—submitted by Greg Deabler
In spite of an excellent forecast, we were once again reminded of the vagaries of mountain weather (August 18, 2022). The gate at the Cameron Connector was opened at 8:00 am and we were heading up the trail toward the Arrowsmith Cokely saddle by 8:45. The morning fog/cloud persisted, and finally settled in to a dense layer with little visibility by the time we gained the bumps. There was still enough snow on the steeps to the first bump to warrant our ice-axes, but once the top was attained, we put away the axes and proceeded in close to zero visibility to the base of the Nose. We got a bit off route on the forth bump, and instead of bypassing the bump summit on the right we ended up on top of the bump. We couldn’t see the Nose nor col in the grey void, and even though we were within meters of our gpx track, everything looked different with no background landmarks to orient to.
We backed up on our route until we were able to correct our direction. On the col, we stopped to put on harnesses and made the decision to drag the rope up both pitches since it was a first ascent for Graham and Geoff and would give them the option to follow using the rope. Although the first pitch is 4th class, there are a couple of exposed moves near the top of the pitch. It is a nice clean route with solid holds and we arrived at the end of the technical section in one piece and enjoyed a quiet summit, though we weren’t the first for the day on the summit. A mature marmot was enjoying the day on the far side of the helicopter pad! A few pics, a bit of lunch and we headed back to the top of the nose to rapel down.
We had just finished our rapels when the heavy cloud cover let loose with a fine rain which lasted across the bumps and most of the way down the saddle trail. A fine day in spite of a lack of views made better by the fine company. Thanks to Geoff and Graham for driving up from Victoria and joining me for this timeless classic!