Brandywine - June 2007
After a long Montréal winter I was in need of a quick alpine fix. On June 20, 2007 (the day following Andrea's thesis defense) I headed to Brandywine for the day. I had originally thought about going to Castle Towers but with rain on the forecast and the late snowmelt this year I opted for something quick and easy: Brandywine.
photo: Looking back south along the south ridge. Given the lack of spring sunshine I spent most of the day walking on snow. The ridge narrows in a few spots, requiring care given the large cornices.
peak summited: Brandywine 2213 m
return distance travelled: 14 km
reference: Scrambles in Southwest British Columbia. Matt Gunn. Cairn Publishing. 2005.
I left Vancouver at 5:45, was on the trail at 7:45, on the summit at 12:45, and back at the car at 3:15. If you've been here in winter you may be aware that this area is popular with snowmobiles. There were three sleds buzzing around for a few hours early in the day.
photo: Mount Fee spent most of the day under a cloud. I only had a brief window during which I could snap it unobstructed. This view reminded me of seeing Fee from the summit of Cypress in June 2004, when there had been much less snow.
The route is straightforward and enjoyable, even when covered in snow. As seen in the first photo, there were a few cornices to be aware of, but overall it's relatively safe and low on exposure. I took a different route on descent to make a quick boot ski escape instead of reversing the ridge (although the ridge was enjoyable on the ascent).
photo: Brandywine Meadows as seen from the South Ridge. The standard ascent route is a bit to descender's right. I had a nice boot ski down this bowl to the meadow, losing 800m in about fifteen minutes.
photo: Here is the view looking into Brandywine Meadows from the south. Brandywine is the summit in the centre of the frame. The standard ascent route heads to the back of the valley and up left to gain the ridge before following it back north (right) to the summit.
photo: This photo gives an idea of the amount of snow still lingering in the meadows (elevation 1450 m) in late June this year.
photo: Much of the trail was still snow covered. The temperature did not warm enough to soften the snow too much during the day.
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