Mt Birdwood, February 2009
Neither Raph nor I wanted a super early start, despite wanting to summit the beast. So we compromised and started walking at sunrise ~ 7 am.
We slogged our way up the 1000m of approach slopes. Finally, we ditched our skis as the snow was very hard packed and slippery.
The ice was fantastic. Fairly easy sticks gave way to ice that was always steeper than it looked. Even though the steep sections were short lived, they gave quality to the adventure we were looking for.
The powder snow and bottomless facet slogging for the final 300m was an exercise in determination and levitation. The view from the summit of the prairies and well-known peaks was well worth the extra sweat. We made it back to the car just after dark, about a 12 hour day. Definitely, worth the marginally early start.
I had a great day with a fellow climber and the reward of summitting was the icing on the cake.