Thursday, December 12, 2013

Metal Dome

Looking for a backcountry ski objective this week, Jay and I decided to check out the zone around Brandywine Meadows despite the lean snowpack. There was very little snow on the approach up to 1,200 m so we opted to climb Metal Dome to get a summit under our belts in case all else failed. As we gained elevation the snowpack improved and we found ourselves skinning through lovely old-growth hemlock toward the wind-scoured summit. Miraculously, the weather cleared as the morning progressed.

The outflow winds from the previous week had wreaked havoc on the exposed ridges and we found some very hardened surfaces as we approached the summit, which lies at 2,050 m. Here's Jay on top, looking north toward Rainbow Mountain.

Looking west toward Brandywine Mountain, which is just out of sight on the left side of the photo.

And looking southwest toward the volcanic peak of Mt. Fee.

After hanging on the summit for awhile - the weather was amazing - we decided to continue along the ridge and check out the option of a traverse over to Brandywine Mountain. A cloud layer was building in the valley but Mt. Garibaldi was still visible to the south.

Looking back toward the summit of Metal Dome.

As we gained elevation along the ridge it became apparent that a straightforward link-up wasn't likely, so we opted to stop. The peak of Brandywine, the feature we were headed for, is in the upper right of this photo.

Jay at our turn-around point.

Looking south over the valley cloud toward Cypress, Tricouni and the Tantalus Range.

After taking in the view, we headed back toward the summit of Metal Dome and then descended the south face of the peak toward Brandywine Meadows. It was steeper and more complex than we anticipated, but by continuing to angle leftward we found clear passage and some decent powder in trees, a nice treat after a very pleasant day out.

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