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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
Posts: 82
Default Ghostrider peak (Mt. Hosmer trail near Fernie)

Thought I'd share my thoughts on this quick outing from last July. Ghostrider peak is a great little hike/scramble near Fernie… I usually get out for a dozen or so scrambles/year (mostly S. Ab and Montana) and I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The top part freaked me right out, though! I had the full on trembly-leg thing happening. Anyone else been up there? The feelings of intimidation probably had to do with the crux being right at the top.

My wife, myself and a buddy were camping in the area last July. The local tourism office in Fernie distributes a leaflet describing the hiking trail to Mount Hosmer/Ghostrider peak, providing good directions to the trailhead. When we got to the trailhead, my friend James discovered one of his tires was almost flat so he drove back to town to deal with it. So my wife and I took off on our own and were at a lookout by late morning. From the lookout, the trail peters out but it is an easy off trail hike to an airy summit ridge where we startled a few mountain goats. Nice views at that point of the Fernie townsite valley.

K. had no interest in gaining the additional dozen or so metres to the true summit but I thought I should at least give a look-see. The goats on the other had had no issues skirting around the tremendous exposure of the summit block, but I was a tad spooked. A little gully leads to the top but after a couple of false starts, I said to myself, screw this, this is too scary, and decided to leave it for another day.

After almost finishing a leisurely lunch, Jimmy popped up at the ridge (in the time it had taken us to hike up to the ridge, have a break at the lookout, eat lunch etc., James had run back to town, fixed his flat, drove back and jogged up to meet us). J took a look at the gully and said, no problem, we can do this, and up he went! Well, my fragile male ego being what it is, I was compelled to summit as well (damn that fragile male ego). It was wonderful being at the very top, but jeeze, it was just a bit higher up and it was tough coming down. My legs had the full on vibrato trembling on the way down (which had never happened before). Not to give excuses, but Jimbo is way taller than me and there were a few times when the footholds were just out of reach and I was stuck clinging on by my fingernails like a cat stuck in a tree. Anyhoo, we made it down obviously, but it was quite memorable. Definitely class IV, if not V (we spotted a single bolt at the bottom of the summit block). I would love to go back and see if I would find it as freaky the second time around or of it was just ‘le mentale', as they say, that was happening. (Would recommend to anyone to bring a rope and know how to place a couple of pieces of protection, or just to sacrifice a webbing to be able to rappel down… if one could find a spot to place the webbing, that is).

We beat the rain back to the cars by 3 PM, so this is a nice, quick day in the mountains… with a bit more time, it looks quite possible to follow the ridge from Ghostrider peak to the summit proper of Mt. Hosmer in an hour or two.
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