Alpine Club of Canada

SpringGazette2017

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landscape. Obsidian reminds us that this provincial park is part of the Tahltan Highlands. e Tahltan people—the original people of this spectacular wil‑ derness—have not given up Aboriginal Title to their territory. Edziza obsidian, the dark volcanic glass used to make sharp tools in ancient times, was used and traded by the Tahltan and has been found on the west coast and in territories toward the east. e human story here reaches back to time immemorial; as visitors we respect the land by leaving no trace and taking nothing but photos. At the end of our first full day of hiking, we contemplated the second sig‑ nificant pass of this traverse and decided shade of gold were capped by pristine snowfields. Green patches interrupted the creek bed gravel. We shouldered our packs, rounded the lake and started up valley. Northern summer days afford the luxury of late starts and long days. To me, these latitudes offer the best kind of hiking; Jordan came to relax about not striking out by 8 a.m. every day. Day two brought us across our first pass and an abundance of ever‑changing colours creating countless impressions of the Spectrum Range. I slowly found my uphill legs, and then eased the knee‑bust‑ ing downhills with a well‑practised handling of hiking poles. We took note of obsidian littering the "T rip partner(s) wanted: remote ~12‑day traverse in Mount Edziza Park in northern B.C., across the Spectrum Range and along Mt. Edziza. It will be a challenging trip (no trail), but non‑technical. Float plane charter into Little Ball Lake and flight out of Buckley Lake." I had never heard of this area, but the promised duration and remoteness were immediately appealing. is post on e Alpine Club of Canada Yukon Section's Facebook page was from a Jordan Anderson. We made contact and met in Victoria in June. During a 30‑kilometre overnight hike on the Juan de Fuca trail we checked our attitudes, hiking styles, ultra‑light and emergency gear, and whether we'd enjoy each other's company. With a successful hike behind us, we finalized plans. Jordan proved to be a stel‑ lar route planner and navigator, targeting nine days of hiking. I organized the food. ere were meticulous gear lists, nutrition tables, emails and phone calls. I met Jordan in Smithers, B.C. on August 1. Gear quickly overflowed the motel room. By evening's end we had two backpacks ready to go. e next day we drove six and a half hours north to Tatogga Lake Resort to meet our Alpine Lakes Air charter. As the float plane left us alone, we felt the elation of having arrived in a vast wil‑ derness without an escape route; a world of self‑reliance and trust in each other. e saturated alpine landscape immedi‑ ately embraced us. Its bright blue skies welcomed us as the evening sun began to draw long shadows. Mountains in every Edziza traverse a spectacle of colour and light by inga petri Obsidian, very hard volcanic glass, is easy to find in northern B.C.'s Spectrum Range. photo: Jordan anderson Inga Petri ascends a steep scree slope with 500-metre elevation gain as the cloud layer settles in. photo: Jordan anderson Inga Petri manoeuvers along the bank of a fast-flowing glacial creek. photo: Jordan anderson

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