I forgot to write this up last week, but last Tuesday I went out to climb the Black Tusk on Mount Garibaldi, just north of Squamish. We took a 24km route with 1700m elevation gain; most people like to do this hike in two days with a base camp about 7km in, but we only had the one day so we decided to push and projected a total time of about 12 hours.
We got a later start than we planned and ended up leaving the parking lot at about 8:30AM. I was with two guys who are definitely bigger and stronger than me, so we powered through the first 8km of switchbacks with me cruising on trekking poles to keep up. After about two hours, the trail opened up into a gorgeous meadow and we could see our objective clearly jutting up from the landscape in the distance.
We had an easy hike up to the base of the Black Tusk, but then things got a little more dicey. There is a definite divide in terrain, and with 4km to the summit we were doing level 2-3 scrambling over rough scree. It was hard going but the air was nice and cool, with a misty breeze to keep us refreshed. About 2km from the summit, there is a narrow ridge followed by a sharp chimney, which is essentially simple unprotected climbing. The route up was basic, but the rock was super chaucey and combined with a large number of inexperienced climbers above on the route, we had to be really aware of rockfall. Me and one of the guys were well prepared for this from other mountaineering experiences, but the other guy was a little shaken up by the time we got through the chimney. All was well at the top though, with some nice views of Lake Garibaldi (see above).
We took it slower on the descent, and I was definitely a factor in our pacing as my nutrition/hydration was off that day and I was having some hypokalemic issues- massive leg cramps the whole way down and a big body temp drop. The boys really rallied in the last 7 or 8km but I was suffering. Again, I made good use of the trekking poles and managed to pick my way down the switchbacks before pouring myself into the car. Total time was 11 hours.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with how we did on a one-day objective, and I’m always happy to get out with people who are physically stronger than me. Definitely hoping to do more trips like this over the fall to fine-tune my nutrition needs and gain some altitude endurance for a hopeful start at ultra running next year.
Photo Credit and comment -Tim Kemple
Yesterday I watched @rorybosio win the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc here in Chamonix France. And while the images we captured on the course were amazing, it was this moment — after signing autographs, having her picture taken 1000 times, and talking to reporters for an hour, that I love the most. -
Yes, despite superhuman feats of endurance, Rory takes off her shoes one foot at a time, just like everyone else.
Had the best of intentions to donate blood today, but got a big bruise instead. I did learn how small my veins are though! That was cool. Anyways, give blood guys! It’s super important!