My first Technical SummitCavalier Peak is 2640m and sits just SW of Mt. Waddington above the Franklin Glacier in BC’s Coast Range. The peak is extremely sharp and quickly catches your attention. That says a lot, considering Waddington is also in view. It was my first technical summit. I attempted it with five other NOLS students and an instructor in the middle of my NOLS Waddington June 14 –July 13 expedition.
We had traveled over many technical passes prior to this, but we had never actually attempted a peak. I was excited to get an alpine start and travel with a light pack for once. The picture below shows one of our prior travel days (over Bell Portal to Franklin Glacier).
Our expedition of 10 students and 3 awesome instructors set up camp on the Franklin Glacier for 3 days and 3 nights at the very end of June. It was our first time to stay in one place for multiple nights in about a week. We camped next to a 75 ft crevasse, which was excellent practice for rescue technique. We had wonderful views of Waddington and other Coast Range Peaks. Absolutely no vegetation was in sight. This was quite the experience for me, just having recently moved from Texas.
Anyway, we headed out roped up at about 5:30, about an hour after 3 students and another instructor left for an attempt on Waddington. We walked on the flat Franklin until the base of Cavalier. Our instructor placed the pickets all the way up, so that was nice. Here we are taking a break so that our cleaner could give the protection to our leader.
We had a grand time. It was spectacular.
By late morning the snow was softening and progress was very slow. Every step meant you would sink in up to your waste. No wonder our instructor was so angry when we started late! Here is our final push.
We spent a lot of time on the summit. Gosh it was gorgeous. There were snow/glacier-clad peaks in ever direction as far as the eye could see – that’s not an exaggeration. The Coast Range is INCREDIBLE. Here is our descent.
So now I can always think back to Cavalier when I summit my next technical peaks. I plan to attempt Rainier this June with two other NOLS students from my expedition. They will be flying in from Boston.