Post by Member-In-Training, Ryan Morasiewicz.
On August 21-24, seven North Shore Rescue members participated in their annual Mountain Workshop, held this year at the Haberl Hut in the Tantalus Range near Squamish. Lead by ACMG/IFMGA Mountain Guide Brian Jones, Team members gained experience in glacier travel and crevasse rescue as well as practiced their steep snow and rock climbing. These technical skills will be put to good use on searches and rescues in the steep North Shore terrain and while assisting neighbouring SAR teams on Mutual Aid calls in difficult mountainous terrain.
The 21st was a travel day, with Black Tusk Helicopters transporting members and slinging in gear:
After unpacking in the Haberl Hut, members spent the afternoon practicing ice axe self arrests, snow anchor building and discussing safe glacier travel
On the 22nd, members put the previous days discussion to use by crossing the crevasse fields and bergschrund of Dione Glacier to the standard access/rappel gully leading to the East Ridge of Mount Dione. Members climbed the gully, comprising 4th and mid 5th class terrain, placing rock protection as they went.
The East Ridge was traversed using terrain belays and short rope techniques, but due to the late hour and the risk of rockfall on a team of climbers below, the decision was made to not to climb the final summit pyramid and simply return to the Hut by rappelling the gully and re-crossing the glacier.
On the 23rd, members set off across the Serratus Glacier en route to climb Serratus Mountain.
Routing proved to be a challenge, due to a complicated series of crevasses and moats that had to be safely crossed.
Monday’s snow anchor practice proved useful to protect the steep (mid 40 degree) ascent up the upper slopes of Serratus’ North Face.
After successfully summiting, members rappelled down the snow and rock and safely re-crossed the crevasse snow bridges. The remainder of the trip back to the Hut tested members’ navagation skills in the near zero visibility of darkness and fog.
The 24th dawned with a cold breeze and sleet/snow, and members spent the day indoor’s practicing rope ascending and high angle rope rescue stretcher rigging techniques.
On the final day members were able to get in some additional terrain belay practice before assisting with Hut maintenance and flying back to Squamish.