After browsing through several topo maps and looking at our "list" we decided to give Mount Orrock a shot.This peak is located on Chehalis lake and is supposed to give great views on a clear day.There is no trail and little info.A quick study of the map and an email to CT's "gm" confirmed that the south ridge is a good way to tackle this 1563m summit.We arrived on saturday morning and set up car camp at the Skwellepil rec site. We usually try to avoid this type of set up,but we lucked out and had a waterfront site with quiet neighbors.
A quick paddle allowed us to study our route from below,although the summit was covered in some cloud.
We set out and thrashed through some young and stubborn bush. Within minutes we found a gulley feature that had little growth in it and would carry us swiftly straight up,no swithbacks.
There were some open sections that offered some views and allowed us to orientate ourselves and correct our heading.
We also found yet another party balloon!
After around 2 hours and passing several good viewpoints we came to a flatter area and then were able to get a good glance of the steeper section that we had to navigate before we would head for the summit.
We tackled it straight up,quite steep in spots and crawled past a few big rock outcrops,but the general path was working well. We pushed out into the open and the options seemed to get thinner and finally just below a 1000m we found ourselves in an airy,open somewhat exposed section.We sat down and discussed our route.To the left things were looking tough,all rock bands,to my right looked a little rough too,with no easy way to move over either,unless we dropped down and started over again at the 800m mark. Straight up looked the simplest.We knew the mountain eases over after a 1000m.
I headed up some,then looking back it was obvious that coming down this part would be a little awkward and a slip may end up with some less than desirable consequences.
From a mountaineer's point of view this part would probably be just a few natural steps.
So we sat there in disbelief
we felt pretty good and were sure this peak was in the bag. Looking around,we could see the summit was not open
The stubborn cloud stayed on it the entire day.Pushing any higher really was not worth it today. I was not sure if there were many other routes to come back down from higher up,and we were not interested in finding out in low visibillty and or rain and wind. So we enjoyed the open views from our location and had some lunch and relaxed in the sun.
We were about in the middle of this pic
Later we arrived back at camp for more relaxing and adult bevys. I went for another paddle,the summit was still locked by that cloud,
but I could see where we stopped and turned back,just where the cloud was starting
It appeared that we had most of the battle behind us,and the rest of the trip would have been quite easy.We had drifted a little left climbing into more difficult terrain. Staying 50-100m more right of our location would probably have left us with an easier route. Maybe we'll try again.Sunday was spent enjoying summer like conditions and spending more time on the water and the beach.
I played in the current for 10 minutes,Gin was the first one out,Pooh Bear held on until the end
Then we went exploring deep in some other old logging road system,until a huge thunder and lighting storm chased us away
The video part will be entered int he next day or so