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 Post subject: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:57 pm
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Location: Chamonix
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-
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Glacial Ice in the avi debris right on the highway. We scavenged some in the RV for some drinking water one night. Delicious
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Year round avi danger....this place is rowdy
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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
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View of Bear GI and Mt Cambria 2377m from the highway
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Some big slots on the Bear Glacier...
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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-
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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!!
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Next day it was time to tackle the beast that is the North face of Mt. Cambria, right above our camp.
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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 -
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View from top of Cambria across the Cambria Icefield to Mt. Otter 2650m- Image
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.
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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!
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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.
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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
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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...
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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.
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It was so good we headed up for another lap. All time.Image
Climbing through the rime at the top made for a few tense moments
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Heading back to camp with the stoke high. We win again.
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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.
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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.
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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 -
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Ready to Drop
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More blower pow...Steep Faces...In the sun...Coast Mountains...Pure awesome
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Claimed!
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Then a light glacier skip on the way back to camp
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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:


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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:17 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Revelstoke
You guys are killing it man... so jealous. Can't wait to see AK pics.


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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:02 pm
Posts: 250
Location: OR
Stunning!

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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:59 am
Posts: 41
Location: BC, Canada
So much gnar!

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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:42 am
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Location: Girdwood, AK!!!
looked like a Great Trip! A Beautiful area under Blue Skies simply can't be beat. and steep lines too, Woo Hoo!

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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:28 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:08 am
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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.


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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
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Location: Colorado
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!

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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:44 am
Posts: 197
Location: Vancouver, BC
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!


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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:41 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:17 pm
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Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Sweeeeeet TR---nicely done!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:44 am 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 8:05 am
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Location: 395
Epic trip and epic line! I could never hang with multiple nights at those temps. Nice effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 294
Location: Whistler, Coast Mtns
Great looking trips guys. Nicely done.
Jealous

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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 1:15 pm
Posts: 32
Location: North Vancouver BC
You guys win!!


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 Post subject: Re: Cambria Icefield Basecamp March 16-19 Northern BC
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:21 pm 
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Location: Denver
Excellent! Insanely jealous of those lines!

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