The Tantalus Range
Summer finally kicked in for us in the Pacific North-wet last week, and my timing couldn't have been better for a 5 day trip to teach some folks about alpine climbing. Working for Canada West Mountain School, I met with my two climbers Mike and Lou at a coffee shop in town at 7 am. A little caffeine, some pouring over maps, and a ten minute drive took us to the Squamish Airport. The heli pilot gave us a quick briefing and we loaded the bird for the hop up to the Jim Haberl Hut in the Tantalus Range of coastal British Columbia.
So with 5 days of sunshine and warm weather forecast, we set to making plans for some of the classic climbs in the range and a bit of instruction as well. First off we climbed Serratus, which is literally a 15 minute walk from the hut. Steep snow slopes led to some easy rock scrambling and the summit at 8:30am.
We did some skills and then ramped up for an ascent of Dione, one of the more prominent peaks in the range. This one required a few hours of glacier travel on the approach, front pointing up a steep couloir, and then 3 pitches of 5th class rock. By all means, a well rounded alpine ascent, requiring a wide skill set.
We climbed a few more small objectives the next day and then headed back down to the heat of the valley. Overall a great trip in an amazing spot just a short heli ride away from Squamish. Get up to the Tantalus if you have a chance!