G2 at Wedgemount Glacier, September 6-8, 2013

“The youngest writes the trip report.” This is what Olek told me before we began the hike down from Wedgemount Lake. It wasn’t that I had not heard this before but I had never taken it seriously. Last year for G2 it had been hinted at that I should write up the trip report but in the chaos of first year and moving to Vancouver, it, conveniently, entirely slipped my mind. This year, however, I was instructed on the details so here goes.


Photo by Olek

The trip began Friday evening when Olek picked me up. After a few turns around Vancouver, picking up gear and Jim, we were off.  To avoid a painfully early start on Saturday morning due to the GranFondo bike ride on the Sea to Sky highway, we had decided to depart on Friday evening. As we sped along the Sea to Sky Olek put on a pod cast about the different ways to give charity in the third world. I listened and let my mind drift away from the chaos of the first week of classes, eager to be back in the mountains for the first time after three months doing research on beaches in Costa Rica.

We arrived at the parking lot around 9PM. There was some debate about trying to hike up to the hut in the dark but after a quick look at the map, stating it was a 1200m elevation gain, and a glance at our unorganized packs, we decided to set up camp in the parking lot. Jim and I found a good tent spot in the forest but upon returning to the car for my tent I discovered Olek had already begun setting up his tent in the middle of the parking lot. Lazily, I decided to do the same. In the end we had three tents and three stoves for three people. It seemed a little excessive but we decided to sort it out in the morning.

On Saturday morning after lots of sleep, I woke up to the sound of a car outside my tent. Nicole, Steph, Clemens, and Ross had just arrived after the 2 hour drive from Vancouver. I slowly got my stuff together, packed up the tent and we started up after Ross, Nicole, Steph and Clemens.


Photo by Nicole


Photo by Nicole

A group of us walked up to the glacier where we met Skyler and Greg. For practice at route finding we searched for a path through the maze of crevasses before we roped up and headed toward the upper glacier where we could see Nick, Clemens, and Steph playing in the crevasses.


Photo by Olek

Three climbers coming down off the ridge between  Wedge and Weart told us there were some great views to be had on the ridge, so half of us headed up that way while the other half walked across the glacier toward Nick, Clemens, and Steph. I walked up to the ridge with Ross. The views were astounding! You could see mountains and the glacier extending way into the distance.


Photo by Nicole

I love the feeling of being in the mountains, where you can feel so small and so large at the same time.  Ross and I climbed up the pile of rocks beside the ridge for some even better views before hurrying back down in hopes of reaching camp before sunset. We managed to get back to camp just as the sun was setting. After a warm dinner, we boiled a large pot of tea and tried Ross’s chocolate covered ginger. It was so wonderful that a future intermediate tea drinking trip was proposed.


Photo by Steph

The following morning we awoke to perfectly clear skies. We split into two groups, one planning to summit Mount Weart (2835 m) and the other planning to go up the Northeast Arête of the Wedge (2892 m). I decided to get in some glacier travel practice and try the northeast arête.


Photo by Steph

Olek and I left camp late because we decided to pack up all of our gear before setting out. I ended up carrying Skyler’s 22m rope, believing it to just be the backup. We quickly caught up with the rest of the group at the foot of the glacier and after some discussion I realized the 22m rope was meant for an entire rope team of 4! We hiked to where we had split into two groups the day before and roped up. I ended up on the 22m meter rope with Ben, Greg and Skyler. We started out towards the steeper upper glacier. The plan was go around to the far right side and avoid as much of the steeper ice as we could. However to save time we didn’t go all the way to the right side and ended up walking up some steeper ice. Ben decided he wasn’t sure about doing the Northeast Arête. Skyler climbed down to show Ben a good route back and accidently lost his ice axe in a crevasse. We got to practice our crevasse skills with Skyler rappelling into the crevasse to get his ice axe.


Photo by Steph

Once we had retrieved the ice axe we headed back up the ice and onto the upper glacier while Ben headed back to camp. The views were astounding on the upper glacier. Far below us was a turquoise coloured Wedgemont Lake while mountains towered all around us. I had forgotten how beautiful the mountains could be on a crystal clear day. We hiked across the glacier, crossed a bergschrund and then climbed up onto the arête. By this point we had almost caught up with the rope team ahead of us, so we sat down and had a bite to eat. We decided the only two safe options for going up the arête were to go un-roped or to go roped up but put protection in every step of the way. In the end we decided to do it un-roped in hopes of catching up with the group ahead.



Photos by Steph


Photo by Nicole

The what-looked-to-be a narrow ledge from a distance, was actually quite wide and the views looking down either side of the arête were spectacular! We scrambled up the arête and then the rock which connected to the ridge that we followed to the summit. The summit was gorgeous and it was such a warm day, it did not feel cold. After a snack and a few pictures we began to head down.


Photo by Olek


Photo by Steph

After scrambling down the rock we glissaded (or I should say they glissaded) down a snow slope and I unable to keep my balance slipped and slid down after them. This only furthered my belief that this year I absolutely must learn to ski!


Photo by Steph

We hiked though some scree and large boulders where Nick found a surprisingly warm pool of water. We all got in, amazed at how wonderful the water felt after walking all day.


Photo by Steph

A short time later we climbed back onto the side of the glacier and I discovered a screw had fallen out of one of my crampons. I tied them on as creatively and safely as I could and walked back to camp begging them to not fall off.


Photo by Steph

At camp we met up with Ross, Nicole, and Jim who had gone up Mount Weart. The views from Weart were apparently spectacular!





Photos by Nicole

We began the decent back to the cars quite late and about halfway down I was forced to pull out my headlamp. By the time I reached the car I was both sad to be leaving the mountains and eager to be heading back to a warm shower and a soft bed.


Photo by Steph

The drive back to Vancouver was surprisingly quick and before I knew it I was back at UBC.

I wanted to say thank you so much for the organization and planning of this trip. I cannot express how much I appreciate every opportunity I get to go into the mountains!


Photo by Nicole


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One Response to G2 at Wedgemount Glacier, September 6-8, 2013

  1. Olek Splawinski says:

    Thanks for the trip report, Cassandra! I’m looking forward to an introduction to tea drinking trip. :)

    I forgot to appoint a trip report writer for G1.

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