Trip Report: Armchair Traverse
Armchair Traverse offers great exposure, spectacular views of surrounding glaciers, lakes and impressive peaks. Most importantly – it’s right in our backyard just 15 km from Whistler.
Drive to the Wedgemount Lake trail head and park there. Follow well marked trail to the lake (roughly 1100 vertical meters). If traversing from Mt Cook to Mt Weart, an indistinct trail branches to the left from the hut/campsite. Follow this trail uphill and you will find yourself on a scree slope on Mt Cook (see pictures below).
As of August 25, the whole scramble is snow free, there is no need of bringing crampons or ice axes. It can be warm in the valley but temperature dips on the ridge. Probably close to 0°C.
Crux of the route
Getting off the ridge was the slowest and most challenging part. The route is fairly well marked with cairns, however, just below this lake there is a nasty, loose, steep gravel/boulder slope. It was the crux of the route for me. Watch your step!
Best part of the trip
The views from the ridge and summits of Mt Cook and Mt Weart are absolutely breathtaking. The ridge itself offers some great exposure but is still very enjoyable. If something looks too steep or intimidating you can always find a way around it.
For navigation in the mountains I use GAIA GPS app which works great offline. As a premium member you can download different maps onto your phone and use them without cellular data. Usually, I have my phone on Airplane mode to save the battery. On this scramble I used my buddy’s (and Escape Route Squamish store manager’s) Zachary Del Greco GPX track. He did the whole thing in 6 hours! Holly cow! You can download the file by clicking here. Use at your own risk.
Your gear highly depends on your ascent style. Some people are able to run the whole thing, others take it more slowly like I did. You will always find in my backpack:
- First aid kit
- Garmin inReach
- Headlamp (Petzl Bindi)
- Extra insulation layer (Arc’teryx Cerium LT)
- Hardshell (Arc’teryx Alpha FL)
- Gloves (Hestra Ergo grip)
Helmets are highly recommended. Also, I found new Tecnica Forge S GTX boots to be comfortable and well suited for the terrain like this. But as I mentioned earlier, people do it in trail running shoes without any problems.