Mount Arrowsmith The Nose and Bumps

—submitted by Greg Deabler

In spite of an excellent forecast, we were once again reminded of the vagaries of mountain weather (August 18, 2022).  The gate at the Cameron Connector was opened at 8:00 am and we were heading up the trail toward the Arrowsmith Cokely saddle by 8:45.  The morning fog/cloud persisted, and finally settled in to a dense layer with little visibility by the time we gained the bumps.  There was still enough snow on the steeps to the first bump to warrant our ice-axes, but once the top was attained, we put away the axes and proceeded in close to zero visibility to the base of the Nose.  We got a bit off route on the forth bump, and instead of bypassing the bump summit on the right we ended up on top of the bump.  We couldn’t see the Nose nor col in the grey void, and even though we were within meters of our gpx track, everything looked different with no background landmarks to orient to.

We backed up on our route until we were able to correct our direction.  On the col, we stopped to put on harnesses and made the decision to drag the rope up both pitches since it was a first ascent for Graham and Geoff and would give them the option to follow using the rope.  Although the first pitch is 4th class, there are a couple of exposed moves near the top of the pitch.  It is a nice clean route with solid holds and we arrived at the end of the technical section in one piece and enjoyed a quiet summit, though we weren’t the first for the day on the summit.  A mature marmot was enjoying the day on the far side of the helicopter pad!  A few pics, a bit of lunch and we headed back to the top of the nose to rapel down.

We had just finished our rapels when the heavy cloud cover let loose with a fine rain which lasted across the bumps and most of the way down the saddle trail.  A fine day in spite of a lack of views made better by the fine company.  Thanks to Geoff and Graham for driving up from Victoria and joining me for this timeless classic!

Mt Arrowsmith – Judges Route

August 9th, 2020

~ submitted by Jes Garceau; photography by Linda Fynes

How dare I! My first hike as a trip leader and almost three months later I am writing not only the trip report but handing in the participant list to the club for the records. Well, I suppose this year everyone has a built-in excuse for anything that has gone awry, right? As most club members are familiar with this hike I will spare the details of the route as it is well travelled and documented. What I would like to write about is what this first year of being a Rambler’s member has meant to me and how this was portrayed in my first leadership role. I realize this may sound like too big of a deal for the Judge’s Route, but for me this opportunity was a big deal. Organizing and leading an activity is a new experience for me and an area I would like to gain confidence in.

I was given the opportunity to lead my first hike when due to popular demand, Matthew’s group for Mt Arrowsmith became full. This opportunity gave me the chance to lead while having the safety net of an experienced leader along with me. As forewarned in an informative and light course of trip leading taught by Matthew, the biggest part of
trip leading is the extensive pre-communication required about trip details as well as finalizing the ever-changing participant list. This club course gives you access to all of Matthew’s highly touted organizational tricks, tips and habits to help you succeed as a trip leader. After everything, the two full groups ended up Matthew’s and my family units and 4 additional club members.

Continue reading “Mt Arrowsmith – Judges Route”

Mt. Arrowsmith – Unjudges Route

June 14th, 2020

~ submitted by Greg Deabler

After watching the mountain forecast for Arrowsmith all week, we decided to move our trip up the Unjudges route to Sunday and take advantage of the partial sunshine forecast – haha.  5 of us met at Whiskey Creek and picked up a sixth at the Alberni summit hump.  We dropped a car at the judges route and took 2 cars to the unjudges trailhead.  

Continue reading “Mt. Arrowsmith – Unjudges Route”

Katzenjammer 2020 (Mount Arrowsmith)

January 1st, 2020

~ submitted by John Young

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve summited Mt. Arrowsmith for the annual New Year’s Day expedition, but it must be at least 10. The first year I participated was in 2001, and I climbed it in my backcountry touring skiboots. They provided great support, but were heavy and of course cumbersome. But there was a lot of snow that year, right from the parking lot off Pass Main, and they were great for kicking steps.

Before leading this year’s climb I was apprenhensive:

  • after a 6-week trip to Mexico I wasn’t in the best of shape. Could I handle it?
  • of the 7 others in our group, I didn’t know 3. Would they all be okay?
  • there have been three accidents in recent years on this climb, and I fretted about the conditions. Would it be icy and treacherous?

Thankfully, though, my fears were unfounded. Everyone did just fine, and it was probably the easiest winter climb I’ve had up Arrowsmith with good snow conditions, for the most part.

The trail was bare of snow until we’d hiked up for about 1/2 hour.

Continue reading “Katzenjammer 2020 (Mount Arrowsmith)”

Moriarty…no wait, Arrowsmith

~ submitted by Bil Derby

June 2, 2018

Following a recce of the access roads to the Moriarty trail-head and a lot of discussion back and forth about the likelihood of gaining access to the Moriarty trail-head it was decided to switch locations and hike the Judges route on Arrowsmith.

Seven intrepid hikers met at Starbucks at 0630 to carpool and fuel up on caffeine before heading off to the mountains.  Arriving on schedule at the Judges trail-head at 0800 we quickly geared up and wandered off up the mountain in what appeared to be improving weather……….more on that later.

Continue reading “Moriarty…no wait, Arrowsmith”

Lost Gully – Mount Arrowsmith

~submitted by Chris Istace –The Mindful Explorer-

May 12, 2018

A beautiful May weekend for a climb up Mt Arrowsmith and the timing for the Ramblers club day trip couldn’t have been better. We all met at 8am at Creekmore Coffee just off the Alberni Highway and carpooled for the trip up the mountain. The 6 of us split between the two vehicles and headed on our way. The first destination was the end of the spur road for Judges route which would be where we dropped a vehicle for the descent route. We all hopped into one truck and then headed back down to the lower spur on pass main to the end of that road where the Lost Gully trailhead is.

Continue reading “Lost Gully – Mount Arrowsmith”

Katzenjammer 2018- Arrowsmith’s Judge

–report by Wayne Mills
— photographs by John Young

Mount Arrowsmith (Judge’s-Route) was stunning, on January 1st. The largest mountain on southern Vancouver Island, definitely one for the more experienced hikers. It took us 6.5hrs at a steady pace, from dusk till dawn, steep and slippery, heart rate raiser and old injury breaker (knees/lower back). Snowshoes are not required. Crampons, poles, and axe are definitely required.

Continue reading “Katzenjammer 2018- Arrowsmith’s Judge”