This is a very nice looking peak that stands out from various areas. Me and Katie tossed around some other ambitious peaks but in the end Urquhart won. There is active logging on the Cogburn FSR and a gate right at the bottom of Harrison East. We brought mountain bikes thinking we could bike and hike the whole thing in a day. doable but not with such short daylight.........so I sent Katie to go sweet talk the gate keeper. Who could resist that smile of hers.......Jackpot!! we get to drive like 13km up the road to the washed out bridge.
Nothing like starting the day crossing a knee deep freezing cold creek fairly swift moving creek, both our toes were white once we got across. If you can somehow carry your bike across it would save alot of time but we didn't bother we left them in the truck. The main road is good and clear, but as soon as you take the FSR to Urquhart it's a bloody nightmare. The last report was from I think 11years ago saying abit bushy, before that people could bike basically right under the mountain. Those days are long gone, prepare yourself for a long battle. wear ski goggles and a face buff, you'll get whipped in the face ALOT!
So after a long battle with alder the one report we could find said from the end of the road head up. We followed it to the end and headed up.....IT SUCKED! luckily I drew a path in on Google Earth and added it to my phone thinking it looked doable. So we did a rising traverse right until we hooked up with my drawn in line and it made sense and things got better.
The road was a battle, the forest ascent was ruthlessly straight up and steep but you're surrounded by steep gullies and creeks on either side so it's the only way up. We both felt like crap today, maybe it was the alder fighting and all the extra weight that we aren't used to from light summer trips. Eventually we got into the alpine and we could see our peak. No pics were taken during this stage, not worth it.
We hit the snow and thankfully the freeze- thaw was still in effect and the snow was solid. As we started to traverse under the peak it became boiler plate hard. I had to put on my crampons and bust out the ice axe, whereas Katie's micro-spikes did the trick as well. A bitter wind picked up and was pummeling us with ice balls from a frozen creek above us at one point.
Gaining the start of the SW ridge was steep but once we got onto it we took another break while looking up at the ridge thinking how intimidating it looked. I told he we came this far, let's start up it and just see how it goes. It's rated Class 3 in a few spots, the snow and ice and strong wind that would move you around at times added to the experience for sure.
It was a very nice scenic ridge so I took some shots of Katie as we made our way up and finally reached the summit 6hrs after we started.
It definitely wasn't supposed to take this long and we weren't exactly dogging it. Days are short and we both knew we didn't want to be stuck in forest on that steep hogsback ridge trying to pick our way down so we snapped our selfie, high fived and started down.
Down was fast on the snow, down was fast in the steep forest and we hit the road with some light to spare. Katie was racing the sun it seems and she always is stronger than me at the end of our trips, We put on our headlamps, she was on a mission with the alder and we didn't speak to one another till we got to the cleared road where we rejoiced.
1 last hurdle was the creek in the dark, it was now upto our thighs, the temps were below freezing outside, we just kept our shoes on and walked through with no fucks given. Brrrrrrr......... we quickly changed and jumped into the truck and started down. Got through the gate, drove to Cogburn beach, had some brews lakeside on a crystal clear night. Katie is pretty bad ass.