[MCR] South Coast Mountains, Spearhead Traverse

Subject: [MCR] South Coast Mountains, Spearhead Traverse
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 09:46:22 -0800

I did a lap through the Spearhead Traverse this past weekend. We found enjoyable travel and sking above 2000m. Below 1900m there is no snow on the Feb 13th rain crust and its associated runnels. In the alpine there is on average 15cm snow on the crust, but in many places it is thinner and partially blow away. The bond between the dust on the crust is strong enough to allow reasonably easy skinning. We found ski crampons where useful a few times through thinner areas.

The average snow depth over glacier ice (at traverse elevations) is easily more than 2.5m and snow bridges over crevasses seem supportive due to all the melt freeze layers.  There are still more crevasses visible than usual for this time of year.


There are two areas that need extra attention. The Ripsaw/Naden Col (on the Naden Gl side) is unusually steep  and not dished like normal. A slip here could easily result in a fall over rocks into the windcirque. The alt route to the west is too rocky and lacking snow to work easily.  Also, the notch under the NW side of Overlord Mt is lacking snow. Yesterday there was  thin veneer of snow/slush over rock slab. I lowered people a few feet over this to better snow. Ice axes where useful in these areas and when walking on ice glazed ridges.


This all made for really enjoyable fast traverse conditions!



Dave Sarkany

DSK Guiding


acmg_ski_SKGABC scanned logo- july 2011


ACMG Ski Guide - Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

CAA Professional Member - Canadian Avalanche Association

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