Another week… and another peak.
Week 2 in BC and the idea is to try and climb up Blackcomb. Not many people in town were aware of a route that you could simply scramble up so it was going to be a bit of a trial and error route. Luckily, not a lot of error and what turned out to be a very easy climb with the added bonus of a 2nd peak (The Spearhead) only another hour beyond out original target of Blackcomb.
So the plan was to take the chairlift up to the Rendezvous Hut and then do the rest on foot. Haven’t worked out the distance yet, but it was a good 6 hour round trip.
So from the chair we hiked around to the top of the Horstman Hut where it became pretty clear that we were going to be the only people up here. Result. From the Horstman Hut, we were able to look up at the ridge climb to the first of the two peaks we would have to tackle before getting to the base of the Blackcomb peak ridge.
Shortly after setting off from the Hut, the conditions were good: a granite base with the majority of the surface being fairly firm and trustworthy.
It didn’t take long to get the summit of the first peak at which point we were then able to get a good view of Blackcomb ahead (and The Spearhead in the distance).
Once we got to the summit, we turned right and followed the ridge line to a 2nd peak before descending to the start of the ridge climb up to Blackcomb.
We carried on, traversing across the ridge towards peak 2. At which point, we had an even better view of Blackcomb to scout our route up (and again, The Spearhead to the left).
We then descended down the far side of the 2nd peak, completely oblivious to just how exposed it was…! This was because the descent was actually quite easy – all the rock was firm and steady, which meant it was a pretty comfortable climb down.
The yellow line shows the descent… interesting:
Now in the saddle between the 2nd peak all we had ahead of us was the climb up to Blackcomb. Before heading up, we were scouting out a route back… straight down from the saddle we were stood on, down to Blackcomb lake below (see map at start). For those who want a route to the base of the Blackcomb ridge with a lot less exposure, this would be a much more sensible route, but watch out for the loose rock. Once, we had planned a route down, we were off on the final ridge up to Blackcomb.
Once we were almost near the summit, we had a great view behind us with the ridge we had just come up in the centre, Whistler to our left and another random peak to our right…
A few more hundred meters and we then finally made it to the actual summit of Blackcomb.
Once at the summit of Blackcomb, we had a rest and studied the map. It was at this time it became apparent that The Spearhead to the north east was 17 meters higher.
It was quickly agreed that we couldn’t miss out on the chance to get a little bit more altitude, so we packed up our stuff and made our way along another ridge en route to the summit The Spearhead. The drop down to our right gave us some pretty good views over a turquoise glacial lake.
Whilst scrambling up to the summit of the The Spearhead we came across this little grouse just mooching about. Move over Attenborough and Oddie.
The additional hike from Blackcomb Summit to The Spearhead didn’t take long at all and was well worth it as the views were just jaw dropping in all directions.
We have a fantastic view over our route up and could event make out our previous weekends climb in the far distance, The Fissile.
It was after about 20 mins of rest that we soon realised the last lift down was in about 2 hours and we were going to have to shift it if we stood any chance of making it at all…
… luckily we did… with a bit of a jog along the final section and some scree surfing.
All-in-all it was a very easy climb/scramble from a technical point of view due to the firm and reliable surface (compared to Fissile), but a good 5-6 hour round trip. Exposure was also good, but you didn’t get a real feel for it as the ridges are fairly wide. We spotted a few good areas for camping, both on the summit of Blackcomb and along our route, all of which are very tempting as they’ll give incredible access to the rest of the Spearhead Range (Decker, Trorey and Pattison). Hmmm….
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