For Summer 2022, as part of our 10 Tallest Project, we’re headed to climb Mt. Waddington and possibly Mt. Tiedemann as well!
What better place is there to spend your summer vacation than in the awe inspiring Waddington Range on Mt. Waddington itself!! The highest mountain in BC (Mt. Fairweather is technically only half in BC) this mysterious peak is found in the heart of one of the most ruggedly beautiful areas of the province. Even better, the area is also home to Mt. Tiedemann, number 5 on our list of BC’s 10 Tallest, so we might just be able to tag 2 summits for the price of 1 if the weather’s on our side!
What is the 10 Tallest Project? Well it refers to BC’s peaks and is exactly what it sounds like: Climb the 10 highest peaks in BC. Some are easy to reach and not overly technical while others are quite involved and seldom climbed. But each and every peak is worthy! The plan is to offer trips on a few of these amazing peaks every year until we’ve done them all! For more information on the 10 Tallest Project can be found here.
Mt. Waddington (Bravo GL: TD-, 50deg, 5.7):
The we will ascend the standard route for the main summit, also known as the Bravo Glacier Route: TD-, 50deg, 5.7. The route starts from the LZ / basecamp at Rainy Knob. From there we ascend the Bravo Glacier to the Bravo Col then up to the Spearman Saddle and finally the summit tower. Depending on the weather, conditions and how everyone is feeling, we will use the best possible window of opportunity to ascend Mount Waddington. However, in an ideal world we would be able to work up to it by acclimatizing on the nearby summits of Mt. Bravo & Spearman.
While the cherry of this trip is of course Mt. Waddington there’s the option of spending a little extra time and try for Tiedemann as well. There are a number of route options for summiting Mt. Tiedemann from down on the Tiedemann Glacier. Of course weather and current conditions would play a big part in any decision on a specific route as would group skill. Some specific routes that we’re considering include:
- NW Ridge of Combatant to W Ridge of Tiedemann: AD+, snow/ice to 45 deg, easy 5th class
- The Great Couloir: D-, snow/ice to 60 deg, 4th class
- Carl’s Couloir approach up the Asperity Couloir: D+/TD-, snow/ice to 50 deg., easy 5th class
The weather and conditions will have a direct effect on our exact itinerary. Having a little flexibility in your schedule is a huge asset.
– Day 1: Meet at about 4pm at the White Saddle B&B in Bluff Lake
– Day 2: Fly to Rainy Knob & establish our base camp
– Day 3-6: Attempt on Waddington
– Day 7: Fly back to Bluff Lake for a homemade meal & a real bed at White Saddle B&B
Or, stick around for a few more days:
– Day 7-9: Attempt on Teidemann
– Day 10: Fly back to Bluff Lake for a homemade meal & a real bed at White Saddle B&B
Mt. Waddington is serious mountain requiring some solid mountaineering experience. You must be able to follow 5.7 alpine mixed terrain with mountain boots and crampons. Prior overnight mountaineering & winter camping experience is also needed. If you haven’t done a trip with us before I would suggest we tackle a less committing peak first. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your background and goals. If you’re on the 10 Tallest program don’t worry about it, we will get your skills to where they need to be on a few other peaks first.
A full-time Mountaineering, Climbing & Skiing Guide, Monte calls Squamish, BC home. After graduating university with an engineering degree, he found he wasn’t satisfied only chasing his passion for the mountains on weekends and evenings. This led him away from working behind a desk into a life of guiding, climbing and skiing. In the summer he can be found guiding anything from remote mountain peaks to warm sun kissed rock across BC and Alberta. In the winter Monte splits his time between heli-skiing in Bella Coola and ski touring in Japan, the Coast Range and any other cool places he can find some powder.
We will be accessing this remote area by helicopter from White Saddle Air Services in Bluff Lake, B.C. Of course there are a few ways to get up to the Bluff Lake area:
- Driving from Vancouver (or anywhere in southern BC for that matter): Definitely the easiest way to get up to Bluff Lake but not quick, plan to be on the road for about 12 hrs if you’re starting in Vancouver or Calgary. Basically you head up to the Williams Lake area, then turn west to get to Tatla Lake before heading south a bit. Here’s a link to Google maps with directions from Vancouver for reference.
- Flying from Vancouver: There’s an airstrip in the area at Anahim Lake. Pacific Coastal airlines flies into from YVR. It’s still over an hour drive down to Bluff Lake though so you’d want to schedule with us to be sure you can get a ride as it’s a bit out of the way.
Regardless of your choice we can help you team up with another guest or catch a ride with your guide Monte.
- Pre-trip planning & support
- ACMG/IFMGA Certified Guide
- Helicopter access to Combatant Col (in & out)
- Breakfasts & Dinners while in the field
- Group safety equipment
- Group camping equipment (stoves, base-camp tent, etc.)
- Black Sheep Adventure Sports hat
- Transportation to/from White Saddle
- Food & Accommodation at White Saddle B&B
- Trip cancellation, travel & medical insurance
- Personal equipment (sleeping bag, harness, etc.)
Q: How experienced / strong do I need to be?
A: This trip will involve some advanced mountaineering skills on broken glaciers with some steep snow & ice climbing and some 5.7 rock climbing in boots. Previous experience on steep snow & ice, alpine rock and glacier camping is required. You will also be carrying big overnight packs and so a high level fitness is needed. High altitude mountaineering is an asset but not needed. We will work with each participant to ensure that they have the skills needed for a successful trip before you step onto the helicopter for the ride in.
Q: How dangerous is it?
A: While there are always risks in the mountains, you will be with a fully certified IFMGA/ACMG Mountain Guide. This means that your guide has reached the highest level of certification possible anywhere in the world and will bring the you the highest safety standards in the industry. And while mountaineering remains hazardous we will work to maximize your experience and greatly minimize the risks involved.
Q: Can I rent some of the required equipment?
A: BlackSheep has a massive arsenal of mountaineering equipment that we can supply to help outfit you for this expedition. If there’s something that we don’t have we will work with you to ensure you get the best gear at the best price.
Q: Can I sign up as a single person or do I need to organize a group?
A: While you can organize a group for a private trip our clients generally sign up as individuals and we put a group together.