I've wanted to scramble Mount Bryant for a while already. We'd gone past the mountain back when we scrambled Mount Howard and I met So Nakagawa for the first time afterwards - he'd just come back from Bryant. I wasn't expecting anything spectacular but I was very pleasantly surprised by this outing. First of all, it felt quite remote. I stopped several times in the creek bed on approach and listened to the sound of silence - a very pleasant sound. The creek approach is also surprisingly fun and easy, thanks to a great trail that runs along the sides.
I was paranoid about missing the trail to the left along Bryant Creek that both So and Wietse had warned me about, but didn't realize that it's quite far up the creek - almost at the end of it! Someone has also put in a new trail to the lake from the stream bed, it's about 200m further up the creek than the "3 cairns" trail. It's slightly better, but not by much. I'm not sure why someone put in the effort when there's already an established trail?
[A nice start to the morning! Unfortunately it didn't last long. Bryant is in the distance on the right. ++]
[Starting up the first side creek (Bryant?) from Canyon Creek.]
[The first creek bed has some interesting sections.]
[Looking back down the wide drainage, notice the three cairns in the lower left, these mark where to leave the creek bed and take a steep trail into the forest. You can also go another 200 meters and take a newer trail which is a little less steep and intersects with this one.]
[The trail from the 3 cairns (see previous pic).]
[The "3 cairn" trail is pleasant forest walking for the most part.]
[Looking back at the trail along the scree from my ascent route.]
The lake was a very pleasant area. I want to come back in the summer or fall some day. There was evidence of random camping near the lake and I wonder if there might be fish stocked in it.
[Looking ahead to the back bowl which contains the lake and the route up to the summit (oos to the left). ++]
[Approaching the back bowl / lake.]
[I'm sure the lake is lovely on a nicer day. ++]
[Looking back down on the lake - it's bigger than I thought it would be.]
The scree slog to the summit wasn't too inspiring and the views were rapidly disappearing under a very gray and snowy sky. I was very surprised by the lack of register entries considering the good trails into the lake. I guess a lot of folks don't bother with this summit. I was only the 2nd entry for 2011, and the average since 2006 when the register was placed, seems to be around 2 ascents per year.
[Looking back at my approach from part way to the summit.]
[It's not a Rockies scramble if there's not a few hundred vertical of this - at least! ;)]
[Looking east to the alternate ascent / descent ridge (running down to the left).]
[Peering through the gloom to the east and south to Compression Ridge, Mount Howard and the Fisher Range.]
[Looking south and west into the gloom. McDougall is somewhere in there!]
[Starting back down in a blizzard now!]
[Easily avoidable cliff on descent.]
[The weather is worse by the lake now than on ascent.]
[Fish fry anyone? People must camp or cook here more often.]
[Following the faint trail out.]
[The trail follows a scree bench above tree line.]
[Back in the main creek.]
[An interesting narrowing in the approach creek.]
Mount Bryant was a pleasant surprise, I wouldn't hesitate recommending this peak for an easy and fast outing. Just don't do it in a blizzard, if you value your mountain views. :)