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Hargreaves Shelter Skiing and Two Attempts on Mount Resplendent

Ski Mountaineering (Glacier Travel, Steep Snow)
YDS Difficulty: 
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mere hours after getting back into Jasper from the Bonnet Traverse with Sean, I met up with Liam, Jake, and Josh for a four day trip up to the Hargreaves Shelter aiming to summit the mighty Mount Resplendent (or failing that have some great skiing!).  The weather forecast was pretty grim but we decided to go for it regardless.  Not too much in the way of description for this trip report, but there were some nice pictures (see below)!

On the first day we left the trailhead and made our way up to the shelter.  Weather was far from ideal for the ascent being both warm and rainy but we managed to avoid skin problems despite crossing bush, rocks, creeks (and even a bit of snow in places).  Getting to the shelter we were glad to find someone had set up some dry branches to get the fire going nicely and we quickly went to bed, it would be an early day tommorow (the best weather forecast day) for our attempt on Mount Resplendent.


Setting off from the soggy trailhead.


Kinney Lake didn't look that solid so we stuck right near the shore for a bit and then switched to the summer trial.


Some of the skinning up was not really skiing. ;)


Things are starting to melt out at the bridge before the Emporer Hill.


Not the greatest views from rounding the bend towards Berg Lake.


Back near the lake, the shelter is in sight (I guess if you had binoculars).


The Berg Lake area is always impressive.


An avalanche coming down from Rearguard onto the lake.


Thrice damned lens fog.


Setting our alarm for the dark hour of 2:45 we managed to leave the hut somewhere a little before 4.  There were quite a lot of clouds outside the hut but our forecast suggested that things might start to improve for a brief window after sunrise.  As a worst case we thought it would be good to scout the route and maybe save time for another attempt in the future.


The next morning setting off at 4am to give Resplendent a go.


Neat clouds (but low optimism unless it starts to clear!).


Higher up near the Extinguisher Tower.


Still pretty cloudy as we stopped for grub near the Extinguisher Tower.


Liam leading at our turn around point.  Can't even see the icefalls..


Still all smiles despite the visibility.


Josh skiing down by the two ice caves on the lower glacier.


We were all really tired back at the shelter so this is what things looked like.


After getting back to the shelter the lack of sleep really caught up with us.  Everyone was sound asleep by 7 and ended up sleeping till sunrise the next morning.  With tons of cloud cover obscuring the peak we reckoned that it was a good day to do some laps on Toboggan Falls.  After a leisuerly breakfast/lunch we set off putting up a decent skin track and shredding some of the slopes.  Jake and Josh rocked a few jumps making for cool pictures.


Looking up towards the summit of Robson the next morning.


The boys heading up Toboggan Falls.


Liam with Robson in the background.


The top of our skin track, time for some yoyo skiing.


Josh going for a jump while skiing his split-board.


Liam and Jake doing teli-turns.


Josh enjoying the snow.


Jake tearing up the slope.


Jake setting up for a jump.


It went a little bit awry.


Josh jumping a different line, snowboard mode this time.


Nice mid-air shot.


With a revised weather forecast suggesting that Friday might actually be only partly cloudy (rather than full on cloud/flurries) we reckoned that it might be possible to get up Resplendent, back down to the shelter, and exit to the road all in one day.  This requried waking up again before 3 and doing as much of the route as possible by moonlight.  Thankfully, having gone up to the Extinguisher Tower two days previously we knew an efficient route (and even had our tracks to follow).  We made really good time up the glacier and ended up being near our previous highpoint for alpinglow.  I was on point for the rest of the route wandering up towards the RR col.  Given that we could see the summit ridge of Robson clearly there was a chance that the whiteout might get better as we ascended higher.  The challenge was navigating through the icefalls with very marginal visibility.  Eventually the whiteout got too intense and the slopes we were on started to get pretty sketchy so we turned around.  The run down was super awesome.  Even Liam was saying that the powder was 'heli-ski good' which is high praise indeed!  Lower down it was getting super warm and glide wax was very useful to avoid sticking.


The next morning setting off for Resplendent for the second time.


Much faster this time, still navigating my moonlight up to the Extinguisher Tower.


Higher up Robson catches some glow.


Navigating up into the white out hoping things would clear.


Higher up the way back started to get pretty cloudy too.


This is a characteristic amount of views for this section...


The boys at our turn around point near the RR col.


Sure enough it was a lovely day lower down.


Looking back towards the RR col.


Some lovely skiing around here.


The boys stopping for a drink on the ridge with Titkana Peak in the background.


One last view up, the RR col is the heart of the storm.


22 degree difference in temperature between here and our turn around point near the col.


Crossing the lake on our way back down to the car.

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