Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Viennese - Clarke Traverse August 2004

Mount Bardean Summit and Alpine Flowers

The Window on the East Ridge of Mount Clark

Region Hierarchy: BC Coast South / Garibaldi Park / Robertson
August ??, 2004 (2 days)
Calculated Length: 8 km 92 G/09
Participants: Janez Ales
Equipment: Rock climbing euipment.
Difficulty: 5.8, (13km, 2500m from the car)
Abstract: Viennese - Clarke Traverse August 2004. One of the finest days I had in the Vancouver-local coast mountains.

Mount Bardean and Ratney Summits with alpine flowersin the foreground from the SW side of Mount Clarke.Viennese-Mt. Clarke Traverse, S, East Ridge Viennese 5.8, 300m, East Ridge Mt. Clark, 5.8, 200m; 13h, 2500m, 13km, Chehalis, Coast Mountains, BC, 2004.
If I was ever going to do this again as a day trip I would drive the night before and snooze in my queen size bed in the back of my pickup. I was not so smart the first time around. although I started from Vancouver at 4 am I was only able to start walking at 8 am. The trail is really beautiful past Statlu Lake and Upper Statlu Lake and then up towards the pass E of Peak 6500.
By now it was hot and a slight breeze was very welcome. Views were amazing. On top of the Viennese Peak, where I had forgotten my watch, I heard voices. I thought that the lone climbing must be getting to me.
The interesting bit here was the window that appeared on the E Ridge of Mount Clarke with a view of Upper Statlu and Statlu Lake. Bypassing this unstable feature was definitely harder than the 5.8 on E Ridge of Viennese Peak. Suupose to be mid 5th... Is this window new? Jeff does not mention it in his report.

Views got better and better with Mt. Judge Howay coming into the full view, its silhouette carving a grand figure on the sunset sky. Descent of W Ridge of Clarke was the only place where I needed my rope. I would highly recomend talus walking from the W side of Clarke in the sunset light. Some people avoid this bit, I guess mostly due to time constraints. But this was the highlight of the day!
I say forget the neutral density filters, just find a spot where you do not need them!

The day was coming to an end and I managed to cut the descent short through the waterfalls on the N side of Upper Statlu Lake.

It was dark when I reached the creek. I took my glasses off my face and drank some water, a lot of water. I continued towards the lake and had a brief chat with a couple that settled there for the night. Off I went with my headlamp into the dark. But not for long. I was heaving a hard time finding marking tapes. I realized that my glasses were not on my face!?! Knowing that I had no chance of finding them in the dark - they are frameless. I too settled at the lake, but with only a tarp that the couple lend me. A cold night it was and after getting chilled to the bone I started a fire just before sunrise.
Even in full light in the morning I had passed the spot where my glasses were three times before I had spotted them... frameless, with very thin temples. Now I know why I should have kept my thick plastic geek glasses:)
The trip down to the Statlu Lake was uneventful except for beautiful waterfalls in the narrow canyon and for meeting an enthusiastic photographer with a lot of gear.
A swim was in order in the warm water of Statlu Lake. Somehow I felt presence of other people and as soon as I put my clothing on I bumped into a group of three. The first one to come into my view was Carla, also the most talkative. She knew of the waterfall around the corner. I had seen some great scenery the previous day but this waterfall canyon was amazing.
Coming down to Chilliwack Lake resulted in another social encounter. Billy and (another) Kidd (The Same Billy but not the same Kidd than the one from the Terminator Trip were there at their pickup cooling their tired legs. They biked and walked from Chilliwack Lake all the way back to the Nursery Pass. A good exercise. I have done it on foot before, but I would have not done it if I had a 4x4. They did have it. Go figure!
An excellent day (and a half :)