I have dreamed of this link up for a few years. The first time I soloed up Swanzy and then climbed Castor on the way home I had thoughts about today’s adventures. The four summits are all lined up for ascents in succession, each summit getting progressively higher ending on the summit of Mt-Bonney, at just about 10 200 feet.
I started off at 7.30 heading up the Asulkan valley. I had ideas about where today was going but you can never tell. Knowing I had some distance to travel I skinned quickly up to the mousetrap, and had a quick snack. From there I followed a skin track up towards the Rampart and onto Sapphire glacier. I then skinned over and boot packed up Castor peak. I managed to summit in 3 hrs and 35 minutes from my car.
From there I skied down the ridge and over towards Swanzy. The ridge ski off Castor is exciting since you cannot really ski too close to the cornice. You have to maintain control and eek your way down the ridge. There were a few decent turns but mostly sun crusted snow.
I then started skinning up Mount Swanzy. The other two times I have been up this slope I have boot packed directly up the right hand side. Today I had ski crampons and some soft snow so I skinned right up the meat of it. I would have loved to see my skin track from a distance, very aggressive and direct.
After Swanzy I skied down a thousand feet and toured up Clarke Peak. This is a sub peak of Mt-Bonney that I have never been up. Its east ridge beaconed me to skin up it and shred down it. I happened to hit the slope at its warmest point and I enjoyed some great corn turns off it’s summit at 1.15.
From there I wrapped around Mt-Bonney and skinned up its western glacier directly to the summit. The four summit link up was completed by 3.00pm. well almost there was still a 7000 foot descent. I skied west off the summit towards Mt-Smart and curled into a great run off a high col and into smart creek.
A fantastic tour, one I will do again with friends. Skiing out of Smart creek I ran into the Illecilliweat river and had to cross it. There was no was to stay dry so I jumped in and with water up to my knees I quickly crossed. A wet ending to a great solo day. 4 summits -28 km -10 700 feet.