As I was getting ready for a week in Manning Park to help set up for Fat Dog 120, I got an unexpected invite to join a quick weekend trip to Habel Hut. It was a heli trip to boot, so it was hard to refuse.
Haberl Hut sits at around 2030m on the Serratus-Dione saddle, in the Tantalus Range near Squamish, BC. It’s quite a nice size, sleeps 12, and comes with full equipped kitchen and BBQ, including propane. The views out of the hut are stunning.
We took an early morning flight with Blackcomb Aviation from Brackendale. It is only a 5 minute ride up to the hut, leaving us with a whole day of exploring to do. We were dropped off right in front of the hut. It seemed we were the only ones there so far, and we wasted no time — claimed our beds, unpacked quickly, and set out for Mount Dionne.
The start of the route is mostly rougher hiking, crossing some snow, and some glaciers. On the traverse we did some nice grade 3 and 4 scrambling, some raps, one short 5.3 climb, and a bit of grade 5 scrambling.
White it was a bluebird day up top, the Squamish gallery was clouded over. The views of high peaks and glaciers made up for it, though.
By the time we reached the summit we were dogged in. We hunted for the summit log and signed our names. On the way down we took a different route, with few long raps, and longer glacier traverse.
It cleared up slightly on the way back, but by the time we reached the hut again, it was completely sogged in. We had a delicious dinner of chicken marinated in a super tasty sauce with figs, prunes, capers, and lot of other tasty stuff.
The clouds cleared up just in time for a stunning sunset. We checked out various views short distance around the hut, and reminisced about the day, planning for the next.
We woke up to a completely sogged in morning. It was raining hard with virtually no visibility. We had huge breakfast ready for action, and hung out at the hut waiting for the rain to die down. We took a stab at venturing out and looking for Serratus Mountain. It is no easy task in low visibility. We scrambled around and eventually found a route, but just as things were started to get interesting, the rain got worse and rock got slick, so we headed back.
We hung out at the hut some more, trying to dry out. The rain eventually eased, and Eric and Paul went off to find a close by crevasse we could play in. Conveniently, there was one couple of minutes from the hut. Off we went to have some fun and salvage the day.
We spent the evening in the hut, hiding out from howling wind and more rain. We had a gourmet dinner of home made burgers, and played some games. We hit the bed hoping it would clear up by morning.
The weather was not cooperating. It was still sogged in, and the wind was howling. When the wind stopped, the rain started. Another late and delicious breakfast, as we waited for the weather to smarten up. That’s how the weather goes at high altitude. Wasting no time in hopes it would clear up, we packed up to be ready for the heli ride back in the afternoon.
Eventually the weather did somewhat smarten up, and we head out for another attempt at Serratus. With a bit of glacier traverse, we found the right couloir, but there was no easy way to approach on the wet rock. Oh well, next time.
We set out to explore the glacier a bit more and look for caves or cool areas to explore. Eric and Paul found a fun fin to climb, and we shot bunch of fun pictures around it. The weather was getting better by the hour, but so was our trip.
After while we then split up and Will and I headed out to explore a ridge, while Paul and Eric played some more in the ice, slowly making it back to the hut. Back at the hut we finished packing, did a final clean up, and waited for the heli pick up.
The pilot was really nice and since it was the last flight of the day, he took us on a bit of an extended fly path, showing us the area we explored the previous days. We flew over the ridge we scrambled on the first day, then a flyover of the Rumbling Glacier, and finally a swoop down over lake Lovely Water and back to the airport.