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Freedom of the Hills...

Grizzly Peak
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Date:                                                    September 10, 2006

Participants:                                          Author and Carrie

Distance:                                              Est. 10.5km

Elevation Gain:                                     900m

Maximum Elevation:                              2500m

Elapsed Time:                                       5 hours

Published Routes:                                 Kane

Published Rating:                                  Easy

Difficulty - Endurance:                          3.5

Difficulty - Technical:                            2.5 (3 in one spot)

 

Not having much time to devote to a hike we decided to try the relatively short route up Grizzly Peak.  Warning:  although a very technically easy climb, (a hike), this route is not suggested for a winter ascent.  The slopes that you must contour around would be very avalanche prone when loaded and the confined trail and steep slopes would be a nightmare to climb when snowy or icy.  In fact, even wet conditions would make parts of this trail a recipe for a bruised ass.

 

Although not a route finding challenge by any means the easiest line up to the summit can be confusing.  My recommendation would be as follows: Follow the clear trail on the north side of Ripple Rock Creek.  About 20% of the way up you will encounter a small broken rock band that will require a few very easy third class moves (maybe).  After this minor rock band the trail continues to contour around the mountain gaining elevation.  There are a few spots where the trail appears to dissipate and appears that it may head North up the slopes, do not go up as you will run into 4th/5th class terrain.  Just keep following the trail as it rises gradually and contours around to the backside of the mountain.  After the first little rock band mentioned above, you should not run into any other technical difficulties (but for a few spots where the trail may be washed out a bit).  You will eventually make your way around the back of the mountain and come to two major forks in the creek bed that is rising to meet you but still is 50-100m below.  At the point where the trail dissipates in the grass (before you cross to the middle grassy section), make a 90 degree left turn and head up immediately towards the rock.  In about 50-100 vertical meters, about in line with a clump of trees in a minor drainage filled with scree you will intersect another well worn trail similar in type to the one that you were just on.  This is the trail that has been worn into the hillside from people descending.  If you look back down you will see at least 2 other faint trails at varying contour levels carved into the hillside.  Don’t follow these as they are fainter animal trails.  The two trails that I am talking about are major human trails, the top one of which is almost at the rocks.  Follow this trail as it leads diagonally up though a couple scree bays and up some loose scree to the col between Evan-Thomas and Grizzly.  Turn west and follow the moss and grass to the top.  Just before the cairn you will encounter some mild exposure for a few meters where the ridge narrows a bit (still wide).  On return reverse the directions.  Don’t follow the top most descent trail all the way as it will fade out on 3rd class rock.  BTW the descent will be the kind of very steep 2nd class trail that will kill your knees as you arch forward to keep balanced….

 

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The objective from near the highway, looking closer and harder than it really is.

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Coming around the backside.  This is about where you need to head upwards.  The grass slopes, although they may appear tame, are quite steep.


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You will intersect a trail near the rocks that goes up hill at an angle as it curves around the rocks to the east.

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Looking back, notice that if you gain too much elevation in the beginning you will be into some 3rd/4th class rock.

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At the summit looking at King Creek Ridge and the lakes.  (King Creek has similar views and is a bit easier than this hike.)

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Looking at Mount Hood (second peak from the left).  Hood is a moderate but remote scramble.

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The ridge to the summit narrows a bit for a few meters and is a bit exposed (but very easy).

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An unavoidable rock band near the bottom presents some easy hands on.