Archive:BC Day '09 Long Weekend: Tantalus Range

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What, how, why?

Tantalus Range is those pretty mountains you see off the highway between Squamish & Whistler. Read all about it in Matt Gunn's book, p.48.



Time: August 1st - 3rd, 2009

We need 1 day (Aug 1) to hike in and 1 day (Aug 3) to hike out. We will do ~1200m elevation gain/loss with backpacks + one river crossing each of those days.

On Aug 2 we will break up into smaller groups based on what we want to do. Our base camp will be Lake Lovelywater. There is scrambling up there, you can go to at least 2 different places: Alpha (exposed sections), and Pelops/Niobe (glacier+ some exposure). If you don't like sketchy, haul up an inflatable kayak and paddle on the lake.

Beginner Friendly?

There are several beginner-sketchy things on this trip which I will take the time to point out.

  • Crossing via tyrolean. I have no idea how much arm strength this requires. Not recommended if you're afraid of swiftly running ice cold water below you.
  • 1200m elevation gain to base camp, with backpack. it will be a long day.
  • Optional moderate to difficult scrambling with exposed sections and/or glaciers. You can skip this though.

Never scrambled? Wondering about safety/equipment? Here are some pointers.

  • Each route has its own set of dangers which you should research before heading out. Matt Gunn's and Bruce Fairley's guidebooks are good references. Maria has a copy of Matt Gunn's book that she will bring, so does the club.
  • Having a climbing helmet is important to protect you from the danger of falling rocks. All routes at Lake Lovelywater are subject to rockfall hazard.
  • You must be able to tell when a route is so hard that you have a non-negligible chance of falling off. If it is, then you probably don't go there. Having climbing experience will help in making this judgment.
  • If there is glacier traversing then the standard crevasse dangers apply.
  • If there are steep snow slopes on the route you must have an ice axe (and possibly crampons), and know how to use it.

Across the Squamish

At the beginning of the route we have to cross the Squamish river. There is no bridge. There's a cable where we can Tyrolean across and boats can be hired too.

This is going to be a large organizational issue. Crossing via Tyrolean sounds like fun. But, we can't have everybody pile up at the crossing all at the same time (you cross one at a time). So at the very least we need to get people 'time slots'. You can probably pay somebody to use a boat, and Roland has given me some contact info, but before I do that, maybe a rough idea of how many people wanna NOT do the Tyrolean will be helpful. If you own a boat (canoe? kayak? yacht?) then you can do that. Except, where would you leave it? Also, the river is fast so you should be confident of your paddling skills.

Access to the river itself is also sketchy. We have to cross private property at some point (as I understand it), and people don't always like where you park your car. Matt Gunn's book says cars have been vandalized there before, so if you're driving please be aware! Talk to people and make sure you are OK with leaving your car there.


Camping stuff:

  1. warm sleeping bag + mat
  2. tent or tent spot
  3. stove or stove sharing buddy
  4. food

Hiking stuff:

  1. water bottle
  2. hiking pole if you want
  3. proper footwear!!!
  4. proper backpack which will fit all your stuff
  5. map/description is handy!
  6. safety whistle in case you get lost!
  7. headlamp
  8. duct tape for your feet!

Scrambling stuff:

  1. helmet
  2. ice ax (group thinks this is important, just bring it we'll teach you)
  3. crampons are likely unnecessary but you can bring them
  4. rope, one per 3 people or so. if you don't have it don't worry.

Tyrolean stuff:

  1. 4 long slings (2x 120cm and 2x 60cm or 4x 120cm will work)
  2. 3 biners or biner replacements (must trust your life with 2 of them and your backpack with other)
  3. instructions for crossing. READ THEM OR DIE.


No Write.png Signup Closed
This is the sign up and organization page for an old trip. It already happened on 1-8-2009. Please do not sign up for it.

These people are who the organizer thinks is coming.

  1. Maria M. Crossing via tyrolean. Not much glacier travel experience.
  2. Geoff Martin [stand on bottom wire] [2 (squishy 3) person tent] [glacier experience: crevasse rescue, arrest, axe and crampon use, willing to teach it if needed, climbing and scrambling]
  3. Nick Matwyuk [stand on bottom wire] [no car] [2 man tent] [scrambling experience but no glacier experience]
  4. Nick Gobin [stand on bottom wire], car for me + 4 and packs, comfy with ice axe, self-arrests, rock climbing, and scrambling
  5. Ran Z [stand on bottom wire][NoCar][2pTarp][glacier/climbing/scrambling]
  6. Laura Morrison [stand on bottom wire][3ppl car][2ppl tent][glacier/climbing/scrambling]
  7. Alireza Sharif [not sure yet] [need a ride] [no tent]
  8. Nathan Ma [stand on bottom wire][car for me+4][2ppl tent][climbing]
  9. Veronika Schmitt [stand on bottom wire][no car][no tent][beginner but athletic]

Further Reading

Tantalus_Range A VOC wiki description.

Tantalus_Range#Tyrolean All about the Tyrolean.

[1] The discussion thread.

[2] Old TR from roughly the same time of year.

[3] Last year's extensive planning complete with Ran's amazing Tyrolean diagram.

[4] Last year's wiki page.