June 9th, 2019
~ submitted by Matthew Lettington
We started up the climber’s trail under overcast skies. The forest was warm and muggy, but the ground was dry, allowing us to move over the complex terrain quickly. At every step, we watched our footing, ensuring the roots, rock, moss and other debris didn’t cause us to lose our footing.
As we climbed above 500 m, we met two men and a dog. They had overnighted at a muddy tarn and were on their way back down. After some conversation, they wished us well, and we continued our climb.
As we passed 700 metres we felt the first drops of rain, but we carried on hoping for better skies; sunshine and blue skies were forecasted. Around 1050 we stopped on a slab of rock to assess the situation and enjoy the view. The light showers showed no signs of letting up. Although the rock seemed to be absorbing it or the residual warmth caused it to evaporate the plats were starting to show droplets. In the valley, the cloud rolled in, and our route above had clouds blowing through it.
We halted for 20 minutes to wait and see if the clouds would break. It didn’t. A cold, wet wind brought more cloud, and we decided that we would turn around for fear of summit fever overtaking us if we reached the summit block. The bushy 4th/5th class route could be treacherous in the rain.
The rain continued for another hour as we descended. But by the time we reached the Jeep sun was shining through broad blue skies and any evidence of rain was gone.
On our way home we celebrated our defeat with donuts in Port Alberni–the highlight of the trip.