FATMAP difficulty grade
Where many scrambles involve lot’s and lot’s of walking for little actual scrambling, Sky Pilot doesn’t disappoint.
For those with a good head for exposure it can be pleasant type 1 fun.
For those looking to build their experience with exposure this is an excellent route to challenge oneself.
In the early season the route often has a good deal of snow.
An early start can make travel with ice axe, helmet and crampons much easier.
The stadium glacier is a steeper snow climb, and is a common spot for budding mountaineers to gain experience.
The harder parts of the route are snow free early in the season as they are south facing.
The rock quality is generally very good, with only a small amount of loose rock.
Some holds are quite small, so hiking boots, or approach shoes with toes for edging are recommended.
Standard running shoes will make this route more difficult.
The gondola has made access much easier.
With that said many prefer to take the Shannon Creek road off the Mamquam FSR for a longer approach.
From the gondola o Follow the dirt road east, and then south.
Look for signage.
o Keep along this road as the terrain gets increasingly rough.
o The trail breaks into scrub brush, crosses a couple creeks and veers into the wood into steep single track switchbacks. o The trail begins to fade as the trees thin at large bowl, with a gulley due south.
Often there is a good deal of snow making microspikes or crampons helpful o Keep ascending the slope as it flattens out passing between two short hills, before a short descent to the Stadium Glacier. o Cross the stadium glacier and ascend the steep snow slope to the left most gap, bearing 187˚ from the short descent.
This section has claimed lives.
While the glacier is fairly benign, ice axe, crampons and helmet are essential.
Microspikes may do the trick depending on the conditions, but training in performing an ice axe arrest is essential.
o At the ridge scramble up a short step to a trail through the trees following the ridge past a short snow field, some talus and a couple stubby cliff bands of 3rd class scrambling with no exposure. o At the pink slab, choose your route carefully.
The exposure can be moderate to high.
The leftmost side is best.
The scrambling is 4th to 5th class.
Newer scramblers should move slow, and never commit to a move you couldn’t reverse.
The climbing gets easier after 10m, and then there is a broad flat section to rest with anchors. o Hike beyond this along Talus towards the base of the face, traversing beneath it to the south.
o At the base of a 2m wide gulley, scramble up 3rd class terrain.
The easiest terrain is just to the climbers left of the gulley.
o At the top of the gully follow the ridge down to a narrow section.
While there is no scrambling here, the exposure is high.
Keep on the ridge to the base of the cliff, and traverse south again, this time through a break in some trees and heavy routes.
A wider gulley here makes for some good quality 3rd/4th class scrambling.
The gulley is split in two, and the climbers right is easier.
The hardest move is towards the top, where you need to traverse slightly.
o Follow the ridge to the summit top a short ways away.
o The descent follow the same route.
There are bolted anchors at the second gulley, and pink slab.
The second gulley is best with at least 40m rope, but the pink slab is fine with 30m.