I had one day available to take off and the weather was looking iffy in most places. Manning Park usually rises above when other areas don't so I chose an international hike starting in Manning and journeying to the Pasayten Wilderness in Washington State. Full Moon Rising is the unofficial name (Scimitar Knoll is unofficial too) given to a substantial bump on the NW ridge of Castle Peak that from the east looks like what its name says.
Here is an old shot of Full Moon Rising from Frosty taken in 2007. Scimitar right of it.
Sure enough, as I leave Hope and get to Sunshine Valley the clouds have given away to mostly sun. From Manning Lodge I follow the road to the Lightning Lake Camping Area and park in the day use section. From there I have a just over 5km walk down the Lightning Lakes Chain Trail (Lightning, Flash, Strike and eventually Thunder) to just past Strike Lake and where Passage Creek meets Lightning Creek.
Finding a log to cross over I wade through a lot of devil's club and other shrubs for a few minutes before starting to ascend open forest of the NNE ridge of Scimitar. This went well but there was the usual heavy bush to get through further up, some plateau like sections and one part that was a little steep. Around 1800m elevation things started to open up a bit and I could get an occasional view of the sheer north face of Scimitar. The ridge narrowed and again some steepness but easy travel to reach a point where I start to turn more westward to gain the summit ridge. Approach to Scimitar can be seen on the right side of the first picture (as well as the ridge connecting it to Full Moon Rising).
Little bit of scrambling coming up.
I was getting my first views now too of Castle and Full Moon Rising. Staying mostly with the ridge crest I soon reached the summit ridge and along that to the high point and its small cairn. Trees around here interrupted direct views southwards but I had a nice aspect into Manning Park. Some clouds around (especially to the west and north) but most were quite distant .
Castle and Full Moon Rising from an open area just before the summit of Scimitar.
Thunder Lake below with Lone Goat and Snow Camp (Red behind it) above. Silvertip area to Outram and Snass in the far distance.
After some food and drink I continued on over the ridge and dropped down the other side on a mixture of talus and heather/grass. Hozomeen had shed its last piece of cloud and is well viewed for the next while. Elevation of Scimitar is 2103m.
Majestic Hozomeen Mountain.
The ridge connecting Scimitar to Full Moon has a few ups and downs along with a spot of mild scrambling. Just before the low point I reach the border and Monument 76. I also get a good view up Full Moon and it looks pretty easy going.
Monument 76 and the pleasant NW ridge of Full Moon Rising.
Some trees and bush lower down but a route always presented itself and it was basically a walk-up (just over 400m elevation gain from the pass) with some pretty flowers to look at. The upper areas are mostly talus and some rock as I gained the summit area which has two survey markers. From here Castle is not that far away but there is not the easy terrain I just travelled, but the rock over there is of better quality (some climbing routes have been done on the northern side). I wander around a bit then settle on the lee side out of the brisk wind to relax for a while but most of the time was spent taking pictures and figuring out names for the distant mountains southwards.
Full Moon summit from just south of it and a view back into Manning Park. Scimitar Knoll is centre shot with Passage Creek Valley on the right.
The Boundary Creek Valley below along with Hozomeen and the Spickard Group behind it. Lone Mountain the bump far right (at 3 o'clock).
Castle Peak. Winthrop centre left, Lago area rear distant right.
Zooming towards Lone Goat, Red and Snow Camp with Silvertip, Shawatum and Outram prominent at rear.
Big cloud action east of me towards Frosty and Frosty E1.
Winthrop to the ESE. Cathedral, Sheep and Remmel some of the prominent peaks way back.
Summit plant life, Hozomeen and a distant Spickard Group. Luna is far distant left.
And a zoom on Jack Mountain with more summit plant life.
2394m summit shot.
Frosty at left, Castle on the right with the Pass Creek Valley below (which becomes Passage Creek at the border). You can see the border delineation too.
Castle Mountain. Lago/Osceola/Monument area centre rear with Three Fools Peak far right.
That was enough picture taking with two cameras and I'd been up there over an hour now. Packing up I retraced my route with a couple of usual pauses for more photographic evidence that I'd been somewhere. A little bit of care taken on the loose talus but an easy descent. By now I was getting an occasional cloud covering the sun but it had been stellar otherwise. It was almost 360 degrees cloud around me but a long way off (Baker was never visible to the west).
Most of the way down and an idea of the ridge back to Scimitar. Border monument is lower left.
Soon I'm back atop Scimitar where I take one last quick break and a few more photos before heading off that and back into the forest. The sun was now better positioned for pictures of Castle and Full Moon.
One last look.
There's not really any cruxes on this trip but apart from route finding, the upper approach ridge of Scimitar and parts of the ridge connecting it to Full Moon might be low class 3 if you want to push things a little. Soon I'm back into trees then full on forest as I descend quickly. I know I want to trend slightly right below 1700m elevation but the main downslope is more straight so it was good I had taken my one waypoint of the day down by Passage and Lightning Creeks and I corrected my course a couple of times.
A slightly better route (not by much) though the devil's club and a different log to cross Lightning Creek then I'm back on the nicely maintained trail and heading for the beer. It goes down splendid as usual then I head west. Between Hope and Chilliwack plenty of dark clouds had formed. Approaching Chilliwack low angled sunlight highlighted things below the clouds then the rain started.
It came down pretty good for a while as the low sun kept shining through and just past Chilliwack I was treated to a double rainbow to the south. People were pulling over on the freeway to take pictures.
That was a good way to nearly end the day but things wrapped up nicely later when I dropped by my parents for a large helping of pie and ice cream. Then it was home and bed.
Map of area and route.