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Mt English 2015

(1 post)
  • Started 3 years ago by kevin witzke
  1. kevin witzke

    After a one-year hiatus, ACC OK made its return to the Monashees and Mt English.

    This years campers arrived from various directions at 3-Valley Gap hotel at 3:45 to re-organize vehicles and gear for the 1 hour slog through the overgrown, decommissioned forestry roads to the trailhead on the western slopes of the Mt English massif. However, much to this vehicle owner's surprise, the forests are alive with the sounds of Husqvarnas and Stihls. The roads were in marvelous condition due to active logging.

    We arrived, paint unscathed at the trailhead/campsite at 1640m in a record 45 minutes. The two SUV's and one pick-up were arranged in a circle leaving plenty of room for the half-dozen tents and two bivy-sacs. Dinner meals were started around 5:30 as the clouds threatened to rain down on us. Some say the busy mosquito activity precedes a heavy rain. By 6:30, our fears were realized and we all took shelter in tents, bivys, back-seats - wherever we could find shelter to stay dry. Neal and John's campfire kept roaring though and effectively stopped the rain by 8:30. I think most of us remained undercover - at least I fell asleep right away.

    We were awake and climbing out of bed at 6am Sunday - Fathers Day. We kept our tents set up as it hadn't rained much more over night, but our gear was quite wet from the previous evening's deluge. We hoped the fog around us would fade away and let the sun dry our camp.

    We were on the trail up to Mt English on time at 7:15. Logan and Neal found a new, well travelled path up the slope. There's been quite a lot of foot traffic in the two years since our last ascent of English. The new path made short order of the climb to the lake, however it skirts around the north side of lake and the lovely site is now missed.

    We made it easily to the meadows which were snow-free this year. They were covered in beautiful, yellow glacier lilies - a sea of them. The fog remained heavy and visibility was about 30m. When we finally rounded the corner to head north to the col, it was impossible to see. Our route was unrecognizable. We continued on the snow as it steepened with still nothing familiar from previous climbs. When the elevation of the col was reached, but no col, it was decided to turn left and climb onto the rock slopes we knew formed the north-east ridge to the summit.

    After some tricky and time consuming scrambling, we all reached the ridge and were once again on route, but still in thick fog.

    We made it to the 2860m summit of Mt English at 11:45. The group photo was surreal, as we appear in front of grey space, no backdrop at all. Amazingly, and to everyone's joy, the clouds lifted and the promised views materialized. We headed down after about 40 minutes and followed the "normal" route down the ridge to the col at 2400m. From the col to the meadow, we boot-skiied, glissaded and self-arrested our way down a long tongue of snow. A great descent!

    We back-tracked our ascent route all the way to the campsite, arriving around 3:55. A few cool beverages for the weary hikers then the business of packing our sun-dried and fresh tents and bivys. Most of us were back in K-town before 7:30.

    Many thanks to Neal, Logan, John, Dorota, Wendy, Doug, Dave, Lars and Marianne for a great weekend. Maybe next year Doug J, but thanks for the wine!


    Posted 3 years ago #

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