Mount Boswell – August 2, 2008

Mountain height:         2439 m
Elevation gain:            1200 m
Ascent time:                4:30
Descent time:              2:55

Scrambling with Mark.

Mount Boswell had been on out hit-list for some time, but various factors had conspired to delay the attempt. Firstly, several park wardens had told me that it was next to impossible to take the boat across the lake, ascend the peak and then make it back to Crypt Landing in order catch the last boat back over the lake. The consequences of missing the last boat would be either a 40 km hike about to the car or spending the night at Crypt Landing, neither of which appealed to us. Secondly, we were waiting for an excellent weather day to best enjoy the scenery and summit view.

Looking at the distance of the trip on a map, we conjectured that with a good hiking pace and no bushwhacking or creek crossing concerns, we would at least be able to get close to the summit. The weather forecast was next to perfect for the area and so we hopped on the 9 am boat, arriving at Crypt landing 15 minutes later.

Initially, we picked the quickest possible route to the summit via the north ridge, but I brought along Chris Goble’s east face route description just in case that didn’t pan out. It didn’t – the intended route would require some a fair amount of bushwhacking that could be completely avoided by using Mr. Goble’s route. Therefore, we continued along Crypt Lake Trail with about 25 other people until just past Burnt Rock Falls.

The crux of the trip followed: getting to the ascent slope. This required a fearsome bushwhack through thick alders and a small, but chilly stream crossing. Once across, the remainder of the ascent was enjoyable and surprisingly easy – a moderate scramble at most.

Unfortunately, the weather sucked! The cloud ceiling was well above the tallest mountain in the area (Mount Cleveland), but why was there a cloud ceiling at all, when all forecasts had predicted a sunny day??? ….Well, it was probably because the water vapour in rising air condensed to form clouds, but that’s beside the point! The strategic location of the peak almost guaranteed a wonderful panorama and the clouds almost ruined it. The summit view was good, but not the “fantastic” it would have been with a clear sky.

Even at a relatively slow pace, the ascent had only taken 4.5 hours and time was not really a concern. We left the summit at 2:30 (perhaps 15 minutes later than we should have). We were able to avoid both the bushwhacking and fording the stream (found a felled tree across it) and found the descent to be very easy and stress-free. The last 3 km along the trail were a little hurried, but no running was involved, thankfully.

Overall, this was a terrific trip in a beautiful area. Goble’s suggested route was excellent and finishing the trip within the time constraints was not at all a problem. Too bad about the less than perfect weather.       

Burnt Rock Falls

Mount Boswell to the right


Mark ascends the lower slopes; the peak at the distant left is the highpoint of Vimy Ridge

Heading up the ascent gully

Higher up

Mark on the steeper, upper slopes; the Red peak at the left is unofficially known as Crypt Peak

Less than perfect weather, but at least my teeth are still looking pretty white

The view to the north; Vimy Peak just right of centre

The view to the northwest