Excelsior West Ridge Jul.16/17 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Abbotsford, B.C., Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Photography. Enjoying the outdoors fresh air and fitness experience.
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Default Excelsior West Ridge Jul.16/17

This hike was a followup I had done with Cameron earlier on after the last snowfall back in May....

This time a lot less snow as most have melted, but still lots of snow patches left, including large cornice remnants.

Ziff, Blair, and I met at 7:45 am in the Bromley's parking lot, and from there drove to the Excelsior trailhead We geared up and started around 9:05 am and returned about 4:15 pm; our time included 1/2 hour for lunch plus a few other small breaks for drinks and snacks. Trip gps shows 21 km return with net elevation gain of 1250 meters

This was one of those days where we had to frequently adjust our clothing layers as temperatures varied from warm to cool and back to warm. A few rain showers and sunny periods added to the weather variety.

Time for the hike portion from trailhead to top of ridge where we found the trail cross roads was completed in about 2-1/4 hours for 7 km with 1050 meters of elevation gain.

From the trail cross roads, Blair used his ice-axe to get to gain Excelsior's Summit, while Ziff and and I started the ridge walk westward. Due to initial fog and very poor visibility was almost ended our trip after we gained the ridge; then the sun came out and encouraged us to proceed.

PHOTOS:

Heading from Trail Head to just before the ridge, and cross roads:

**Trailhead
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**Few minutes onto the trail
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** Waterfall: water flowing down on flat rock
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***Trail as we go on up..... through forest and through upper meadows...
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Slope to the right, plateau area where Cameron and I ascended back in May.
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The Cross Roads, all snowy and white: this is where trail follows the ridge, left or right, and also heads north and down to Damfino Lakes TH.
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START of the West Ridge, west of Excelsior Summit.
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Pretty flowery meadows to start...
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Look back east to Excelsior Summit, note the snow patches...
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Continue westward along ridge; flowery meadows and snow patches (include cornice remnants)

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Steep slope up a ridge section involve a little scrambling, which was the end point and we turned back...
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Full view of the ridge we hiked, plus flowers at this high point.
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East side of Ridge Section we topped at:
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Our walk back along the ridge........enjoying the flowers; and the length and breadth of the ridge. with its capping of snow banks and cornice remnants.

Flowers under the tree, and flocs closeup.
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Bearpaw Mountain to the north......plan for 2018.
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Yellow flowers closeup, and then lush meadow with views looking to the south.
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Long ridge, views eastward as we hike back...

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GPS Track on USD Topog map frame...
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K
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 10:33 PM
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Nice shots of all the wildflowers up there and the snow patches still left over.

Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2017, 11:49 PM
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I've been intrigued by the ridge going west from Excelsior Peak (having gone east on High Divide and north to Damfino Lakes before). Does it end where you turned around? Interesting that one would still need an ice axe for the trail to the top of Excelsior! Great report, as always, with beautiful pictures.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2017, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greyowl View Post
I've been intrigued by the ridge going west from Excelsior Peak (having gone east on High Divide and north to Damfino Lakes before). Does it end where you turned around? Interesting that one would still need an ice axe for the trail to the top of Excelsior! Great report, as always, with beautiful pictures.

Hi Hedda, I too was wondering how far you can go along the ridge.. We went about 3 km west of where the trail touches the ridge. Where we stopped, the up and downs were getting steep, and the next bump had cliffy areas, and no maintained trail. Back up a little before that last ridge section; possible to drop down, but loose a few hundred meters or more and then traverse west and a little north which will involve cross country travel without trails.... or on game trails if possible. Bearpaw is the ultimate destination, so saving that for next year.

K

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