Wonder Mountain from Gott Creek - Sep 01 12 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Default Wonder Mountain from Gott Creek - Sep 01 12

Wonder Mountain is a 2721m peak situated on the Boulder and East Gott Creeks Divide. It is most easily ascended from the upper Boulder Creek Valley but driveable access up Boulder Creek FSR is blocked by a rock slide near the start of that road. The East Gott Creek Road gives access to some good sized peaks (Elusive, Russell, Blue Jay) as it travels past the western flanks of Wonder. First views from this road are of impressive rocky cliffs and jagged pinnacles.

The north face of Wonder also looks impressive from Boulder Mountain (taken Jul 2011).

Further up (near the parking area for Elusive etc.) the terrain eases a bit and this is where Paulyman and I (on our way back from the Blue Jay to Russell loop) figured a route might work. Gyppo had mentioned that trying to get to Wonder from it's subpeak 2km to the south featured some serious cliff bands and fractured rock along the connecting ridge.

Looking at Google Earth and topo maps I planned on a route that took me up a rib on Wonder's western flank to gain the ridge about half a km north of Wonder S2. Then I'd see how things would look from there...

Checking my pictures from the Blue Jay/Russell trip last year I found a shot of Wonder that shows the route I took.

Taken near the Michelle/Blue Jay col.

Driving up Duffey Lake Road I turn right on to Gott Creek Main which now has waterbars from near the beginning. The second one was at an angle and it took a few goes to get through as it put me off camber. Taking it straight on got me through finally with a good thump on the underside of my vehicle. No problems getting to km 7 where two ditches are placed in front of the deteriorating bridge across Gott Creek (note, signage is placed at the start of the road saying this bridge was to be removed late Jul 2011 - didn't happen and thanks to Nortonchum for reporting it was still there a couple of months ago).

I decide to park here (1455m el.) and walk another 4.5km or so to where I want to leave the road. After the bridge the road gets bushy for a bit and is then in great shape to the parking spot at the second to last junction.

Looking up the western side of Wonder from the road. I'll be gaining the 2nd rib (centre right).

A little before the upper parking spot at the edge of a cutblock (1710m el.) I leave the road to ascend through the young trees with mature forest just to my left. When the cutblock ends I enter the forest and it is easy travel with some bush and deadfall. I keep close to a small creek for a while and then cut right slightly as the rib starts to take shape.

Minor game trails are followed briefly here and there as the trees start to thin out and the terrain changes to hard dirt, scree and some boulders. Easy and pleasant travel so far. One cairn also spotted in this area too.

The route ahead at right.

And a view back down into the valley from a bit further up. Elusive at left, Elusive N2 centre.

Lots of boulders and bedrock for a little while and then mainly boulders as I near the ridge line. A low spot of the ridge crest is now off to my left so I traverse over to that and take a break. Clouds have now filled the sky and a chilly wind has picked up so I throw on a jacket and take a quick break. Looking ahead I see that the ridge crest here still features some steep and daunting looking terrain.

A gendarme blocks my way along the ridge towards Wonder.

Dropping off the other side of the ridge doesn't look good either so I figure to go back down a bit on the side I came up and see if a route presents itself.

Looking down into the Upper Boulder Creek Valley. Onion (Boulder Peak 8800 in The Scrambles Book) and Polythene above. Siwhe far rear right.

Leaving the ridge I descend a little on loose rock and scree to side-hill around the gendarme. Reaching more blocky rock (with loose sections) I spot some mountain goat droppings. That's good as they have centuries of experience in picking the right routes.

Terrain I'm traversing.

Working my way over following the poo I find myself on the edge of a dirt gulley. Looking up it I can see a small notch on the band of rock on the other side. Reaching that I see it wouldn't be prudent to go through it so I look upwards. The dirt ends with 30 feet or so of rock leading back up to the ridge line. I decide to check that out instead.

The dirt gulley (centre right) and the draw back up to the ridge crest. No poo in that area but looking at this shot I would think the goats would follow the bushy ledge at left.

The rock was a class 3 scramble with some checking of holds as a one or two pulled out. Re-gaining the ridge crest I'm pleased to see that it looks like I'm past the worst of it. Couple of questionable sections still ahead though.

On the crest.

There was one tricky notch to cross which had me drop down a bit then ascend a dirt ramp. Beyond that everything else went well and I reach the spot where things broaden and then it becomes a talus/scree walk up southern ridge/face to the summit.

Looking back at the ridge and Wonder S2.

The wind was a constant companion as I followed easy slopes to the peak. A little further on is another summit that thankfully is a bit lower as it doesn't look easy to reach. Extra clothing and my toque are quickly put on as a check of my thermometer had a reading of 5 degrees and I was getting cold fast.

The views were still pretty good even with the solid banks of cloud obscuring the sun. Here are some shots of other good sized mountains in this area:

1. Boulder Mountain to the north. Some nice looking lakes below.
2. Mount Russell to the south with Petlushkwohap and Skihist area at rear.
3. Channel Peak to the west. Cayoosh and Marriott area behind.
4. And a eastern zoom towards Askom Mountain.
5. Elusive Peak stands tall southwest of here.

Summit shot.

1. Where I came from (right side of shot).
2. A close up of the lakes below Boulder (could be accessed from near where Gott Creek East FSR starts). Melvin rear left, Seton and sub peak centre rear.
3. Onion and Polythene. Intlpam just rear right of Onion.
4. The jagged not quite as high sub peak of Wonder.
5. Looking down into the East Gott Creek Valley. Elusive rear left, Elusive N2 centre (with Tigger behind it) and Channel rear right.

The officially unnamed peaks (Onion, Polythene) on the east side of Boulder Creek have been named (Bivouac.com) with a Beetles theme in mind. There are also a Rigby, Revolution, Slumber and Money.

After an hour of picture taking and mountain viewing I packed up my cameras and started back down the mountain side.

Lots of scree gullies and mostly fractured granite on this peak.

Idea of route to/from the ridge.

Of course the sun starts to come back out now that I'm heading back. The shadow does a good job of covering the clearcut though. Onion and Polythene - Upper Boulder Creek Valley.

Back on the ridge I take care descending the hard dirt minor ramp then follow the ridge briefly to the cairn I left marking the 30 foot rock face I ascended earlier.

Looking down that.

The descent of that was a bit more tricky than the ascent. A couple more loose rocks were removed in the process.

Looking up that.

During this time I was thinking about the dirt gulley/avalanche path that flows down the mountain side directly below me. The first part was reasonably steep and loose but below that it looked like a very direct line back down into the valley. After some criss-crossing on small ledges and scree I got down to a point where I could see things better and decided this was a good way to go.

A view back up from where I came from (low point of skyline). Things get easier going downward now.

A few more zigs and zags and the gulley broadens out. Good travel on soft scree has me almost running down the slope. A few sections were hard packed dirt though which I tried to avoid but I slipped on my ass a couple of times but didn't do any tumbling. Vegetation further down helped with grip and the grade eased too.

Looking back up. I came down the gulley left of where it splits.

Lower down, stunted trees covered everything and I pushed through them for a bit then decided to cut back over left towards the forest I'd traveled up earlier. After a bit of bushwacking I hit the forest and promptly recognized a couple of downed logs I'd gone around on the ascent. Soon I was at the edge of the cut block, then through that and back on the road.

Less than 5km later I'm back at my vehicle enjoying a beer and thinking about whether or not I want to head up Downton Roads to camp out. The weather for the next day was supposed to have more cloud and I really want to hit some peaks in that area with 100% sunshine. I eat a sandwich and chase that down with a Mexi-Coke (finally got a flat of those) and decide to head back home.

Hopefully later this week I might return to The Downton as my one trip there last year featured more clouds than what I got today. I was happy though to get Wonder in the bag for this day and the route I chose worked out well. Content with that I headed for home with future plans already being plotted.

Map of route.

Other trips from this road:

https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=37356 Michelle and Elusive
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=40217 Blue Jay and Russell
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=22215 EAK's Elusive TR
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=40077 Matthew Baldwin's Elusive TR
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=51086 Nortonchum's Blue Jay and Russell TR
https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=39998 Boulder Mountain (accessed from a spur 4km up Gott Creek Main)

Summit pano.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 04:55 PM
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Such a quality area to trek!
Nice report and pics. I liked your choice of route to avoid the difficulties-it looks to be the smartest choice by far.
That long ridge on Elusive looks like a beauty too and Askom looks intriguing
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 08:49 PM
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And I forgot to ask you where you are getting those Mexi-Cokes?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 09:50 PM
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Costco in B-Ham...Now you have to wade through all the milk pirrahnas though :]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, someone picked us up a flat of Mexi-Cokes from Bellingham Costco. I don't know if they grabbed 20 gallons of milk too or parked in 2 spaces or were rude to the locals[].

Mick, Elusive is a good one - once you've had enough of the Garibaldi area you should head up there.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 10:52 AM
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[8D] Nice looking mountain in that first shot.

Least you had abit of rock work and spice to keep it interesting.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 03:37 PM
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Following the poo... hehe can't tell you how many times I've been hiking along the desert and picked up a game trail or cattle trail and used it. Then, I want to go here to get there and the "dumb" beasties took another longer route. Well, I humbly end up turning back to where I deserted the "smarter" animals trail and end up taking it because they route find for a very good reason. I usually end up in some bushwhack full of catclaw when I leave their trail. Now, I have learned to stick to the cattle and game routes.
Beautiful pano summit shot!! wow!! Mexi Cokes. Good stuff. Real sugar. Any more, coke is becoming such a processed food. We get lots of other Mexi pops down here. I have a friend who swears by get this: Mtn Dew and orange juice for breakfast. hmmm
Glad you made it through the tricky parts to get to the rewarding summit.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 04:41 PM
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You look just as happy as ever to climb a mountain, good for you Simon!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 08:56 PM
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 09:13 PM
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Always a good read. Nice TR Simon.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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RM, I don't think I want to try Mountain Dew and orange juice for breakfast...I'll stick with my Mini Wheats for now.

FB, yeah I was happy enough. After lounging around on summits the past few months in sun and warmth it was near end of season adjustment I didn't want to make quite yet. Weather looks good for a bit longer though.

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 03:29 PM
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Nice .
Was the ratio of driving to hiking time more than 100%?
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2012, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Yes[B)]. It took less than 1.5 hours from the summit down to the road with the scree surfing making things real fast once I left the ridge and got past the trickier stuff. The road walk added 50 minutes or so each way.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 12:18 AM
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Another thrilling cool trip of a peak I never heard of in my favorite area. Enjoyed it. Thanks!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2012, 02:06 AM
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Thecamel said it but I had thought about it first.
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