Mount Larrabee + Winchester Loop - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
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Default Mount Larrabee + Winchester Loop

Aug 16, 2016

After an excellent experience on Tomyhoi recently, I chose to return to the same area and go for Mount Larrabee (AKA Red Mountain). I started from Twin Lakes at about 6:45am. Temperatures were already creeping up. It was a gorgeous morning.

On the approach to High Pass, the full route up Larrabee is visible.

A faint path leaves the High Pass trail, quickly disappearing as you hit the snowfield. But as you aim for the obvious break in the cliff band, the odd cairn appears to reassure you that others have been here before.

From the ridge, a footpath reappears and leads to the rubble filled gully.

Aim to regain the ridge or youíll end up on really unpleasant loose rock.

Itís really not that far to the summit, but it feels longer since youíre stepping carefully, methodically, and trying not to unintentionally trundle an army of boulders. I was quite early, but if youíre up here with people above you, a helmet would be a very good idea. I didnít particularly enjoy the scrambling, but the views were sensational.

It didnít take very long to summit, so I had some extra time. I had read about a route up the north side of Winchester, so I decided to have a quick look. The return route (in purple) as viewed from Larrabee:

From the Low Pass, the route options are (mostly) visible:
  1. the gully (in red) that I took
  2. the ridge scramble (reportedly exposed class 4) -> you would need to bypass a rock wall, and then just head straight up.

I kept thinking to myself, ďIím just going to have a closer look before I decideĒ and next thing you know, Iím halfway up this absolutely heinous slope. ďNo frickiní way I want to go back down that s**t.Ē

I cannot emphasize enough how awful the gully is. Itís very steep, while being an awkward mix of hard packed dirt with a layer of loose gravel on top. Thereís almost nothing on which to get a good grip. I would scrape some rocks away so that I could dig my fingers in claw-style, while attempting to smear with my boots on a surface comprised of marbles. Veggie belays were few, far between, and somewhat dubious. Eventually, I got to the chockstone. Things get easier from here as you have a side wall available for handholds.

Iím pretty risk averse in general, so it has been a while since Iíve felt that Iíve taken a chance. Well, I was definitely gambling on this route. A slip was a definite possibility with a good chance of a moderate injury. By comparison, the ridge scramble would be on good rock, therefore, less chance of a fall (but injury would be severe). Of course, youíd have to enjoy very airy climbing. Not for me.

I wonít be doing the route again, but the payoff is a shortcut to Winchester and a beautiful viewpoint. From here, itís a short walk to the Winchester Lookout, with a fine trail back down to the car.

Larrabee summit: 4.75km one-way
Loop: 12km, 1270m cumulative elevation gain

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 07:27 PM
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Thanks for the detailed report, Guntis! I've been wanting to do this one for a while now, but haven't made it happen. I wasn't sure how difficult it'd be (it looks vertical from Winchester), but it seems like it's not too bad. Good to know!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2016, 08:10 PM
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Views like these seem to ruin my time at the summit unfortunately
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 02:06 AM
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Thanks for the details ons the Larabee scramble, still yet to do that one. Have been on Winchester last year and took a hike teo Larabee just before it gets steep up. Next time there plan to summit it.


Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 04:06 AM
High on the Mountain Top
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Good timing, I've been thinking about going back to do Larrabee again, good to know about that route up Winchester as well. The beauty of TR's right there, thanks for the info and nice loop.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 09:49 PM
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Great trip Guntis and good going to get up Winchester that way. I tried last year, avoided that gully but strong winds and loose rock on the ridge had me retreat as I wasn't 100% sure if I was on the right route.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 06:51 PM
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Nicely done. Thanks for the intel on Larrabee. Was eyeballing it from the top of Tomyhoi yesterday. Looks incredible with all the rusty colors at sunset especially. Spent the weekend at YAB and was admiring it. (:

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