Fitzsimmons Glacier – Cheakamus Mtn – Russet Lake
Today we tried to ski the summit chute on Mt Cheakamus (2588m) but failed. We turned back at a faceted exposed ridgeline climbing direct up the summit chute then dog-legging to try to get to the summit direct instead of contouring across the face. It was still a good ski. To be honest, I don’t know if I would have had the balls to try to turn the (reputed) 60 degree summit face direct. Instead we were content with good snow down the lower, more moderately-angled 55 degree middle face.
Our route took us from the previous day’s base camp at the toe of the Fitzsimmons Glacier, up to the col overlooking the Overlord Glacier then up past the cornices overhanging the Benvolio Glacier, through the Fitz – Benvolio Glacier, down the Diavolo Glacier and to the base of Cheakamus. After our attempt and descent we retreated the same way then skied down the Overlord Glacier and to the Russet Lake hut for a total of 2300m vert for the day and over 28km. For some strange reason neither Paul nor Wilkes wanted to do a Fitzsimmons lap — perhaps deterred by the shiny windslab on its face and the extra 400m vert it would require.