Pemberton 2011: Day 3, Saxifrage and Cassioppe’s col

After spending a day and a half off the mountain, we all returned for another few days of camping and hiking around Lake Valentine. Luckily for us, we managed to skip two days of harsh rainy conditions. Yep, basically everything we had left up at camp was soaked! Coming by helicopter early in the morning was super cool though because we had to fly very low, under the clouds – a beautiful scene to observe from the helicopter (see below).

Before I continue with the story and pictures of our third expedition, I recommend you read a few of the related articles I’ve posted over the past few weeks, if you haven’t already:

View of the clouds in the lake Valentine area from helicopter.

So, our third expedition took us to an even better place than the first two. As the map above and the image below show, we walked all the way up to the col between the two peaks. It’s easy to see the area from the Lake Valentine pictures, which show the two peaks. It doesn’t look very far in the photos, but as we learned during this trip, mountain walks are always longer than they look. It took us about 3.5 hours to get to the col, but it gave us the opportunity to see the huge cliffs that are hiding behind Cassioppe Peak. We also saw the whole valley behind the col, which is one of the possible exits off this mountain ( though a somewhat hard one due to some swampy areas). We also saw (partially) the glaciers behind Saxifrage, which is another potential route people take on this mountain (en route to Cirque Pique).

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Pemberton 2011: Day 2, Cassioppe Ridge

On our second day on the mountain, we went for a walk around the Cassioppe Ridge, which is south of Lake Valentine and separates Valentine Lake from two smaller lakes on the other side of the ridge. For those who don’t know, Valentine Lake is where we had set-up camp (see image on the left where the red line “starts”). It’s an easy landmark to recognize… (see image below, you can also spot some of the tents on the North side of the lake). In any case, this walk was much better because it offered some breathtaking vistas and also gave us a chance to see the meadows from above very well.

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Sunrise over CN tower

Pemberton 2011: Day 1, Bushwhacking near Peq Creek

First of all, thank you for those of you who read (and shared) my previous post on the volunteer search efforts that took place this past August (if you haven’t, feel free to read it now!). Obviously, the searches and the interest around our story is very important to us, as it helps us live through this hard experience and, hopefully, helps us find them, to bring some peace to both our families. My family and I were part of the group of people who stayed on the mountain for a few days in August, organizing searches, and hoping for some positive results. These photos were intended to capture some of the beauty of the place and also to help people understand the difficulty and vastness of the terrain.

Before I write about our trip, though, I wanted to point out that Alison Taylor of the Whistler Pique magazine wrote an amazing article, entitled Missing in the backcountry, which gives an excellent overview of the events around Jon and Rachael’s disappearance and explains (in more detail than most media coverage) the efforts made to find them (this year and last). I highly recommend you read it if you want to better understand the intensity of the searches.

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Experiment :: Red Raspberry

Today, I felt like doing a little experiment. It pretty much turned out how I had imagined, but I might need to get a new vase for my next experiment.

Aujourd’hui, j’avais envie de faire une petite expérience. C’est pas mal ce que j’avais en tête, mais je vais devoir acheter un vase un peu plus gros pour ma prochaine photo.

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