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Somewhere above the Lillooet valley a great tower of rock rises out of the glacier below, imposing itself upon the surrounding landscape. The group to which it belongs, the Manatees, is a remote place. It sees just a few visits a year, but those who make the trip leave with memories impressed – the NE buttress of the Wahoo Tower is not an image easily forgotten. Two of those visitors were VOCers Nick Matwyuk and Lena Rowat, having passed through the group on skis in a previous winter.
It was a strange weekend.
We hatched the plan the previous Sunday. I was watching football with ex-VOCer Alex Thompson, bored and rained out for the weekend. Sustained rain had ended the Squamish climbing season, and with reliable skiing still months away we were looking for creative ways to fill the gap. Unable to reach a consensus, Alex suggested an adventure tournament – that each of us was to nominate eight potential weekend trips to do battle in a single elimination bracket.