Thursday, February  29, 2024
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Sep. 12, 1998 (Sat.)
Elevation: 4714 feet; Order of Height: 11
Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Andree Plouffe, Brian Connell

This was a two-day backpack, starting from Upper Works, to climb Mount Colden via the Trap Dike, a mountaineering route up the west side of Colden.

We hiked in and set up camp at the Lake Colden backcountry camping area. Had too much food for the bear canister, so hung up the rest of our food a ways from the tents. During the night, heard noises and sounds about bears from neigbouring campers... but didn't get out of the tents. In the morning, my bear-canister food was fine, but the hung up food... gone! A bit of investigation revealed the remnants not far away in a bush, cleanly picked over. A lesson learned!

We still had enough provisions to finish our little mission, so we started off for Avalanche Lake and it was not long before we reached the southwest end of the lake. From there it is a bit of bushwacking along the southeast shore of the lake to the base of the dike, which looms up impressively.

The climbing was fun, with several pitches of class 3 or 4 interspersed with easier scrambling. I was unsure of the precise exit point from the dike onto the face and was a bit too conservative, causing us to have to do a little sideways bushwacking over to the main slide. Complicating matters was the fact that the night before had been below zero and there were several icy sections on the slabby portions that we had to traverse. Would have been very bad to slip on any of these sections, so we hauled out our rope and did a little safety belaying where needed. It was easy to stay in the dry on the main part of the slide and we burned up the steep slope. We could see the big perched boulder on Colden's summit from far away and that acted as a good marker for progress. An excellent route! We returned down Colden to the southwest, packed up our campsite, and returned to Upper Works.

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