Bellevue Hill II

March 26, 2017

Mountain height: 2116 m
Elevation gain:    814 m
Round-trip time:  5:30

Scrambling with Raff, Joanna and Sonny.

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I wrote, “the traverse to the true summit may be somewhat anti-climatic”. In fact, the ridgewalk to the top of this “Hill” is fantastic. It perhaps took some appreciative company to bring that fact to light.

Raff continues to keep me on my toes by bringing surprise guests on many of our trips. I was elated to see Joanna and Sonny climb out of the car when they arrived.

The initial plan, to try an unknown route up the northeast side of Bellevue Hill, was thwarted when we found out that a prescribed burn was in progress near the trailhead and thus we would not be allowed to park there. As such, we turned our attention to the “normal” route up Bellevue, which, of course, at this time of the year would require a 4 km walking approach to get to the start.

After the easy and pleasant approach, we picked a path up, somewhere between and south ridge and east face. It turned out to be an excellent route. Joanna (who had run a half marathon the day before) led the way, avoiding all the potential bushwhacking and taking us quickly to the ridge.

As stated, the ridgewalk to the summit was awesome – great views, great rock scenery and great company! Raff and Joanna did their ritual headstand at the summit (my head can withstand the weight of a moderately sized hat, but nothing more!) and then Joanna surprised us with peanut butter and strawberry Oreo's (could this day get any better?!)

For descent we took a slightly different route than our ascent route – direct and fast! An awesome day out! Thanks for the excellent company Raff, Joanna and Sonny.

A morning view of Mount Galwey, with the route we intended to take up Bellevue at the left.

Instead we walked the road......

.....until a terrifying bear encounter (photo by Raff)

Mount Blakiston

Sonny scales a retaining wall. Wire mesh is my new, favourite handhold!

Joanna reaches some interesting rock

Here comes Sonny. Ruby Ridge in the background.

Joanna and Mount Galwey

Joanna ascends more interesting rock

The classic run in with twisted, dead trees

Sonny bravely tests a cornice

Starting the fantastic ridgewalk to the summit

Sofa, Vimy, Cleveland and the Waterton Lakes are constant companions for the ridgewalk

The prescribed burn is big enough to be clearly visible from the ridge

Raff photographs the burn

Sweet Waterton Rock!

A cool section of red argillite

Good, firm snow made travel a little easier

Descending the next false summit, with the true summit at the right

Smoke from the burn

Raff on the snow

That's a big chunk of burned grass!

Joanna waits for us at the summit

Raff finishes the ascent

Sonny at the summit

Oreo heaven at the summit! (photo by Raff)

Great form! (photo by Sonny)

A happy and colourful summit quartet (photo by Sonny)

A final look at the view before descending