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Archive for March, 2014

Location: British Columbia, Tantalus Provincial Park (near Squamish)
Elevation: 2,603 metres
Range: Coast Mountains, Pacific Ranges
Candidate: #58

When I was 17 years old, my parents drove and friend and me up to Garibaldi Provincial Park, where just my friend and I were going to hike up to Garibaldi Lake and climb the Black Tusk. It was my first overnight trip apart from my family or any Boy Scout group. When the Tantalus Range came into view, I asked my dad to pull the car over because I wanted to get a shot of that spectacular scene. Black, rocky spires pierced through a white mantle of glacial ice with green forests wrapped around the feet of the peaks. This view has stopped untold numbers of visitors to the area and there is a small rest area with a picnic table situated slightly above the highway so one has an unobstructed view to the mountains.

The mountain names inspire visions of Greek mythology: Alpha and Omega, Pelion, Serratus, Pelion, Niobe, Pelops, and of course Tantalus. As the myth goes, Tantalus was punished in Hades for all eternity by being submerged up to his neck with fruit hanging just out of reach, forever “tantalizing” him with something he could never have. The local story goes that a climber was tantalized by the ice-draped peaks from across the turbulent waters of the Squamish River.

The range is only 16 kilometres wide at its widest and 35 kilometres long. However, it is the first grand view of glacier-covered mountains when driving to Squamish from Vancouver. The mountains are popular with tourists, photographers, and even film makers, but naturally there is a special allure for climbers. The first stage of the climb is a 4 to 6-hour hike up to Lake Lovely Waters and later requires glacier crossing and some difficult scrambles with some short pitches required further up the ridge.

The mountain was first climbed in 1911 but not via the lake. Instead, climbers B. Darling, J. Davies, and A. Morkill went up the Rumbling Glacier route. This route is not possible now due to glacial retreat. The exposed rock would make it very difficult and there is no path through the forest.

View from near Levette Lake

View from near Levette Lake

Photos

100 Famous Mountains of Canada on Flickr

Sources:

Bivouac

Wikipedia

ClubTread report

Tantalus Provincial Park

TrailPeak

SummitPost

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