Saturday morning we all converged on the well-hidden Modo van downtown, and were remarkably on time given some of our transit adventures. We arrived in Pemberton with just enough fuel, and filled up on gas and caffeine before hitting the logging road. Unsurprisingly, the van did not have the guts to make it more than 1km up the road before spinning out and so we started on foot.
Before long saw our mountains in the distance and headed into the forest. At that point, the mosquitoes that were going to plague us the entire trip began, subtly at first, but in earnest by the time we reached the swampy meadows.
We reached the lake at mid-afternoon and after quickly setting up camp, were spurred towards Cassiope by the winged pests. Various theories emerged as to at what elevation or temperature or wind speed might cause there to be less mosquitoes, but it was only up on the Saxifrage-Cassiope col that we were bug-free. The views were also pretty fantastic, and the climb up was pleasant. We toasted the summit (Ross discovered he had carried not only his summit Scotch but also two bottles of beer) and got the obligatory picture and headed back towards the infested meadow.
The next day Chris and Sofiya set off first for Saxifrage, following the Bivouac route along the ridge rather than from the Saxifrage-Cassiope col. The rest of us followed an hour later, but after considering the ridge, decided straight up through a talus field was more direct. Eventually, after a lot of clambering over boulders (some of us enjoyed this activity more than others) we reached the false summit and met up with Chris and Sofiya. This route was fairly un-technical, with more scrambling being had on our talus adventures than along the ridge. At the summit, Chris found the summit register and realized that the last group who had signed it was his party from the previous year. Scotch was once again passed around and Sofiya had the occasion of summiting her first peak in BC. For several others on the trip, Mt. Saxifrage, at 2501m was the highest in elevation that they have climbed to date.
On the descent, we once again headed straight down, but through a bit of a low bushwack/stream terrain to avoid the talus. Chris and Sofiya followed us, thinking we knew about the pleasant way they had followed up earlier. Unfortunately, communication went awry and we all crashed through the bushes and huge boulders for an hour, the tents at the lake never seeming to get much closer.