Wedgemount Lake - June 2005
Trip Summary
Chris Michalak and I headed to Wedgemount Lake on June 25 and 26, 2005, located near Whistler in the northern end of Garibaldi Provincial Park. Chris had been to the lake on several previous climbing trips while I had only been once to climb Wedge in 2001. Our goal for the weekend was to climb the north face of Weart. After climbing the east ridge of Rethel on Saturday, low motivation and poor weather on Sunday led us to opt instead to climb the southeast ridge of Weart.

This pillar stands near the summit of Rethel. Below lies Wedgemount Lake.

Chris arrives at the cloudy summit of Weart.
After a 9:00 am departure from Vancouver on Saturday morning, we started up the trailhead [780 m] at 12:00 pm for a 3:00 pm arrival at Wedgemount Lake. After leaving most of our gear at the hut [1925 m], we left again at 3:30 pm headed around the western end of the lake and up snow ramps to the Parkhurst-Rethel col [2240 m]. We scrambled up the east ridge of Rethel and reached its summit [2408 m] at 6:15 pm. Given the late hour, we opted not to climb up the opposite side of the col to the Parkhurst summit and instead descended to the lake to enjoy dinner in the last half hour of sunshine before bivying near the hut under a starry sky.

Chris woke me at 5:30 am. Given our late day on the previous evening and the uncertain weather, we opted to climb the easier southeast ridge of Weart instead of the snow route we had intented on its north face. This meant we could leave rope, harnesses, crampons, pickets, etc. at the hut and enjoy a mellow day. We were hiking around the east side of the lake by 6:30 am. After alternating between snow and loose scree on the approach, we reached the ridge crest [2515 m] just before 9:00 am. From there we scrambled the ridge, crossing one snow patch, to reach the summit [2835 m] at 10:00 am. The descent was quick since much of the steeper sections below the ridge crest were on snow; Chris opted to glissade while Steph preferred boot skiing. We returned to the hut at 12:30 pm, packed and left again at 1:00 pm, arriving at the car by 3:15 pm.

Mount Weart as seen from the summit of Rethel Mountain. The lower southeast ridge can be seen at the far right. In the middle is the Armchair Glacier. Behind the cloud to the left is Mount Cook.

This chubby marmot was waiting for us on our return to the hut.
Wedgemount Lake Enchainment - Future Trip Idea
It occured to me that a nice two-day enchainment could be made around Wedgemount Lake. Starting from the hut, one could ascend to the Parkhurst-Rethel col, climb Rethel and then head across to Parkhurst, continue back down to the Parkhurst-Wedge col, up the west ridge of Wedge and across to its summit, down the northeast arête, across and up the southeast ridge of Weart, down its northwest ridge and over Cook, and back down to the hut. This route could likely be completed in a two-day return trip from the hut with one bivouac partway and does not require any technical climbing nor glacier travel.

Scrambles in Southwest British Columbia. Matt Gunn. Cairn Publishing. 2005.

Alpine Select. Kevin McLane. Elaho Publishing Corporation. 2001.

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