Cerise Creek – Day 2-3, Lee’s take

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | April 21, 2011      

Lee Lau and Louie Dawson

A good night’s sleep brought us fresh legs. Stu skinned in from the Duffey road to join Louie and Lee at Keith’s Hut at 8am and we were off on our way to check out Mt. Duke (2497m). It’s a bit of a long walk to get there but it’s 200m lower than Matier, and the NW ridge looked pretty simple. Famous last words. We failed to summit foiled by a conspiracy of circumstances including Tyler’s flailing ice-climbing skills, facet-wallowing through steep rime just before the summit bulge (1 hour – 50m elevation gained) and town-house sized cornices on the ridgeline. Massive crowds of people on the ridge were also a factor (or at least made a good excuse for not summiting), probably due to our last Cerise Creek post.

[photonav url=’/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/01panotwinone.jpg’].
Above is a panorama of the Twin One Glacier and surrounding area, mouse over to scroll from side to side.

We skinned then bootpacked Duke’s NW ridge.

Failure! We backed off the summit block due to the size of cornices. Here's Stu failing as he skis our retreat off the NW ridge

Turning back about 20 m short of Duke’s summit at about 1:30 we skied back to a windlip that led to Duke’s mainly N – facing bowl and dropped in to pow of acceptable quality. A moraine ridge feature then allowed us to skin to 100m short of Duke’s summit where we dropped into N – facing pow for a 600m run. We then climbed back out of Duke and up to Vantage and skied off the NW face from its peak. Then up to the sub-peak just S of Vantage for one more run of NW facing snow of quality that was adequate for needs (this face was amazingly untouched). We were all feeling a bit fatigued so dawdled back to the hut for another 11 hour day with around 2,000 meters vert.

Below our turnaround a windhole breaks the N facing ridge cornices. Louie gets to go first

Wilkes finds snow quality to be passable

After we go down, we go back up to the N face bowl on what looked liked a moraine feature

The moraine feature gets us close to the summit. You can then drop down Duke NW bowl or down this steeper NNW facing bowl. Wilkes rails a turn.

The purpose of our trip was to self-promote, get blamed for the massive crowds that will show up tomorrow in this previously mysterious area, and to showcase fine products from Dynafit, K2 and Scarpa (Maestrale boots not pictured but worn).

Skinning up to Vantage Peak. Our backcountry skiing failure on Duke’s N face in the background

Skinning up to Vantage Peak. Our failure on Duke’s N face in the background

We finished off today and the next day with backcountry skiing laps off Vantage Peak and then laps off the "Motel Six" area of Joffre Peak (it's in the backdrop)as deteriorating alpine weather deterred further glacier excursions.

We finished off today and the next day with laps off Vantage Peak and then laps off the 'Motel Six' area of Joffre Peak (it's in the backdrop) as deteriorating alpine weather deterred further glacier excursions.

2190m elevation covered but not much backcountry skiing distance today.

2190m elevation covered but not much distance today.

Our biggest epic was faced that night as a late evening arrival of steak and couscous dinner preparers threatened to asphyxiate us with cooking smoke as we were sleeping (no doubt they were inspired to crowd in by a WildSnow trip report). Fortunately we made it through to the next day alive. Unfortunately the high alpine weather broke for the worse on April 9th and we contented ourselves with lower elevation powder skiing laps finishing up with a restful 1500m of elevation gain and then skiing out back to the road.



17 Responses to “Cerise Creek – Day 2-3, Lee’s take”

  1. Frame April 21st, 2011 9:25 am

    Wildsnow does subtlety – delightful.

  2. Jesse April 21st, 2011 10:39 am

    Thanks for this… Always a pleasure to see my former (and hopefully future) backyard on WildSnow!

    Lou, if you keep posting TR’s from BC and the PNW you’re going to have to add ‘wet cement’ as an answer to the anti-spam question 😀

  3. Lou April 21st, 2011 10:57 am

    Wait, every photo I see from up there is blower powder, just like New England. You mean I’ve been deceived?

  4. sthrendyle April 21st, 2011 11:11 am

    The Duffey is so 1990s. Ruined by sledders, ACC/BCMC trip reports (at least those were in hard copy, and took months to print), bivouac/clubtread.com message boards, and now wildsnow.com. Ditto Bralorne, Hurley, the PowderCap, etc. Of course, this is all pure envy. Enjoy our Crown land and hopefully you won’t need to take advantage of our socialized medicare system, Lou. Stay safe out there.

  5. Lou April 21st, 2011 12:07 pm

    Yeah, Louie and Lee told me it was just terrible up there, you can see how bad it was by looking at the photos. They recommended everyone should go elsewhere.

  6. Scott April 21st, 2011 12:47 pm

    The scrolling panorama feature is pretty dang cool.

  7. Lou April 21st, 2011 1:00 pm

    Scott, glad you like it! We’d label the mountains but figured we’d make a bow to those who want to leave at least a tiny bit of mystery to the area, as well as leaving something for Summitpost.org to provide.

  8. slave.to.turns April 21st, 2011 3:49 pm

    Great report, strong efforts.

    But alas. It’s now 3pm PST. Half the Lower Mainland and Western WA are probably up there by now. It’s most likely bumped out. Bastards..

  9. Someone April 21st, 2011 5:49 pm

    “2190m elevation covered but not much distance today”

    Please tell us what a long distance with lots of effort is….

  10. Mark April 21st, 2011 8:05 pm

    I’m 42, a husband (to an American) and father (to Americans), a professional, skier (please note comma between professional and skier), and all all-around nice guy who would like to become the adopted child of a Canadian (BC or western Albertan only, and my family will join me). I CAN PAY. Please contact me at wildsnow.com.


  11. Tyler Wilkes April 21st, 2011 9:18 pm

    Wow – your previous wildsnow trip report even inspired a SPLITBOARDER to go to cerise creek? I’m done with this place, i’m moving back to louisiana.

  12. JohnW April 23rd, 2011 5:42 pm

    Great TR…I wish I had your legs and lungs…
    I have never experienced a “restful” 1500 meters vert day out!

    Anyway, what watch/GPS system did you use to build your vertical and distance chart in the story?…very cool.

  13. Lee Lau April 23rd, 2011 11:15 pm

    John – my wife is the gps geek. I asked her and she said she uses a Garmin Vista Hcx. The profile is from Garmin Mapsource

  14. Cascade Alpinist April 24th, 2011 2:30 pm

    All these BC trip reports made me dig out my John Baldwin guide and start planing a few trips for next year. I’ll try to grab at lease 50 of my closest backcountry ski buddies so we can make it feel just like the Baker backcountry.
    Thanks for the great reports! The Coast Mountains are a lifetime of skiing – crowds probably won’t ever really be an issue.

  15. Lou April 24th, 2011 4:58 pm

    Nonetheless, burn that guidebook (grin).

  16. Pierce Oz April 26th, 2011 11:54 am

    Does the GPS trip report feature automatically switch to meters when you cross the border?? 😀

  17. Lee Lau April 26th, 2011 11:58 am

    Ha – not too sure. We switch over to fathoms, chains and furlongs if we have to use US topos

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