Russet Lake 22/08/09

Jennifer exploring the area around Russet Lake:
“Peter, Laura, Sandi, Michael and Jen all got an alpine start to backpack in to Russet Lake for three days. Via the valley we made our way up Cowboy Pass and down to the lake to set up camp. After a second lunch, we headed up Fissile Peak. Fissile was challenging. There were lots of loose crumbly rocks covered with gravel and quite a long stretch requiring good handholds (of which there were none) giving us a run for our money. We did make it to the top, using the first route described in the Scrambles Guide. The group slipped-n-slid back down the way we came, with a few bruises and scrapes (that shale is full of fossils but also quite sharp!) but no major mishaps. I would recommend helmets for sure (easy to knock rocks down, and we had some narrow misses). Day two followed a crystal clear night of stars. Clouds and some sun made our scramble up Whirlwind peak and on to Overlord Mountain more dramatic. Scampering onto the ridge was the only challenging part of Whirlwind which was otherwise a lot of up with spectacular views of Garibaldi and the Tantalus Range. Now that we’ve done it, we would recommend climbing up the middle moraine to get to the ridge. From Whirlwind we took the northern ridge up Refuse Peak to Overlord. The panorama of peaks and ice-fields filled our eyes and took our breath away. With a couple of exposed areas requiring some careful hand and foot moves, the route up was straight-forward. Back the same way over Whirlwind to avoid glacier travel brought us safely (albeit hungry) back to Russet Lake. We woke up frost-covered in the morning but the sun soon warmed us up (it’s toque, long john, and down vest weather already). Third day was a mellow sunny meander over the Musical Bumps to the lovely gondola which whisked us back to our cars. Potluck dinners and lots of laughs made an unbelievable setting that much better – thanks for a great trip!”

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