Archive:2013 Monarch - Ha-iltzuk Spring Ski Traverse

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Tim Blair, Nicholas Matwyuk, Nicholas Gobin, Artem Bylinskii, Florian Assmann, Michal Rozworski, and Sam Mckoy are planning a traverse from Bella Coola to Knight Inlet. This page is being used to help them plan logistics.

TO DO list

  • NEXT MEETING Saturday April 20th
    • Go over the whole wiki to ensure nothing was missed.
    • Finalize everything!

March 25 Meeting

  • concentrate on transportation (to bella coola and from knight inlet), food (do we need 2 loads with nick into monarch?), and gear (tents, climbing gear?)
  • Objectives (route research), base camps for multiple side trips?

Action Items

  • Pick up from Gobin
    • Rope
    • Letherman
  • First aid kit (Sam to compile a list)
    • Matwyuk has Champagnes kit, Sam to compile on way up with his stuff.
    • Sam to add in supplies
  • Download John Scurlock's photos onto memory card (Matwyuk)
  • Need to supply Gobin with shopping list of fresh food for feast
  • Get route details into e-readers (tim)


  • Tim
  • Matwyuk
  • Artem
  • Michal (first half)
  • Sam
  • Florian
  • Gobin (second half)

Travel Details



  • Florian and Michal depart April 21st with Bram.
  • Depart Vancouver April 22 after Artem's exam (12:00pm)
    • Gobin & the remainder will pack vehicles in the morning
  • Begin trip April 23
  • Gobin drives on May 6th and Flys in on May 7th (hopefully morning)
  • Michal to be home evening of May 7th (or May 8th)
  • Group out of the backcountry May 19
  • Home on May 20

Route Info

Travel Logistics

Bella Coola

  • 1000km and ~13.5hrs
  • Florian and Michal travel up with Bram's group Sunday April 21st.
  • Matwyuk's Jeep Cherokee
    • Drive Tim, Artem and Sam (from Pemby)
  • Michal's VW Golf to be driven up to Bluff Lake by Gobin (bag of apples to be supplied in car)

Gobin's Chopper

  • To bring in food, fuel, and repair kit items

Knight Inlet/

  • Palyn Water Taxi (port McNeil) 1 250-974-8111, $1300 to pick us all up and transport back to Port McNeil
  • Silver King Marine (port McNeil) office (250) 956-4047 taxi cell (250) 230-2722 don willson (250) 949-1555 ~$1200
  • Viking West Water Taxi (Port McNeil) 1 250 956-3431
  • Port McNeil Water Taxi 250-956-3431
  • Vancouver Island Air 250-287-2433 $1900 for flight back to Cambell River
  • Greyhound:
    • Port McNeil-Nanaimo ~$85 leaves at 10am
    • Campbell River - Nanaimo ~ leaves at 9am and 1:30pm ~$40

  • Fly to Vancouver Island (Tim to research logistics of flights and costs)
  • 2 people (Matwyuk and Tim?) fly to Bella Coola to grab vehicles
  • 4 people head back to Vancouver directly via bus or similar
    • Does anyone know someone in Bella Coola to catch a ride to get vehicles?

White Saddle Air

  • Will cost ~$2200 to fly up to 4 people & gear to the Monarch Icefield.
  • They no longer have a fixed wing (tear) so no float plane.

Tweedsmuir Air

Bela Coola Air

West Coast Helicopters

  • Could fly us into the Monarch Area (Ogre lake or otherwise) at approx 1000$ per flight (may need 3 flights)

Tyax Air

Insurance Coverage



Trip Dinners

  • April 22 (after Artem's exam at 12:00) to May 20 total of 29 days including travel
    • First backcountry night is April 23 and last backcountry night is May 18
      • 26 dinners (8-9-9) (27?, basically if we get to the island on the 19th we don't need a 27th but if we fly out on the 20th then we will need a 27th)
      • 27 breakfast
      • 27 lunches

Food Groups:

  1. Sam/Matwyuk/Artem (dead flesh society)
  2. Tim/Florian/Michal[Gobin]

There are 27 Dinners on the trip

  • 14 dinners Michal's half
  • 13 dinners Gobin's half
  • Michal, Tim, Florian to bring 5 dinners each on first half (one day's extra food for weather delays).

Trip Breakfasts

  • Figure yourself out

Travel Day

  • Gobin's buying food as usual
  • Tim will be cheap as usual
  • Matwyuk agrees with Tim and will probably have a bag-o-food to gorge on the way up.
  • Artem will bring a bag-o-food, but will still like to stop for a warm dinner


Group Gear as Updated April 20

  • 3x whisper lite stoves & fuel bottles (Florian, Tim, Sam)
  • Whisperlite stove repair kit (Tim)
  • Fuel - 4L per person
    • 3x 750ml bottles to start each
    • 32x 750ml bottles total required
  • 2x 3L pots (Tim & Matwyuk)
  • 1x 2L pot (Gobin)
  • Tents
    • 3-man Hilleberg (Tim)
    • 3-man Sierra Design (Tim)
  • Pro
    • 2x 22cm Ice screws (Michal * Matwyuk)
  • Ropes
    • 3x 30m ropes (Matwyuk, Gobin, Tim)
  • Repair stuff for Gobin's flight
    • Extra pole (from Florian)
    • Epoxy (tim)
    • Pack belt buckle (tim)
    • Gobin has Vertical (FT/ST) Toepiece
    • Matwyuk has Radical (Speed) Toepiece
      • Florian to pay Meghan $100
    • Sewing kit (tim)
    • Spare glacier classes (tim)
    • pole basket (tim)
    • plastic gromets (tim)
    • Rat Crapper with #3 posi drive (matwyuk)
    • Ski boot ankle bolts/nut (tim)
  • Repair stuff to take with us
    • Epoxy (tim)
    • Lethermans (Matwyuk & Michal & Artem & Gobin's)
    • #3 posi screws (Matwyuk)
    • sos pad (matwyuk)

  • First Aid Kit (Sam & Tim verifies)
    • Rubber gloves
    • Syringe
    • Friars Balsam
    • Micropore tape (blisters)
    • Tensor bandage (or elastocrepe)
    • Finger Bandage (10 of various sizes and shapes)
    • Non adherant dressing (2"x3"x3, 3"x4"x1)
    • Gauze wrap
    • Steri strips (12mmx100mmx12, 6mmx38mmx6, 3mmx75mmx5)
    • Jelonet (2x10cmx10cm)
    • Tegraderm (6cmx7cmx2, 9cmx10cmx1) (or Opsite)
    • Ibuprofen
    • Tylenol 3
    • Robaxacet
    • Benedryl
    • Gravol
    • Anti-diarrhea pill (loperamide)
    • Laxative
    • Triangular
    • Medical Insurance

Individual Kit

  • shopping list for gobin to bring in
  • box of meals for gobin to bring in
  • Short mountaineering Ice Axe
  • Boot and Ski crampons
  • Glacier kit
    • 3x 5mm prussiks
    • prussik minding pulley
    • sling
    • biners (2 lockers, 2 non lockers)


  • Michal, Artem, Florian to sort out.


General Phone Numbers

RCMP Bella Coola (non-emergency): (250) 799-5363

Hospital Bella Coola (non-emergency): 250.799.5311

Tweedsmuir Air Services (Float planes from Anahim Lake/Nimpo Lake): 250-742-3388

Bella Coola Heli Sports (heli tenure at Monarch Icefield)

West Coast Helicopters 250-982-2181 (base at Bella Coola airport, 16km E of Bella Coola)

Rainbow West Helicopters 250-982-2322 (base at Bella Coola airport, 16km E of Bella Coola)

White Saddle Air (250) 476-1182 (at Bluff Lake)

Emergency Phone Numbers and Info

  • Tim
    • Tim's Mum (Jill): 604-929-0806
    • Mirella Mazur (Tim's Girlfriend): 604-971-1005
  • Matwyuk
    • Matwyuk's Mom (Deborah): 250-964-6285
  • Sam
    • Parents (604-894-6215)
  • Gobin
    • Parents Bernard & Elizabeth 604-263-0301 (H)
    • Bernard Work 604-875-0377
    • Mel 778-928-6354
  • Florian
    • Florian's Mom: 0043 664 325 14 83
    • Harriet (Girlfriend): 604 369 4119
  • Michal
    • Karolina, wife: 604-518-9535
    • Bozena and Waldek, parents: 604-944-8910
    • Waldek cell: 778-828-2836

Trip Plan



Emergency Exit Options

Backup Plan


Route Research

Sam Ogre (S slope + SE ridge): S slopes are mellow up the glacier with a steep snow climb to the summit. SE ridge is a corniced exposed snow and rock scramble.

Jacobson (SW face, S ridge to SE face) SE and SW face's are steep snow climbs to gain the S ridge. May need to punch through some cornice to gain ridge from SE face. From the south ridge the ascent to the summit is non-technical steep snow and rock.

W. Jacobson (SE couloir + N face) A beautiful steep snow/ice north face. SE couloir is a steep couloir of snow on the right SE face which has bands of ice.

Cerberus (S ridge climb + W face slope) Ice-Snow and rock S ridge. Some Technical buttresses. West face is a steep snow/ice climb, can possibly be skied to summit in good condition.

Sciron A difficult peak which involves technical rock and is seldom climbed. May have good ski runs on certain aspects.


Mount Jacobsen, West Summit

1) SE Face/Couloir

Baldwin: Slightly lower West summit has prominent glaciated face (couloir) on its SE side that offers a 600 m ski descent. The face is mostly 35deg with a section of 45deg in the middle; crevasses and exposed ice in this middle section can be avoided on skier’s left/climber’s right (confirmed by Bivouac account which describes hard ice in most of couloir except for a line of snow to slog up/ski down on climber’s far right). Ascent is a bootpack up the face to the summit ridge.

Surlock’s photo:

Michal: Not sure about scramble to summit; looks quite steep but could go. Other parties on Bivouac describe being turned around by technical climbing even though they had crampons and rope.

2) North Face

Surlock’s photo:

Michal: Looks doable: most probable route would start climber’s left, cross the ‘schrund and going straight up between rock and icefall; once above the icefall, you need to traverse right under the rock band into the rough middle of the face, hopefully avoiding the second ‘schrund; next go straight up and trending slightly right in order to avoid the serac bands below the summit, popping onto the summit ridge just W of the summit or traversing left just below the summit ridge onto the summit. Problems could include getting over the bergshrund at the bottom and finding a way across into the middle of the face while also tyring to avoid the potential bergshrund in the middle. Definitely very exposed in the second half as you’re bootpacking above a huge icefall.

Mongol Mountain, East Summit

Bivouac: A possible summit route is a snowslope on the southwest side. Mostly steep slopes on all other sides.

Mongol Mountain, West Summit

Baldwin: Higher of the two peaks, 800 metres prominence above head of Taleomy Gl. Ascend via glacier S of the summit by swinging W of the main crevassed area around 2300 m.

Bivouac: The southwest side of this peak is glaciated almost to the summit, and this glacier offers an easy route to the summit.

Mount Geryon

Baldwin: Upper W ridge is an easy scramble. Take skis to the base of the ridge via steep slopes on the S side.

from Bivouac: The fourth day of a thirteen day ski trip to the Monarch Icefield. After establishing base camp #2 in the glaciated bowl at the head of the E branch of the Sumquolt Glacier, our first objective was Mount Geryon. Steep skinning and a short belayed bootpack over a weakly bridged 'shrund led up the South Face to the almost-level shoulder on the summit ridge. From here it looked like exposed 3rd class to the top. We opted to forego the summit attempt, because getting our entire party of seven to the summit and back would have taken forever, and some weather appeared to be moving in. Instead we marvelled at the incredible drop below us into the valley of the Taleomey River (7000 vertical feet over 4 km) and then skiied down the S Face. Some clouds had by now moved in, but they were in and out, so we spent the rest of the day skiing around Chili Tower via its col with Tzintli, and then up the North side of Erehwon Mountain to its top. From the top we descended the narrow, South facing couloir straight back to camp, an excellent line. [1]

Tzintli Peak

1) NE Face

Google Earth: large snow face with some rocks bands across it, likely a good path of least resistance can be made up to the summit ridge and skiied down; could be some bergshrunds

Surlock’s photo:

2) NW Couloir

Google Earth: possibly skiable?; might be too steep

Half Dome

Google Earth: NW-facing wide couloir/face looks to be a possibility, kind of like SE couloir on Jacobsen West; bootpack up, ski down; gaining the summit via the summit ridge from the top of couloir could be technical

Taleomey Tower

Google Earth: could be much easier to reach high point on ridge connecting with the Ogre rather than the summit of the Tower itself, which looks to be very steep and technical (rock); possible N-facing couoir from E of the high point on Ogre ridge (S ridge); broad and more mellow E face that could also be good

Personal Gear


  • Book (max 1 per person, list below)
    • Tim: e-reader
  • deck of cards (Artem)
  • scrabble (Matwyuk)

Personal Clothing

  • 2 pairs skiing socks
  • 1 pair sleeping socks
  • 2 pairs skiing underwear
  • 1 pair sleeping underwear
  • 1 warm lower
  • 1 base lower (preferred light, to wear in the sun)
  • 1 shell lower
  • 1 warm upper
  • 1 base upper (preferred light, high collar, to wear in the sun)
  • 1 shell upper
  • optional additional warm upper
  • toque/balaclava
  • down jacket
  • 1 pair gloves with removable liners
  • 1 pair overmit shells
  • 1 pair lightweight gloves to protect hands from sun
  • optional gaiters
  • camp booties (or equivalent)

Personal Skiing Gear

  • Skis
  • Skins
  • Poles
  • Boots + Liners + orthotics
  • Beacon spare batteries
  • Shovel
  • Probe
  • Helmet

Personal Large bits

  • (!) Huge Pack modify lid to enable day tripping
  • Sled - see above
  • Sled towing crap - Everyone figure out own method

Personal Small bits

  • Voile Straps (4 each - two medium one large one garbage sealer)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhat/sun-shield
  • nose-shield (make own)
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • dental floss
  • TP!
  • spf30 or better Lip Balm
  • moisturizer with aloe
  • small knife, < 50g
  • lighter
  • whistle
  • Compass
  • Headlamp spare batteries
  • Camera spare batteries
  • Solar panel - Gobin (michal has it)

Personal Sleeping

  • Sleeping Pad
  • Sleeping Bag (-10ish)

Mountain/Glacier Gear

  • 3x 30m ropes (Gobin, Matwyuk, Tim)
  • 1 iceaxe each
  • Ski Crampons
  • Boot Crampons
  • Harnesses
  • 3 prussiks each (5mm) How long are they supposed to be?
    • I believe 1m for a standard prussik and 2m for the foot prussik are standard.
  • 2 locking biners each
  • 1 double length sling each
  • 2 non-lockers


  • Bowl/measuring cup
  • Spoon
  • Nalgenes
  • Black Water Bladder (5L - Tim or Sam to bring, 4L Artem)
    • Do we want 2x 4L's? That way each 3 person group can have water for the morning while still having our bottles filled for they day.

Not bringing

  • Extra iceaxe
  • Snowsaw
  • Pickets
  • Belay Device