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I like being outside if it's nice out. This includes mountain biking, trail running, sailing, climbing, skiing and much more. If you're going on a fun adventure, let me know!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sky Pilot


After having spent not enough time in the mountains this summer, I had a serious itch to get out and do something fun. I'm pretty sure I was diagnosed positive for worka-itis, and the only cure is a good dosage of mountain time. Sky Pilot is one of those peaks that I've seen almost every time driving through Squamish, but have never ventured into the area. It's quite close to Squamish and the access is quite good now that you can almost drive to the boulders, but the valley up there with all the craggy peaks and pocket glaciers make it feel it further out there.

We drove the Shannon Creek branch Friday night, after an evening of climbing in Squamish. Chris's Subaru used to have more power, but it didn't make it up the first waterbar. While backing up, the right tire ended up in a bit and we spent the next half an hour jacking up the car and adjusting rocks to free the car, all by headlamp of course.

We woke up the next morning, and ended up having a great time scrambling up Sky Pilot. The weather was cool, the bugs were gone, and the views were good. We parked about 2-3km before the boulders, just before some waterbars, and pushed our bikes up the road. We left our bikes at the Habrich turnoff, and headed up the west ridge of Sky Pilot, which turned out to be quite an enjoyable scramble. The bike ride down on our crappy bikes were probably the most exciting part of the day for us.


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Chris hiking up towards the base of the Stadium Glacier, with Mount Habrich in the background.

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Chris hiking up the Stadium Glacier, with Co-Pilot unlit above. The easiest route up Co-Pilot goes up a gully this face, but we didn't end up going up there today. We started the day fairly early, and crampons could have been useful for the hard snow. The low-ish angle and somewhat flat suncups made it ok but slightly more tedius with just boots. After climbing up the Stadium glacier, the route goes up the west buttress, and then onto the south ridge to the summit.

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Some of the fine peaks in the area, Habrich, Garibaldi, Mamquam etc

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Looking out into the Mountain Lake area. I've tried to go here once many years ago in the winter, but failed rather miserably due to poor weather and turned around on the first day.

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Chris, nearing the summit of Sky Pilot, with views of Howe Sound in the distance.

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Smiles at the summit.

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Chris downclimbing the pink slab, a short 4th slab step. There's lots of jugs and ledges here, and sticking to the left side keeps the exposure down.

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The crux of the route is definitely the bike ride down. If I actually knew how to bike down steep loose logging roads, I'm sure it would be more fun. And also if I actually had a bike that had suspension on it. Chris' bike (the one in the photo) had even skinnier tires than mine.

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Chris riding out with Sky Pilot behind him. This part of the road was quite pleasant for biking, smooth and flat, but we ended up walking alot of the steeper sections, both on the way up and down. I'm still not sure if it's faster to bike or just to walk up the road.


More photos at Flickr

2 comments:

  1. Nice Rich. I climbed Sky Pilot twice this summer. First time up was in a whiteout so I returned to get the view, only to be skunked by a whiteout again. It's nice to see the views that I missed!

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  2. Thanks Jordan!

    I guess you might have to go up there for a third time next summer, or have you been up Co-Pilot or Ledge etc? I'll have to go back and climb those peaks next time, along with the ones in the mountain lake area.

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