July 3, 2006
Distance: Approximately 11 km
Approximately 1380 m
Maximum Elevation: 3121 m (10,237 ft.)
Elapsed Time: 7:00 approx.
Kane and Daffern
Difficulty - Endurance: 6
Difficulty - Technical: 3
I started out very early and, perhaps because of the early hour, the mosquitoes were some of the worst
I have seen this year (the crux). The description of the route is more detailed
in Daffern’s book as opposed to Kanes’. Kane suggests staying away
from the southern creek which is tad misleading as the more popular approach tracks this creek until you gain Read’s
Ridge. You should exit the trail that follows the creek at a small cairn to gain the ridge after about 15-20 minutes. If you go too far along the creek the ascent up the ridge turns into an easy/moderate
scramble as opposed to a steep hike/easy scramble. Although that may sound good,
the rock is ass so forget it, especially on descent.
top out on the ridge the trail then proceeds to a gap between Read’s Tower and a large slabby section. This section
of the trail is a more gentle prelude to the kind of steep hiking/easy scrambling that awaits you at the summit block. There
is a gulley on the North face of Read’s Tower that, for a minute, I though would allow access to the tower from the
gap. However, upon closer inspection there is a chock stone of sorts about halfway
up that would likely require some tricky layback type moves and clearly places this gulley out of difficult fourth class scrambling
and into the arena of technical rock.
part of the route is a moderate angle scree/talus slog to the summit block. There
was a fair amount of snow remaining on the day of my ascent. A brief snow crossing
was of some minor concern as I could not see the terminus of the run off due to the curvature of the slope. Therefore, although the angle was fairly gentle, I broke out the axe and instep crampons to be safe.
ascent line is to the south of the summit block near the col. The ascent of the
summit block is a very steep slog up crappy scree covered rock to a break in the short cliff band that guards the summit. There is a very minor amount of exposure near the beginning of the steep part of the
summit block ascent which isn’t really a concern as a slip would have to very major to fall off the mountain.
The view is great, after all this is a 10,000 foot peak. The summit cairn contains the old and new centennial register and the summit
area houses an antenna/repeater of some sort. I spent a substantial amount of time on the summit and on the scree slopes looking
at fossils. I was very fortunate that the storm cells missed the mountain and
allowed me to putter away and enjoy myself… except for the knee pounding on descent.