September 5-6, 2015
It was last year around this time that the two of us sat on Klesilkwa Mt. via the south ridge. We had thoughts of continuing on to the unnamed peak about 1.5 km northward, but the north-east descent off of Klesilkwa didn't look too appealing to Katie. So, the idea this weekend was to try it from the other side.
To do that, we started out on Paleface Creek FSR and made our way along too many km's of old logging roads to a creek along Upper Silverhope FSR draining the unnamed lake just below and north of Klesilkwa Mtn. Just after crossing the creek, we jumped off the road and into the old growth forest. A densely treed forest, but mostly void of a bushy undergrowth and deadfall. Other than small branch debris and being on the steepish side, it was fairly easy travel. A marked route or trail would be easy to establish and maintain up to the lake.
Nothing dramatic like Upper Statlu or Upper Hanging, but a beautifully peaceful, untouched atmosphere and the deep blue colour adds a nice visual to the crystal clear waters.
Our route up to the lake.
Testing the waters.
Testing the softness of our campsite right next to the outflow. It had to do, as there weren't really any other options along the shoreline.
Next on the 'to do' list was a visit to that unnamed peak north of Klesilkwa Mtn. that had sparked our interest last year. This is a shot of it after gaining the ridge from the east end of the lake.
Easygoing ridge. A few minor up/downs and twists/turns, but it's all hiking. A few freshly replenished ridge tarns and even some good areas to set up camp if need be.
The 2072m summit of 'no name' mtn. with it's rebuilt cairn. Just 3 meters lower than Klesilkwa. Custer Ridge at center.
This is what it looks like for those wishing to continue northward.
Looking eastward toward Clerf Lake and Custer Ridge.
It was cold and windy, so it wasn't long before we were heading back.
Instead of retracing our steps down to the east end of the lake, we decided to follow the short ridge on the north side and descend from the west (pictured). That was easygoing as well, but for one minor scramble down and out of a small notch. Katie needed my help getting out.
Klesilkwa Mtn. from camp.
Cold and windy, even down at the lake...an early goodnight.
A chilly night, but the winds completely died down with the setting sun. Before nodding off, there were a lot of threatening clouds to the south and west, but any rains (or snow) stayed away and we awoke to perfectly dry conditions. We did wake up to cold temperatures and dull grey skies, however.
Doing her 'thing' while I pack everything up.
On the 'to do' list for this day was to return via Klesilkwa Mtn. and it's south ridge. So, we make our way up the talus, head left around this snowfield and up sandy slopes to the north side pass.
One minor scramble bit up a small bump and then we were faced with the more serious stuff. We hadn't even set foot on it yet, but she could see/sense what was ahead and was in full whine mode here. It's always a debate as to whether I put her through something like this, as continuing on is not her choice, but for my own selfishness. If we can only make it up this short stretch to the summit, we are home free from there. I leash her up.
Blocky scrambling with some scratching our way through/over stiff and stunted trees. Lots of butt-boosting, guidance and words of encouragement...meaning, she was not happy. Also meaning my anxiety levels had risen, and concentration/focus was a struggle with each step/route decision.
Keeping in mind we may have to descend what we are ascending, we pick, weave and clamber our way up. At an elevation of 2054m, we come face to face with a 3m high and 5m wide vertical wall of rock. Deadly exposure on either ends and no way up. At just 21m below (about the same in distance) the summit, we had no choice but to backtrack. We made it to those trees at top of pic.
I swore a few times in my head at the thought of having to descend, but we did just that, all the while checking for other possible routes up as we descended. Also keeping an eye for any sign of which way the goats go, but nothing. I couldn't find anything that I could get Katie up and wasn't exposed, but in all honesty, Katie was looking pretty happy that we appeared to be getting out of there and with all the whining and fighting, I had lost most of my will to fight on.
Anyway, descending the scramble sections wasn't that bad, and in no time, we were back at the lake and retracing our steps down to the Upper Silverhope Creek FSR. Too many km's back to an in-tact car and then the slow drive along the pot-holed filled Chilliwack Lake Road. Which was very quiet for a summer long weekend.
An enjoyable weekend of Klesilkwa ramblings. One for the memories. : )