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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2004, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
bik
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Default Elkhorn Mountain

I was thinking about climbing Elkhorn this spring, but I had heard that ropes are required. Does anyone know if it is feasible to climb Elkhorn without ropes on one of the easier routes? And how would it be to do it in April/May?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 09:59 AM
TSW
 
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According to Island Alpine, Elkhorn doesn't require ropes. Howerver, the mountain does require permission from timber west to climb from certain approaches.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 01:12 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Bik,
I attempted to climb it last fall, and could not find a trail up to it.
There is a trail from the elkhorn river, at the first campsite.
That trail was easier to see. We decided to head to the 2nd camp site (Gravel Bar) but the trail was not locateable. We did find soemthing with ribbons but it was so over grown it was impossible to follow.
The Trails book says it is the easier route....but I don't think it has been used in years and we found it impossible to follwo as most of the markers were gone and alot of alder had grown.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 03:34 PM
TSW
 
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My previous statement was horribly wrong, it was early :P I gave you a statement for elk mountain, for elk horn, its slightly differant.


However, there are still a couple routes that are doable without ropework. I would suggest possibly purchasing a topo map, these can be purchased at the nanimo map and chart store for appox. 12 dollers
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2004, 12:39 PM
 
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Elkhorn in spring is a little more challenging than during later summer. Until June some time expect snow cover in the west gully and on the north west ridge. In the late afternoon the steep snow in the gully can become very soft and hazardous (it faces west as the name implies). So it can be that while climbing up the snow is cold and firm but once on the descent (typically afternoon) the snow conditions have changed dramatically. The rope may be needed for a safe rappel. There are in-situ anchors at all the good belays.

Island Alpine refers to both the West Couloir and North West Ridge (the two most popular routes) as low 5th class, by definition 5th class implies ropes may be required by some climbers (climbing difficulty is of course all relative).

The access trick to approaching Elkhorn is locating the north-west approach trail and it is a very well worn and defined trail once you're on it. Higher up it becomes less disticnt but the lower section is a highway, steep though!.

Watch the map very closely and 2km up the Elk River trail the trail comes alongside a wide gravel bar. The river at this point is on the far side of the gravel bar. More importantly is that above the river a deep rightward trending valley can be seen rising up. If you don't see the canyon/valley and adjacent ridge above the Elk River then you're not in the right place but it can be seen from the trail at the correct point. Read the map very carefully and figure out how to time yourself on 2km. It isn't rocket science and the canyon is a big feature, as the map shows. The trail takes the right side (west) of the canyon and keeps away from the creek in the canyon except for one point about halfway up where the trail comes close to the creek in a beautiful high hanging valley feature.

The south west approach from the gravel bar camp site (don't confuse the two gravel bars) has fallen out of use and is of limited value anyway. Unless you are base camping at the Gravel Bar camp to do a number of objectives (Colonel Foster and/or Rambler) it means backtracking to get to Elkhorn itself. There is a very good camp site high on the north west ridge which you find from the treed col to the west (right) of the main approach route.

Hope that helps
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-24-2004, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
bik
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Thanks Philip. I was hoping you would chime in on this one. I guess I'm going to have to buy your book!

Ben
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2016, 08:04 PM
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I did a trip with a group of friends up to the summit of Elkhorn and Elkhorn South Mountains. It was a summer trip and we used the northwest ridge route. Here is my report. http://explorington.com/2016/08/elkh...untain-hiking/
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2016, 09:18 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lettingtonm View Post
I did a trip with a group of friends up to the summit of Elkhorn and Elkhorn South Mountains. It was a summer trip and we used the northwest ridge route. Here is my report. http://explorington.com/2016/08/elkh...untain-hiking/
I read that on your blog. Nice report.
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