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Ascent to Mount Farnham-halfway up Mt hammond on 2009-08-12

Climber: Tom Sewell

Others in Party:jed tin tin
Date:Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Mount Farnham - halfway up Mt hammond
    Location:Canada-British Columbia
    Elevation:9800 ft / 2987 m
    Remaining Elevation:1660 ft / 506 m (100% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

well, BC beckoned, so Jed and I loaded up our cute new subaru sambar mini-truck and drove north. made to up Farnham Ck. road by midnite, and rain began. next day sit under tarp off back of truck all friggin day. next day off and on rain so we found the cut trail, by white rocks cairn leading up along edge of clearcut, (flagging), and steeply up into forest. soon trail cutout stpped but only a little steep bushwhacking brought us up into more open country. we angled southeast up into the massive valley between hammond/farnham and peter and made a camp at treeline, put our kitchen tarp over "white rock (cairn) and proceeded to wait in the rain and snow. next day looked marginal so i hiked up and around north to check out hammond/farnham col and the cool little lake in bowl (no place to camp there really) then back in pouring rain. next day again marginal but i tied old jed at kitchen and headed up to Hammonds south ridge cliffs. after 2 hours of easy going i reached a steep, slippery, "die if i fall" cliff. had lunch and debated my wimpness. if only i could see above (fog) and rocks weren't wet, i could've made it up, but thoughts of Jed below, and Bindu in Nepal, encouraged me to retreat, dammit. so no Farnham, no Hammond. Crap! next day back down in rain. difficult to find the cut trail. Jed wanted to go the correct way, but my decision led us to a 1/2 hour of lovely thick BC bushwhacking. soon clearcut and road and waiting "Kamala" my mini-truck. we drove down Horsetheif Road back to Radium to dry out, check weather, eat a burger, then decided to drive 500km up and around to other side. all day driving, but ended up only 20km from the start by air. the road up Glacier Creek off Duncan Lake near Kaslo is amazing. the towering Truce/Caldron and Macbeth Icefields on both sides hi above. Sita, my new X, and I had tried to drive up here 2 summers ago but road was blockaded by protests. If BC Hydro makes a planned dam in this valley it would be a travesty. Lots of huckleberry filled Grizzly poops along road. Poor little Kamala struggled to make it up the steepest side road to Monica Meadows TH in 4x4. arrived at midnite in rain and slept in her back bed. next day, by 1;00pm the rain stopped and we headed up with a 3 day pack thru cool Monica Meadows, thence alpine cross country north along tree line and around the corner to east. I had read a description saying "easy going". Yeah, rite, not in "Tom's World". soon traversing steep bouldery cliffs. Jed back legs were in hell but he kept trying. took us 4 1/2 hours to reached awesome Starbird Pass, where we camped among many small new retreating icefield lakes. Next day he could barely walk, so i took a solo hike to look at Birthday and Eyebrow Peaks, far across crevassy Starbird Glacier. No-way tommy! dammit, so back to camp. i had at least thought i could get up Mt. Monica, but it to had crevasses or too steep a slopes and endless rockfall all day and nite. next day we decided to bail and go down the "easy" direct route off pass to logging road below. again, "yeah rite". first it was down the big cliff below pass. Jed knocked a watermelon sized rock almst on my head. slow going. then down flower filled alpine to forest which was BC thick as usual. finally a sunny day. but even once into the clearcut, the fallen half burnt trees proved a pain. finally the log landing and road, but tons of mosquitoes! one hour down road to Monica jct. where i left Jed and my pack and those damn climbing boots and hiked up spur road in croc's to get truck. i must be getting old, or these BC peaks are growing, or something. zero summits attained, so we drove 10 hours back to boring "home" in Missoula. now what?
Summary Total Data
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Weather:horrible mostly



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