August 23, 2010
Total elevation gain: 1200 m
Ascent time: 6:30
Descent time: 4:00
Climbing with Kevin.
hearing Ferenc’s riveting account of his day and night
usual, it was a sheer delight to be back among peaks of
We hiked easily up King Creek and then to the Brock/Blane col. Kevin’s recent ascent of Blane was very helpful in getting us there via the fastest and easiest route. Along the way the uplifts of rock were fantastic, but bad lighting due to cloudy and potentially stormy skies took some of the thunder out of those views (pun intended). A strong and unusually cold wind for August ensured we would reach the col wearing almost all our layers of clothing.
The route from the col seemed very obvious thanks to Orvel’s description – a long scree ramp paralleling the south ridge on the east side of the mountain. We ascended that ramp to a point only 70 vertical metres from the summit. From there, as suggested, we took out the rope and put on the rock shoes. The terrain didn’t look too bad, however, it was deceivingly steep in places and the finesse of rock shoes was definitely appreciated. Kevin led the pitch, deftly placing some good protection, and soon we were at the sub-peak, a few vertical metres and not many horizontal ones from the true summit.
Downclimbing to the gap between the sub-peak and the summit looked a little tricky so we took an easy, but circuitous route around a large rib of rock to the gap, and then contemplated the last few metres to the summit. As Orvel’s outlines in detail, the crux ascent is a short, vertical wall with an excellent crack for protection and/or handholds just above your head. Kevin again stepped up to the plate and climbed the step with ease. After belaying me up we walked to the summit, a short distance away.
course, the summit view was somewhat marred by the
unwelcome cloudy skies, but at least the cloud level obscured only the
of peaks in the area (ie. Joffre,
The two necessary rappels to get down from the summit were a little time-consuming, but after that, it was an easy and wonderfully scenic hike back to the car. The skies finally cleared to reveal the incredibly beautiful terrain all around us.
A very, very rewarding day.
The first look at Brock (left of centre)
Mount Blane from near the Blane/Brock col
Brock from the col; the ascent route goes up the obvious scree slopes, right of the south ridge
Kevin makes his way up the scree
Kevin is all smiles as we start up steeper terrain towards the false summit
Higher up; just scrambling at this point
A very beautiful, unnamed peak to the east
Out comes the rope
Kevin getting ready to ascend the crux
Kevin at the summit, with Hood, Packenham, and Evan-Thomas behind
The first page of the summit register
The summit view to the east and southeast
Looking west to the other false summit;
those who took the Pillar route would reach this summit at some point
The south end of Opal Ridge is visible, with Grizzly Peak in the shade at the far, lower left
Romulus and Remus
Kevin starts the descent
Kevin on the first rappel
The false summit at the left
The scary looking northwest ridge of Mount Blane
Kevin coils the rope after the second rappel
Scrambling back down the the scree slopes
More views to the southeast
The aforementioned peaks to the north
Kevin descends the scree
Looking down to the north fork of King Creek from near the col
Kevin at the col; the south ridge descent route looks pretty daunting from this vantage point
Clear sky arrives as we descend
The severely tilted strata of the rock, characteristic of the Opal Range
More terrific scenery on descent
Same as above
A last look at Brock