–submitted by Wendy Langelo
Sept 7 – Phil picked up 3 of us in Parksville Saturday morning at 7:15 – we jumped in with him and headed off to Sutton Pass and the logging road up to the trailhead. The logging road up was quite a trip in itself – apparently the logging company deactivating the road had gone relatively crazy with the waterbars in the last 2 years since Phil and Debbie had been up there. I got a lesson on what my Jeep may be capable of with a competent driver
Always interesting when you are heading up a mountain and the first direction you head is down – once you leave the trailhead you descend down into a beautiful treed river valley – the flora was stunning – soft gentle green everywhere. Not for long – we soon were gaining the sub-alpine on a well-booted trail – the big views taking awhile to show themselves (with the exception of Pogo that we could see pretty quick) but a really nice hike along the way – numerous tarns, undulating trail including a rope assist in one spot – and eventually view of the summit for us to watch along the way.
As we approached the summit it was all about the rock – huge blocks of it – we picked our route through and finally started the last push up on scree. Dustin took the most direct route up the gully on a ridge of rock while the rest of us scrambled up. The views when you pop up over the gully just before ridge walk to the actual summit are quite breathtaking – looking straight over at Triple Peak and Cats Ears and 50-40 – and then from the summit views of Louise Goetting Lake, Kennedy Lake, glimpses of the ocean, and mountains for days… oh and even a look back at Nine Peaks.
Weather was perfect – not too hot but warm enough for a couple of us to take a quick swim on the descent. About 700m elevation gain, about 10km total distance return, lots of time for photos, snacks and a summit lunch. Company was great – a successful day.