The Armchair Traverse, a rocky ridge connecting Cook and Weart mountains above the Armchair Glacier, is an attractive and classic BC scramble. Plainly visible from the lake, the ridge is hard to miss and beckons you from above to come and explore.
I'd originally suggested it as a day trip but Alex insisted on spending the night and knocking off some more peaks if he was going to do the trail again so quickly after the last time he'd been up there. Now, for the record, I'd actually done it more recently on a birthday hike with my mom (who was a total champion by the way) but I let that slide.
We set out up the familiar trail and dropped our overnight gear at the hut before continuing on to Cook. Alex had already hiked up it and warned me that the Matt Gunn route was circuitous and a little tedious so we decided to shortcut up a gully on the south face. Filling up on water at the last little stream I made sure to bring a little extra as I doubted we'd find any on the traverse itself.
We came onto the ridge just short of the false summit and continued upward to the peak. I thought Cook would be easy-peasy but I was actually feeling pretty worn out once we summit so I decided to take a little nap before the main event.
Feeling refreshed, we descend on loose scree and start to climb again. There's a cool little pool of melt water trapped in a randkluft at the start to the ridge.
The initial climb is class 3 and loose all the way up the first intermediate summit on the traverse. We probably encountered some areas of class 4 because we tried our best to stay on the ridge whenever we could. Fun and nothing too commiting, all difficulties in this segment can be bypassed on the south.
The glacier below provides a great backdrop on one side and the mountains and ridges heading off to Mt Currie fill out the other.
We came down from the first subsummit and encountered a part where we needed to descend a short, unexposed chimney which is perhaps the only strictly necessary class 4 move on the route. It helps that both of us are taller and we could simply reach for the footholds.
Climbing again over loose scree and boulders, we came to the 3 way junction of the ridges connecting Cook, Weart and the Owls and headed due south for Weart.
The very narrow nature of the ridge ascending Weart now becomes readily apparent.
This second section of the ridge was more difficult than the first as we had to climb over or around several small and crumbling towers to continue onwards.
After navigating our way through, all that was left was the final push up Weart. The north eastern face is so steep and smooth that it's a little disconcerting being so close to it. I like a bit of exposure and I certainly got my fill of it here, no question.
We topped out on Weart and by then the sun was getting lower and lower on the horizon. It's hard to leave since the views are breathtaking but neither of us wanted to be descending the lower boulder fields in the dark. We got onto Matt Gunn's route for the descent and finished the final boulder fields in the dark.
We made it back to camp, had dinner and crawled into our bivies on a cloudless and pleasent night. I fell asleep quickly which was good considering that we had more planned for the next day as well.
I was glad to have had the chance to return to Weart as my previous ascent had been socked in and more than one person spoke very highly of the views. The traverse itself is great and recommended for the experienced scrambler. In case you wondering, in my opinion it's not more than class 4. You have to be comfortable with exposure though and I'd also recommend going from Cook to Weart as you'd be downclimbing the majority of the exposed areas otherwise.
Thanks for coming with me Alex, another great day in the mountains!