2 of 7 – GR’s of Upper Canyon Creek – November 24, 2007

Mountain heights:          Ryan: 643 m, Jeri:
Total elevation gain:      approx. 800 m
Roundtrip time:             9:10

Scrambling with Mark.

Not a tribute to Jeri Ryan – a.k.a. “7 of 9” of “Star Trek: Voyager” fame, although she certainly did come to mind when we ended up reaching the summits of 2 of the 7 GR’s of Upper Canyon Creek - not for any specific reason, other than she’s totally hot!

The intended objective was the GR south of Tiara Peak (we’ll call it “Jeri” for now). Initially, we wanted to attempt Jeri from the north, but iffy conditions prompted us to choose an easier route from the south. On the way there, we decided on another route to the GR south of Jeri, which we’ll designate “Ryan”. This route was relatively straightforward, although an interesting and colourful rockband provided a few tense moments.

Atop the rockband, an easy hike brought us to the summit of Ryan. The weather was very windy, but the skies were clear above us. As well, a little snow added dramatically to the scenery and views – far better than the scenery of two previous trips to the area (1, 2). 

The traverse from Ryan to Jeri was fantastic. Although I had completed this traverse earlier in the year, it was done under cloudy skies and as a solo scrambler. I was therefore reluctant to tackle terrain that was more challenging. With Mark and some climbing gear we would attempt to stay on the fascinating ridge throughout.

Unfortunately, the honeymoon was short lived and after ascending a short step of great quality rock, we arrived at an overhanging drop-off that would have to be rappelled down. We had the necessary gear, but I knew we could back up and walk around the obstacle and leaving an unnecessary rap sling on the mountain didn’t sit well with us. In fact, we ended up taking much the same route I had done so previously. Nevertheless, the unique rock scenery was again stunning.

The ascent to the summit of Jeri was also a pleasant scrambling experience on slabby terrain. We used the rope for the final steep section, instead of bypassing it on the right side, as I had done in August of this year. Although the wind was strong throughout the ascent, it was almost non-existent at the summit. We were able to relax and enjoy a magnificent summit panorama as well as get warmed up.

We couldn’t leave without at least checking out a potential route north to Tiara Peak. This attempt was also short-lived. The wind was absolutely ferocious and very cold. We quickly retreated when an easy route didn’t present itself.

For descent, we intended to use our original ascent line up the south side of Jeri, but decided it might be interesting to return to Ryan with the intention on staying on the ridge – trying to upclimb it would be significantly easier than downclimbing. We arrived at the start of the climbing in windy conditions that were definitely the worst of the day. Yet again, the attempt was abandoned and we slogged 15 minutes back up Jeri and then took the very easy descent route as originally planned.

A more than worthwhile return to a terrific area. 



Sunrise in the other direction


Tiara Peak gets some morning sun


Mark checks out a potential climbing route up the first rockband


Looking for a way around the second rockband


A little hands-on scrambling to gain the ridge


Mark at the summit of Ryan


Looking to Peak 3 of the 7 GR's of Upper Canyon Creek


A partial summit panorama; Mount Bryant at the left


Peak 3 trying to look Himalayan (and doing a pretty good job of it!)


Circumventing the difficulties of the ridge; we could have rappelled 
down the left face of the pinnacle but opted not to


Blowing snow 


More of the terrific rock scenery on the way to Jeri


Peak 3 and an interesting cloud


Peak 3 and some interesting pinnacles


Slogging back up to the ridge


Mark on the ridge


Same as above


Near the lowpoint with Jeri ahead


A curious fractured slab 


The ridge of Jeri, with Tiara Peak to the right


More of the slabby ridge


Mark ascends the slabs


The crux step of the ridge


Ascending the step


Looking back along the ridge


Mark walks along the ridge; Moose Mountain at the distant right


View to the north


Tiara Peak


At the summit of Jeri


The potential route to Tiara Peak