So The beginning of February has already rolled in, and with it our annual winter camping trip. This year we had our eyes on a winter ascent of Wedge Mountain. We planned out the route, and all the logistics, had all the avalanche gear rented and ready to go… And then the Avy conditions in the Sea to Sky corridor went from bad, to really bad, to worse. Of course this happened about 12 hours before our planned time of leaving home.
So we had to pull the plug on Wedge Mountain for now and move on to something else. To a Plan B.
We chose Mount Frosty. Manning Park BC. This one had been our back up plan from previous years and we kept it as a good second choice if needed. A scramble of last minute data collected on trail conditions, avy conditions, and overall adjustments to our trip, we were good to go.
We took off at the same time we originally planned for, approx 530am. We stopped for a quick bite in Hope, and continued on into Manning Park.
We arrived at Lightning Lakes and quickly unloaded the gear and suited up for the less than perfect weather that was looming over us. 2 degrees and almost rainy. Grrr.
The route is straight forward and not much time was wasted backtracking through the woods like some other hikes. We continued up to the high camp at about 7kms where there is an old emergency shelter.
We set up camp for the night here. The snow began to fall a little heavier. We retreated into the shelter to warm up and get some much needed calories back in us.
We called it a night around 10pm. Through the night it got cold. Not much sleep. From about midnight to 3am the wind kicked up quite a bit.
6am rolled around, and the alarm went off. I had that dreaded feeling like I wasn’t entirely sure if I had actually fallen asleep through the night. When I left the refuge of the tent I noticed that all the wind had brought about bluebird skies for us. Bonus.
We ate some breakfast and geared up for the summit push. From the shelter it is a quick ascent up to the meadow where we began to get a view of our objective.
We continued on to the bottom of the bowl and swapped snowshoes for crampons. A bit of an exposed scramble up to the ridge and then along it up to the summit itself.
The wind was blowing hard and probably about -12 with the wind chill. We snapped some quick photos and made our way back down to break camp and get off the mountain.
A much earned dinner at the lodge before embarking on the long ride home. Another successful 36 hour adventure for us in the books. The morals of this trip is even when your original game plan goes sideways on you. Don’t throw in the towel. Pick another adventure and persevere.
2 thoughts on “The Reason you have a Plan B”
Good story. Just did a flash trip last weekend Friday after work, drove to the closure of Guanella Pass south of Georgetown, CO. Pulked in a saw, a tipi, a stove, and hotdogs and marshmallows and hotdogs for my son’s Cub Scout Pack to come up and sled and snowshoe up to 11,600′ the next day.
We had Bluebird skies on Saturday, one kid sledded almost a mile. (Per his glorious exaggeration) We dodged the bad weather bullet…