

    Some big slots on the Bear Glacier…


    The initial climb took us 6 hours and we were lucky to have a gps track to go off from our friends Lee and Sharon.
    Wilkez probing the flat spot at top of bear GI at 1750m where we set up camp. Todd GI viewable across the valley-

    By the time we were set up it was almost dark and time to build a quick kitchen, then hunker down for a cold night,temps where in the region of -15 to -20c at the night the 4 days we were there. Miserable sleeps every night!!

    Next day it was time to tackle the beast that is the North face of Mt. Cambria, right above our camp.

    We skinned up onto the main icefield and then around the south face where we started to bootpack,camp is a speck in the distance now –

    View from top of Cambria across the Cambria Icefield to Mt. Otter 2650m-
    View down the 600m North face of Cambria, 60+ degrees at the top, mellowing to 55 and 50 at the bottom. It took us awhile to pump ourselves up to drop in on this thing…the biggest line of our lives. The snow was perfect and things were stable as we had dug a pit, but we knew this thing would sluff hard and it would be a steep, out of control run. After almost an hour of eating lunch and throwing blocks down to check the sluff, we were ready to rip it.

    Wilkez dropped in first and we both had to pick our way down the first section before it opened up,but we bagged it and were pretty stoked! It felt like forever, but it was one quick ride to the bottom. See the video for some action!

    The mighty north face of cambria viewed from Disraeli the next day. This thing is the crown jewel of the cambria icefield and we were pretty lucky to show up when it was in all-time conditions.

    DAY 2
    Headed west across top of Bear GI to Disraeli 2250m to have a look at the NE face,as it seemed to have a nice pitch that looked ripable

    And shit yeah it was primed and in the sun too. This one looked more mellow than Cambria because it was more open, but standing atop a 55 degree face with a shrund at the bottom is still unnerving…

    This was a fun face with more great snow. Although we were both scared at the top, once you drop in and start shredding nothing else seems to matter.

    It was so good we headed up for another lap. All time.
    Climbing through the rime at the top made for a few tense moments

    Heading back to camp with the stoke high. We win again.

    DAY 3
    After 2 big times faces conquored near camp, we decided to head up the icefield further and explore for possibly a more mellow run.

    An hour into our walk, we spotted this beauty near Mt. Otter and decided it needed to be slayed. Some unnamed peak 2438m, just to the north of Mt Otter, with a really nice SE face.


    This was a harder climb with a mandatory belay over the shrund,then alot of wallowing in facets near the top,but yet again another stunning view of Otter to the south –

    Ready to Drop

    More blower pow…Steep Faces…In the sun…Coast Mountains…Pure awesome

    Claimed!

    Then a light glacier skip on the way back to camp

    As you can see,we scored pretty good! great warm up for AK,watch this space,alot more stuff like this coming over the next 5 weeks :bananas:

    [vimeo:lqqc0rud]http://www.vimeo.com/39016566[/vimeo:lqqc0rud]

    #653972
    Elife
    38 Posts

    You guys are killing it man… so jealous. Can’t wait to see AK pics.

    #653973
    iriecoyote
    291 Posts

    Stunning!

    #653974
    scoho
    47 Posts

    So much gnar!

    #653975
    D-GREEN
    336 Posts

    looked like a Great Trip! A Beautiful area under Blue Skies simply can’t be beat. and steep lines too, Woo Hoo!

    #653976
    Method
    151 Posts

    Nice “warm up” !!! We are truly not worthy. :bow:

    If you guys havent’ been before, you will have fun in AK, I just got back from there. That joint is all time. They’ve had a great season this year.

    #653977
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    Gav: awesome stoke man, thanks for sharing. I have always been interested in the Coast Mountains, but the chances of scheduling a trip from Colorado and hitting the necessary weather window to make big lines happen has discouraged me. Way to be committed and have the patience to be ready when the window opens (which can be rare in those mountains).
    Sweet!

    #653978
    wilkez
    176 Posts

    @barrows wrote:

    Gav: awesome stoke man, thanks for sharing. I have always been interested in the Coast Mountains, but the chances of scheduling a trip from Colorado and hitting the necessary weather window to make big lines happen has discouraged me. Way to be committed and have the patience to be ready when the window opens (which can be rare in those mountains).
    Sweet!

    Late march through early april is usually going to hit at least a few times. If you can spend 2 weeks here during that time, you will most likely get at least a 3 day window to destroy.

    I am still buzzing from this trip. Every single face we shred had me more scared to drop into a line than I have ever been in my life. Video coming later today!

    #653979
    JimmyC
    351 Posts

    Sweeeeeet TR—nicely done!!!

    #653980
    BGnight
    1382 Posts

    Epic trip and epic line! I could never hang with multiple nights at those temps. Nice effort.

    #653981
    whistlermaverick
    312 Posts

    Great looking trips guys. Nicely done.
    Jealous

    @j.memay

    #653982
    LeeLau
    27 Posts

    You guys win!!

    #653983
    HikeforTurns
    1113 Posts

    Excellent! Insanely jealous of those lines!

    #653984
    UPGRAYEDD_2505
    127 Posts

    Looks like you scored a trip of a lifetime. Good work. Here’s to many more. :guinness:

    #653985
    digerati
    82 Posts

    😯 :drool: 😯 :drool: 😯 :drool: 😯 :disco: 😯 :drool: 😯 :drool: 😯 :drool: 😯

    #653986
    summersgone
    820 Posts

    These deserve to be one in the same thread. I think you guys win my vote for killing it the most on this forum this year. In a dismal winter in the states, you guys chose the right path up in Canada. Have fun in AK, have atter.

    @irishgav wrote:

    [vimeo:3lww1g22]http://www.vimeo.com/39016566[/vimeo:3lww1g22]

    #653987
    IrishGav
    254 Posts

    @summersgone wrote:

    These deserve to be one in the same thread. I think you guys win my vote for killing it the most on this forum this year. In a dismal winter in the states, you guys chose the right path up in Canada. Have fun in AK, have atter.

    Cheers Jason,make sure to come back next year again bro,i know i will! 😀

    #653988
    stoudema
    551 Posts

    Nice work man, looks like an all time epic trip! Way to get after it! Those mountains look burly but inviting at the same time. Your pics really stoked me out! Would love to get up there someday…..

    #653989
    LeeLau
    27 Posts

    Damn – u guys just called potential trip of the year on Jones Snowboards!

    #653990
    IrishGav
    254 Posts

    @leelau wrote:

    Damn – u guys just called potential trip of the year on Jones Snowboards!

    Haha cool and Jeremy Jones just asked to be my friend on FB! STOKED :disco:

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