Monday, September 6, 2010

Blackcomb Buttress:Take 4; Success at Last!

Route Overview
(Yellow = Approach, Red = Route, Green = Descent)

After being chased off the mountain last weekend by the snow we decided to head back this weekend to give it one last shot for the season. This time our friend Gary 'Alpine Yoda" Shorthouse joined us to offer some guidance and teach some proper short roping techniques.

To make a long story short, we lucked out with the weather and with the help of Gary we moved with a little more speed and confidence on this outing and we made it to the summit! it was a great feeling of accomplishment to finally summit Blackcomb Peak after 2 seasons of trying. The views from the top are spectacular with all the glaciers, lakes and peaks in the backcountry behind the Whistler/Blackcomb resort and the peaks of Garibaldi park such as black tusk to the south.

The descent from the route is quite straightforward, which was a nice change from most routes. We just scree bashed straight down the DOA couloir to Blackcomb Lake and then back to the gondolas along the nice, groomed trails. We even made it back to the gondolas in time to catch a ride down the mountain! All in all, a great alpine climb and great day all around.

Here's a trip report written by Mike:

Blackcomb Peak via Blackcomb Buttress
2436m PD Low-5th

We caught the first chairlift up at 0945. We had found through past experience that taking the Wizard Chair along with the Solar Coaster is about 20 minutes faster than going up the Whistler Gondola and Peak to Peak. This is critical because the last ride down from the Blackcomb side is at 1715 and if you miss this you have to hike down the mountain. From the Rendezvous we made our way up the access road toward 7th Heaven past the snowmaking reservoir. After passing under the 7th Heaven chairlift start contouring toward Blackcomb Peak and make your way onto ledges and continue through these until you reach the base of the route. It took us 2 ¼ hours to arrive at the base of the route. The route follows a series of 4th class steps to generous ledges. The route curves left and then back right to gain the main ridge. There is no sustained difficulties and only a couple possible spots were 5th class moves are encountered. At no point on this route did we place any gear and many a terrain belay were used for bringing up the second. We arrived at the Summit at 1500. For the descent we made our way down DOA couloir, along the trails and were back at the lift by 1630.

Click Here for Complete Photo Album
(All Pics taken by Gary Shorthouse)

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