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The incredible Pemberton Icefield

An intense gigapixel view from the summit of Overseer Mountain (elev. 2,749m) near Pemberton, British Columbia.  It is the highest peak of the Pemberton Icefield area w/ a fantastic 360 degree view in all directions.  To the east, one can see distant Mt. Matier in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, south towards Garibaldi Park including Mt. Currie, Mt. Weart, Wedge Mountain, Castle Towers Mountain, the Black Tusk, & the volcano Mt. Garibaldi.  To the south is the fantastic view of the icefield though much of the glaciers are still covered by snow having been a wet winter season.  Most of the glaciers have no name & are collectively part of the icefield.  Behind that is the Tantalus Range as well as other spired peaks like Ashlu & Tinniswood.  Looking southwest are more remote glaciated peaks that are part of Clendinning Provincial Park w/ sections of the Elaho River Valley visible below.  To the west are distant glimpses of the Compton Neve & the Lillooet Icecap, both are which are considerably larger than the Pemberton Icefield.  Even a glimpse of Fish Lake.  To the northwest is the Mt. Meager volcanic complex where the Capricorn Creek Landslide occurred on August 6, 2010, the largest landslide in recorded Canadian history.  The landslide choked off any easier access to Overseer from the west making old logging roads deactivated.  In recent years more roads have been built back in however they are gated.  Further north is Mt. Athelstan to which a large pumice mining operation lies at its base.  Further northeast are additional peaks that span the divide between the Lillooet River Valley & Gold Bridge.  The summit area of Overseer is relatively easy having to scramble over loose gravel & broken granite.


The Pemberton Icefield is the SMALLEST of several massive icefields that inundate the Pacific Ranges of British Columbia.  At 300 square kilometres in size, it is roughly 5x larger than the island of Manhattan.  There are many moraine scars visible showing just how much larger the icefield was when the Little Ice Age terminated around 1840.  Even in recent years the glaciers have been receding rapidly.  


Overseer had been an objective of mine for several years & it was quite grueling reaching this location having taken a tedious approach from the Lillooet River bottom.  I made it last three days trekking in bear country (3 black bear encounters) & dealing w/ devils club, downsloped white-flowered rhododendron vines, & mats of biting flies.  Often many climbers will opt to reach this remote region via helicopter & will rope up to tag other nearby summits.




Gigapixel panorama (2.145 gigapixels), 508 photos, 65500x32750 pixels

More About Canada

The capital of Canada is Ottawa, in the province of Ontario. There are offically ten provinces and three territories in Canada, which is the second largest country in the world in terms of land area.While politically and legally an independant nation, the titular head of state for Canada is still Queen Elizabeth.On the east end of Canada, you have Montreal as the bastion of activity. Montreal is famous for two things, VICE magazine and the Montreal Jazz Festival. One is the bible of hipster life (disposable, of course) and the other is a world-famous event that draws more than two million people every summer. Quebec is a French speaking province that has almost seceded from Canada on several occasions, by the way..When you think of Canada, you think of . . . snow, right?But not on the West Coast. In Vancouver, it rains. And you'll find more of the population speaking Mandarin than French (but also Punjabi, Tagalog, Korean, Farsi, German, and much more).Like the other big cities in Canada, Vancouver is vividly multicultural and Vancouverites are very, very serious about their coffee.Your standard Vancouverite can be found attired head-to-toe in Lululemon gear, mainlining Cafe Artigiano Americanos (spot the irony for ten points).But here's a Vancouver secret only the coolest kids know: the best sandwiches in the city aren't found downtown. Actually, they're hidden in Edgemont Village at the foot of Grouse Mountain on the North Shore."It's actually worth coming to Canada for these sandwiches alone." -- Michelle Superle, VancouverText by Steve Smith.

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