Island Mountain Ramblers

Hiking/ Climbing / Mountaineering / Exploring Vancouver Island since 1958

Category: Mount Waddington Regional Distrcit (Page 1 of 2)

Hiking Between the Peaks in the Genesis Range: A Failed Attempt at Mount Abraham

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, originally published on explorington.com

It’s great having a regular group of friends to hike with. From week to week, the members of the group may change, but each person comes to be someone on whom I can rely. It’s more important that they are consistent and always improving than that they are the best at any given task. When the bush gets thick or the slopes get slick, looking over and seeing someone else suffering alongside me, or seeing them surmount a problem, inspires me to keep going. Of course, sometimes it’s the group that makes the tough choice to turn around, as we did on our June 3rd excursion to Mount Abraham. 

The lake in the hanging valley hiking to Mount Abraham on Vancouver Island

about 100 metres from this spot you should see a ridge rising toward the summit of Mount Abraham

Yes, another adventure in the Genesis Range. Mount Abraham was the goal, and we arrived expecting a gruelling day of fighting bush, fording rivers, and grunting up steep slopes through blueberry, willow, and huckleberry. We were only half right.


Total Distance: 13 km
Starting Elevation: 840 m
Elevation Gain: 950
Maximum Elevation: 1639 m
Total Time: 6 h

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Mount Sarai

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, originally published on explorington.com

Back in September 2016, I was one of a group that failed to summit Mount Sarai in the Genesis Range. On that trip, we routed up a steep slope to the end of the west ridge in the hopes of following it to the summit. Unfortunately, we discovered a piece of not-so-micro terrain that didn’t make it onto the map – a not insignificant bluff- that stopped our summit attempt. On that day, from our highest vantage point on the end of the ridge, we looked down into the valley and spotted a route up a gully that we believed would provide access to the summit of Mount Sarai. But it wasn’t until May 6th, 2018, a week after our successful summit of Mount Adam, that we gathered ourselves for a spring summit of Mount Sarai.

Total Distance: 8.4 km
Starting Elevation: 812 m
Maximum Elevation: 1670 m
Total Elevation Gain: 960 m
Total Time: 6h 20 m

 

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Genesis Mountain: An Easy Ridge Ramble

–submitted by Matthew Lettington. See explorington.com for more images

Located in the Genesis Range on the northeast edge of Schoen Lake Provincial Park, Genesis Mountain is far from a well-known mountain. It’s out of the way, and surrounded by more impressive objectives, but if your mountaineering interests include easy rambles along alpine ridges, then add Genesis Mountain to your bucket list of Vancouver Island hiking destinations.

After a stellar early-season snowshoe up Mount Romeo, we had high hopes for another early-season snowshoe trip. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the start of our route, we were surprised to discover that the accumulated snow from just two weeks prior had melted — that’s a lot of melt! On the plus side, we parked at the highest point of the road (~1200m).

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Mount Adam: Spring in the Genesis Range

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, originally published on his blog

Every once in a while, one of my adventures doesn’t live up to my expectations (ahem, West Coast Trail). Be it an error in planning and predicting terrain, or environmental conditions, sometimes a trip is either much easier or much more difficult than anticipated. In our planning for Mount Adam, we anticipated that we’d be anxiously gritting our teeth as we hung on for dear life and dragging aching legs by the end of the day. But on April 29th, we summited rather quickly, and avoided the teeth-grinding, mostly.

I overestimated the difficulty of this trip based on two factors, the first of which was poorly predicting the elevation of the snowline. The second and most significant factor relates to a prior trip to Mount Schoen, a mountain located on the same ridge. On that trip, we accessed the connecting ridge between Adam and Schoen via a steep, long (>1000 metre elevation) scree slope. It was an experience that ended a pair of Phil’s much-loved shoes and scared us, and even two years later — more than 80 mountains — we still frequently reference the experience. That slope has become a benchmark of sorts when comparing terrain on all our trips.

 

Total Distance: 5.6 km
Starting Elevation: 861 m
Maximum Elevation: 1727 m
Total Elevation Gain: 871 m
Total Time: 5 hours

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Snowshoeing Mount Elliot: Fun in the Sun

–submitted by Matthew Lettington — read the full report on his blog.

It’s official, I’ve lost all my summer fitness! It was a long slow decline to the state I’m in now, a fact that was made painfully apparent on my snowshoe trip up Mount Elliot. But, I’m looking forward to a winter full of snowshoeing, skiing and family fun in the snow. And who knows, maybe I’ll kick myself back into shape again!

If you’re looking for a great snowshoe mountaineering trip, Mount Elliot may be the trip for you. Aside from one or two short, steep sections at the top, it’s a lovely route up the side of the southwest side of the mountain. The reward is the summit. On a clear day, the lucky mountaineer is rewarded with spectacular views of the Bonanza Range and the Johnstone Strait. It took me two attempts to reach the summit, but it was worth it!

 

Total Distance: 8.3 km
Starting Elevation: 785 m
Maximum Elevation: 1549 m
Total Elevation Gain: 817 m
Total Time: 6 hours

 


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Waring Peak: Striking Back

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, read the full report on his blog

Have you ever struggled to achieve an objective, and been turned back? I have–a lot! Waring Peak in the Sutton Range is among several peaks that we failed to summit last winter. My first attempt came to a premature end, with the group looking longingly at the base of the summit block, merely 200 metres away from the summit of the mountain. This August, we struck back at mountains that had turned us back last winter. This time, after only 2.5 hours of hiking, we were standing on the summit admiring the view, and enjoying the narrow upper ridge of this Vancouver Island peak. It’s satisfying to gain these summits, but it’s remarkable how different the approaches are in the different seasons. Of note, the biggest surprise is the bush!

 

Toal Distance:  9.1 km
Startin Elevation: 541 m
Maximum Elevation: 1599 m
Elevation Gain: 1071 m
Time:  5 h 15 m

 

 

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Jagged Peak: Grovelling in the Gully

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the full report and see more images on his blog.

[insert snappy introduction]

I love mountaineering in the Sutton Range because the peaks offer a sense of exploration I don’t always find in more popular regions. I attribute this feeling to the relative isolation of the peaks: they are a long way from the major population centres of Vancouver Island, and there are no paved roads to the trailheads. Because of this, we rarely see booted routes to guide us on our way. It’s in the Sutton Range that we found our Sunday adventure, on Jagged Peak.

Many of the peaks in the Sutton Range are dramatic, jagged forms that inspire feelings of dread (or excitement) as you look at them. Jagged Peak, aptly named for its long, crumbling gullies, is no exception. Jagged Peak is a less popular destination than other mountains in the Sutton Range, such as Victoria and Warden Peaks. Individually, they might be difficult to identify, but these dramatic, and iconic peaks rise together from the valley and create an easily identifiable Vancouver Island landmark.

 

Total Distance:  11.5 km
Starting Elevation: 605 m
Maximum Elevation: 1700 m
Elevation Gain: 1150 m
Total Time: 6 h 30 m

 

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Mt Rugged: day trip

–submitted by Clarke Gourlay

1Trip went well with 6 of us, arrived to within 80m of summit (Donkey’s Back feature), but needed to belay from there and didn’t have enough time to finish and get back with all 6.  As it was we had a 16 hour day car to car.  Got beyond the bergshrund below the East Ridge by belaying lead climber over an ice bridge to test it.

On the approach down low (near valley bottom), we returned differently than we went up, and it was a mistake.  As the approach trail (really an old decommissioned logging road) becomes VERY DENSE, turn up hill and proceed at 45 degrees to the hill in the same direction on a climb/traverse.  Much easier than slogging through brush in the valley.  All this could change as more logging is imminent.

Possible to do in a very long day, but we did not complete.

Mount Abel: A Great Spring Snowshoe in the Sutton Range

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the full report on his blog

The Sutton Range holds a good number of peaks that I’ve included my Island Alpine Quest, including our goal for the day: Mount Abel. The names of the peaks and valleys follow a pattern – Mount Cain, Mount Abel, Mount Adam, Adam River, Eve River, and so on – that have some people referring to that portion of the range as the Genesis Range. Mount Abel, like most mountains, has both an easy or a difficult approach. The west aspect is a dramatic rock wall, but from the southeast there is a good variety of easy mountaineering options.

We parked a short distance down a logging spur, just off Adam Road (~850 m). Only the week prior, the snow was piled at least forty-five centimetres high on the place we were now parked. That’s a lot of snow melt in seven days! Seeing how fast the snow is melting brought a smile to my face, as it’s a sure sign of summer ahead. At the same time, I groaned a little, knowing that we would be trekking through some sloppy conditions.

 

 

Total Distance: 9.9 km
Starting Elevation: 886 m
Maximum Elevation: 1819m
Total Elevation Gain: 943 m
Total Time: 6 hours

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Mt Cain — The Long Way Around

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the report on his blog

Being focused on an objective is a great way to track progress and remember to celebrate when you achieve a goal. But sometimes, I get so focused on the objective that I forget about everything that goes into making the day a success. On January 22nd, I had a good reminder that getting to the destination can be half the fun.

I’m usually the driver for our adventures. Behind the wheel, I’m focused on the moment: making sure I don’t fall asleep, leave us sideways on a patch of ice, or take the wrong road. I try to take in as much as I can, but I often let the landscape slide past me without paying it much mind. On January 22nd, I was a passenger — Oh, the sweet passenger life! I scrunched myself into the backseat, propped my head against the window, and watched the landscape roll by. I took it all in – well, at least the right side of the highway. We were on our way to … well, I don’t even remember where. I recall that our destination was past Gold River — a long drive, for sure! But where we were headed isn’t important, because we didn’t get there. In fact, we rerouted several times and ended up far from our original destination.

Mt Cain Snowshoe in the Dream Chute

Mt Cain parking area, Genesis Range

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