Burns Ridge – June 2, 2006

Highpoint reached   2,494 m (8,180 ft)
Elevation gain:           900 m 
Roundtrip time:         6:05

Solo scramble.

I definitely picked the wrong mountain for this trip. Not because there was anything wrong with the mountain – quite the contrary. The trip was interesting, scenic, and had more than a few pleasant surprises. Unfortunately, as an after work scramble, there simply wasn’t enough time to explore all that the southeast ridge of Mount Burns has to offer.

Again, I got the idea from Bob Spirko and Dinah Kruze, thinking that the minor highpoint at GR570084 was a realistic objective for an after work trip – it was and I reached the cairned highpoint in about an hour and a half. I took Bob and Dinah’s route in reverse, gaining the east end of the ridge right away and then following it easily to the summit. Along the way the rock scenery was fairly interesting and the view decent.

Continuing west along the ridge seemed like a good idea, except for the immense bands of spectacular, vertical rock guarding the ridge a short distance away. Nevertheless, I had the time and energy and thought it worth a look. There did appear to be the possibility of traversing around the right (north) side. Upon reaching the impressive bands of multi-tiered rock, I started around the right side and when then gained the top of the first band up an obvious weakness. To my surprise, there now appeared to be a route on the left side and I started traversing the wide ledge above the band. More great scenery of huge vertical walls followed and soon I had traversed around the entire band.

Naturally, as the band itself was a significant highpoint, I would have liked to reach its summit also. Unfortunately an extensive search revealed nothing in terms of easy routes to the top, so I continued on, to reach the west side of the block. At this point, time was starting to become a factor, dark clouds were streaming in from the southwest and the wind on the ridge was fierce. I opted to retreat - but not before continuing along the interesting ridge until I came to an impasse. Another highpoint lie much further down the ridge, but was definitely out of reach for the day. I didn’t see any harm in exploring a little.      

This final section was the most rewarding part of the day. The ridge was studded with interesting pinnacles and great views of Gibraltar Mountain and parts of Mount Burns further west. Soon the ridge narrowed considerably and the scrambling became more difficult. Surprisingly, the ridge was the opposite of foreshortened. Although the highpoint seemed a great distance away, in no time I was within striking distance of it. Unfortunately, I was also out of time and getting a little nervous about the increasing exposure on both sides of the ridge. This time, I really did retreat. A very enjoyable and rewarding trip.          

Clearing the treeline of the east ridge

 

On the ridge, with the 1st highpoint in the centre

 

The block guarding further access to the ridge

 

Gibraltar Mountain 

 

Looking back at one of the cliffbands lining the east ridge

 

Almost at the 1st highpoint

 

 

At the cairn, the route continues by traversing around the left side of the block, above the 1st cliffband

 

Bluerock Mountain to the north

 

Unusual rock formations on the ridge 

 

At the block

 

Traversing the wide ledge above the 1st cliffband; Gibraltar behind

 

The multiple tiers of the block

 

An interesting outcrop and Gibraltar

 

The same outcrop and two unnamed peaks to the south

 

The next highpoint I tried to reach, at GR556097

 

Looking back at the tiers and the east ridge

 

More of the traverse

 

On the other side of the block, with GR556097

 

Pinnacles on the ridge

 

Interesting rock on the ridge

 

Looking back at the block

 

Approaching the end of the line; I stopped at the highpoint in the centre

 

Looking back again

 

Same as above

 

A closer look at the block

 

The two unnamed peaks to the south

 

Same as above

 

Heading back

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