I"m really not sure what made me choose these 3 peaks. I do know I really enjoy the rough rugged peaks in this area of Hwy 3 though. As usual there was a couple reports on Clubtread to read over before going. No information on the 11 mile fsr. Some lady on a Facebook group said it was blocked quite low down. Vlad and Chris H. were in this area not too long ago and reported it being blocked. None of this sounded promising for the army I had assembled for this trip. It would be an army of 6. Me, Katie, Ilia P. , Duffy, Rom, and Brayden. I told them all to bring bikes because of the beta I was given. The beta must have been for some different road because I was able to pile everyone in my little Toyota pickup and we drove through some of the widest, deepest waterbars I have ever driven. I had to 4low up the other sides of them. This got us to 1550m elevation and saved a shitload or distance.
No complaints so far since it was a quick walk through a cutblock and next thing you know you're in the alpine walking through a meadow heading for the Manson - Johnson col.
Our ascent up Manson would be the West ridge for most of it and then it intersects the NW ridge. Ilia followed Katie, Katie was running on little sleep this trip. Ilia learned that it wasn't a good idea following Katie up the ridge proper from the col. I'm lazy and saw the amount of trees on the bush so decided to lead the others on the South side of the ridge which was a nice open sidehill. Once we got to the upper ridge of Manson things got pretty fun. Brayden who is a young rock climber lead the way up the summit towers. We were all like mountain goats on this thing picking whichever line we wanted. The rock was really good and super blocky.
Brayden kept leading the way and in a group of this size we had to take care and caution in the chimney section to the summit and go up 1 at a time since alot of us forgot our brain buckets. Katie was the only smart one.
After the chimney it was just a quick stroll over to the summit where we saw some recognizable names in it. Don Serl in 1997 and a big BCMC group in 1995.
Time to leave the summit and hit the traffic jam at the chimney to down climb.
The ridge from Manson to Hatfield has a few minor ups and downs but for the most part it's pretty flat and straightforward.
Hatfield wasn't as fun as Manson. It was abit more broken and loose. The only steep spot was up a treed, scree gully that wasn't very long.
After that it's pretty straight forward to the top. This summit register had some more known names. My dad Denis Blair and Ted Oliver and Mick Bailey did a trip up here. Summit shot with Manson in the back with Outram dominating.
Nobody said they didn't want to carry on to MacLeod so off we went, we tried to follow the West ridge of Hatfield but starting getting cliffed out, so we had to backtrack abit to the same way we came up until the slopes eased off and we were able to cut across towards Macleod. The connecting route to from Hatfield isn't very exciting and in the trees for most of it. When we reached the base of Macleods East ridge we spotted a fat bear eating berries. The group watched for abit hoping he would move since we had to go that way. I saw no point in waiting as this bear didn't give a shit about us, so I started to outflank him way out right. The group still standing there taking pics of the bear and asking me how my bushwack was. I said it was fine, and just sat down and waited until they decided that the bear wasn't going to move and come my way.
The East ridge of Macleod is another fun one, it is steep and tons of holds and lines for you to go whichever way you prefer. Alot of fun was had on this ridge.
Apparently I had been setting a pretty stiff pace once we left Hatfield, Katie was kind enough to whisper for me to kick it back a gear, we had taken a good break once I hear that lower down. Getting close to the summit one of the group members was starting to fade. I don't like burning people out, but if nobody says anything I will push a pace. We gave some moral support, only around 100m gain left, got an energy gel in him and he bounced back to life. On we go with the final summit push.
Simon had placed a Nalgene bottle up here and it was still in really good shape along with the contents inside. Better than the PVC piping people use. Apparently the East summit that we are on is 1m higher than the West. I will trust Simon as he did both of them and Bivouac.
If anyone has done a trip with me knows I will do a loop back, this was another prime chance to loop back to avoid all the ups and downs. It's usually a bushy way back and this one was bushy for abit but all in all the sidehill back to the car went pretty smoothy I thought.
We got back to the car, with daylight, had some quick brews and made our way back down to where the others had parked their cars.