Thursday, August 16, 2012

GMC - July 30 - Summiting Alpina Dome

A typical day at the GMC starts with the 6 am wake up call, 6:30 am breakfast and a 7 or 7:30 am start of a climb. This is at least a 2 hour shift forward from my usual life. When in the mountains, it's usually important to move early and I do adapt in good humour. Each afternoon, 3 objectives were posted from which we could select our first and second choices.

Alpina Dome - you can make out 3 TNF rope teams on
the summit slope. We went around to the left out of the
photo around that rocky summit.
Alpina Dome was our first summit objective of the week. We traveled from camp up the Haworth Glacier and then hung a left to cross Palisade Pass and circumnavigate a rocky mountain out crop. Then up Alpina Dome in a steady climb. 
Rope team number two led by Brenda.
Note the ominous clouds.

Andrew was our rope team leader. Two other rope teams also were on this climb, plus The North Face (TNF) leadership course used it for their training of Alpine Club amateur leaders. When we got to the summit, the TNF group was still there; and the two other rope teams arrived shortly after us, each having taken variations on the route up.

Just as we got up there, the skies opened with hail and thunder started to move in, too. We got off the summit in a bit of a hurry; but not in such a hurry that we didn't take a slightly longer way down, via the Redan Pass. It was a bit of a scramble (on snow), and just as we regained the Haworth glacier for our final descent to camp, major lightening was right over our heads. It all worked out fine as you can see.

We got the rain gear out as we headed for camp to protect from the hail and keep warm as the temps dropped considerably. 

TNF group with their three instructors: Cyril, Dave and Matt.
These 10 leaders underwent an intense training week,
including plenty of classroom time plus long days outside.
An impressive group from ACC sections across Canada.
They always say be prepared for any weather in the mountains and especially quick changes in weather and temps. That's we we all carry these quite large day packs with rain gear, down jackets, gloves, food and drink, while our guides usually also carry some extra gear, in case the group runs into any trouble.

Click on any picture to see a larger version!

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