Buller Pass Peak attempt

April 12, 2009

Roundtrip time:  7.5 hours

Snowshoeing with Mark.

Although we had a more ambitious objective initially planned for the day, the disappointing weather conditions prompted us to downgrade. The new plan was to snowshoe into the area around north Buller Pass and pick an objective when we got there.

The weather was actually decent (though far from perfect) in the morning hours and repeated sunny breaks were cause for many photos. The valley west of North Buller Pass is an absolutely wonderful area and makes a great destination in itself. At the head of the valley we opted to attempt the peak to the south. With avalanche debris throughout the valley, we needed to pick a peak with a safe line of ascent and the south peak (unofficially named “Buller Pass Peak”) appeared to offer one.

All started well, but the grade of the middle and upper slopes was deceptively steep. Soon we were unto steep rock and snow where a fall would have had very serious consequences. Ascending this terrain was not terribly difficult, however, descending it was somewhat unnerving. We did a few steps of belayed climbing, but backed down when the risk seemed to outweigh the reward.  

A decent day out, but we’ll definitely be returning in the summer to finish the job.

Near the end of the approach canyon

Mark scrambles up the drainage

I follow

The beautiful valley west of North Buller Pass

The north side of Buller Pass Peak

Deeper into the valley

The east ridge of Mount Buller

Enjoying the weather before it completely breaks down

Looking back to Mount Buller and its east ridge

Approaching the debris from a significant avalanche

Checking out the debris

Ascending the northeast ridge

Windy conditions

Looking through the gap to South Kidd

More of the ascent slopes

The terrain starts to get steeper

Another unnamed peak to the east