GR244254 and Kent Ridge North Recon. December 5, 2004

GR244254 height:    approx. 2,550 m (7,380 ft)
Elevation gain:           approx. 700 m

Roundtrip time:        
6:35

Snowshoeing and scrambling with Mark.

I included the word “recon.” in the title in a lame, pathetic and desperate attempt to make this trip appear more adventurous and ambitious than it really was!

Actually, “reconnaissance” is an accurate adjective, as our goal was to ascend the ridge at GR244254, continue on down to a col and then up to the north summit of Kent Ridge at GR254258 (approximately 2,875 m). From the highpoint, we were hoping to determine if an ascent of Mount Inflexible from the west (as opposed to the normal scramble route via Mount Lawson, from the east) was possible. We expected lousy weather and so a simple reconnaissance mission seemed in order.

Leaving the Sawmill parking lot at the unusually late time of 10:15 am, we followed a ski trail north for a short distance and then headed directly up the heavily treed slope towards the lower point of the ridge, leading to GR244254. The bushwhacking was, at times, tedious and it took us far longer than anticipated to clear the treeline, but we did eventually make it out, where a short slog brought to the ridge. From there, the summit was a fairly short ridgewalk away, highlighted by some beautiful vertical rock bands on the eastside that would have been stunning on the clear, winter day. Even in the dismal weather conditions, the summit was quite pleasant.

Like the summit at GR232272, a week earlier, getting down the col was more problematic than anticipated. Due to the large amount of hardened snow, we traded our snowshoes for in-step crampons at this point and started down to look for an easy route to the col. With a little and trial and error we found a feasible route on the left side and carefully proceeded down snow-covered, steepish slopes. By the time we reached the col, the weather had worsened and visibility was severely compromised. We decided to continue up towards the north end of Kent Ridge (which oddly enough is higher than the summit of Mount Kent along the same ridge), even though we probably wouldn’t be able to see the route towards Mount Inflexible.

After about an hour of slogging up the seemingly endless slope, our late start caught up to us. We wanted to try an alternate and potentially faster descent route, and so turning around here was the prudent thing to do. Returning to the col, we then turned northwest and followed a drainage down to the valley southwest of Mount James Walker, where we able to find the cutline (trail) that took us back to the ski trail and Sawmill parking lot.       

Not our best day in the mountains, but nobody died, so it could have been worse.    

A picture of GR224254 (right) and the north end of Kent Ridge at GR254258 (center) taken the weekend before from GR232272

 

A very bold moose in the parking lot; he stayed there the entire time we were getting ready, licking salt off vehicles 

 

Gaining the ridge 

 

On the ridge, heading towards the summit

 

Some of the cliffs on the eastside

 

More cliffs and great winter scenery

 

Mark, almost at summit

 

Carefully descending steep slope alongside a rockband, enroute to the col

 

Approaching the col, with the summit of GR244254 behind

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