Welcome to the RMBooks archives on explor8ion.com!

You can either go back to explor8ion.com or click on the following topics to jump to the first posting of that particular topic.

Topic "Mt Kidd and Mt Head (1 of 5)" started by Ben Bwards on Jun-11-2007
Topic "Getting Head (1 of 17)" started by Sonny Bou on May-24-2005
Topic "Mount Head (1 of 7)" started by Rob Eastick on Jul-10-2006
Topic "Getting Head (1 of 14)" started by Jason Wilcox on May-07-2007

Topic: Getting Head (1 of 14)
Author: Jason Wilcox
Date: Monday, May 07, 2007 08:05 AM

What's the best way to follow up Squaw's Tit?? I think its getting Head... Mount Head that is.
Yesterday Raff, Kevin, TJ and I went for Mount Head down by Longview. It was a great, but long day out. TJ decided it was nicer weather for a nap than getting to the summit, so he napped while the other 3 of us trudged up to the summit. It was mostly a snow climb on the upper ridge (LOTS of post holin'!). Snow stability seemed to be pretty good, and I think if anything went it would either just be an isothermal surface sluff or it would go right to ground. It was the first spring snow I've run into this year though, and that's refreshing. We did witness multiple surface sluffs which turned into rather large slides on the steep aspects on Holy Cross Mtn. I highly recommend doing this mountain when there is some snow on the ridge that is good and stable for kicking steps. A scree bash up there in summer would be painful at best. And don't kid yourself - this is a long trek. I think we were all pretty tired after this one.
I'll be posting pics of both SQ and Head this evening.

Jason Wilcox

Topic: Getting Head (2 of 14)
Author: Gillean Daffern
Date: Monday, May 07, 2007 10:02 AM

You can miss out all the scree by going up the south ridge
�an easy-moderate scramble. Tony did it about 4 yrs
ago now, but in reverse. He and a friend walked in one
evening and bivvied overnight at Wileman Creek in the
meadow which seems a good way to make the next day
less onerous. That return over Grass Pass really gets you!
From here an old trail can be followed along the right
north bank of upper Wileman Creek to the forks. The trail
climbs onto and along the ridge between the forks (some
deadfall). Then you drop down to a glade (another good
bivvy spot with water available from the north fork to
your right.) From here follow a forested bench rightwards
along the north fork. It ends at the south face. Rather than
scramble up the scree and rubble of the south face and
east ridge (use for the descent?) turn left near the end of
the bench and climb onto what is called Marmot Plateau, a
big grassy island in the middle of rocks. From the upper
end a rib rises to the Holy Cross-Head ridge. Easy
scrambling with route finding problems between little
rockbands. On the ridge turn right, At first it�s a little
narrow. Then the angle steepens. It looks a bit hard, but
strangely the scrambling is easy to moderate depending
on your route and not exposed if you take the easiest line.
At the top of the steep bit it�s an easy walk to the top.

It would sure like to hear from others who have climbed
Head by the route. How would you compare it with the so-
called normal route? I know Tony wished he�d gone up
that way and gone DOWN the scree.

Topic: Getting Head (3 of 14)
Author: Ferenc Jacso
Date: Monday, May 07, 2007 11:07 AM

Good job all. Spring snow was refreshing? I've heard all kinds of adjectives to spring snow but this is the nicest... But I see what you mean, it was good for a change.

So how long was it if it was long for you Jason?

Topic: Getting Head (4 of 14)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Monday, May 07, 2007 01:48 PM

Thanks Gillean - may have to give this route a try, certainly sounds preferable to scree...

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com
http://www.pbase.com/vdewit

Topic: Getting Head (5 of 14)
Author: Jason Wilcox
Date: Monday, May 07, 2007 07:49 PM

Hi Gillean,
That route certainly looked do-able, but we didn't have any info on it and there was considerably more avi terrain in that bowl than the ridge we hit. Sluffs were coming off the steep terrain fairly frequently.

Ferenc - the snow was refreshing because it was bomber except for the top 6" or so which was turning isothermal, but the base was well consolidated and has been through enough melt-freezes that it was great for step kicking. So much nicer than the valley bottom where we post-holed for a long way in isothermal crap.

Our round-trip time was just over 11 hours, in part due to the post-holing marathon, but we added about an hour looking for our crazy Pole who lost our track in a snow-free section and ended up going around us when we stopped to wait for him. We yelled, but the wind was too noisy to hear each other... So Kevin and TJ backtracked, while I hung out and prepared to make a fire (you know, just in case). They didn't find him, so we started down the drainage about 200 feet apart yelling his name at the top of our lungs. After a while, TJ ended up finding his track, so we knew he was ahead of us somewhere... but I did find a trip report written by Sonny that he dropped in the woods, so we were now hot on his trail. The odd thing was that also in this section, there was no snow, but the paper certainly caught my eye. In hindsight, I should have slowed the pace in the woods where it was hard to communicate, and in spots where the trail was not obvious. Hindsight is always 20/20, but we all made it OK so I guess we just have to learn from our mistakes.

Jason Wilcox

Topic: Getting Head (6 of 14)
Author: Jason Wilcox
Date: Monday, May 07, 2007 07:52 PM

BTW, pics are up of this one too.

http://community.webshots.com/user/jayewilcox

Jason Wilcox

Topic: Getting Head (7 of 14)
Author: T.J. Neault
Date: Monday, May 07, 2007 07:55 PM

Vern - unless you are really hungry for a summit and this is the last possible one to do, I would not recommend Head. If you are in for a 10 hour day on snow, lets put on some skis and go ski andromeda.... so many other things to do. I think that I feel the same way about this mtn as JW thought about bow peak... maybe I feel even worse about this one. I would highly not recommend Head. If it wasn't for good company, I would have shut'er down and turned back long before I did. It wasn't a tiring climb - just 8 hours of slogging with absolutely no excitement. Anyway, I would have to say that even though it was a long trek, it was not tiring for me (JW got a lot more work breaking trail through the snow and I did take an 1.5 hr nap). I saw this trip as a mindless slog, and I will not be going back for this one.

Topic: Getting Head (8 of 14)
Author: Jason Wilcox
Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 07:38 AM

Oh come on TJ, it wasn't sooo bad! Is this just because you didn't get Head?? LOL
I enjoyed the day - it was a bit of a mindless slog, especially the approach trail, but the weather was awesome, and I find when I'm leading through the bush I'm never bored - always trying to find a good route, and on a mtn like this, where the "Kane route" isn't beat about a foot into the hillside, it makes route finding much more fun and interesting. The upper ridge was by far the best part though. The runout was unpleasant looking at best, so you had to keep on your toes and not trip over your crampons! I also find that the reward feeling is huge when you get to the top despite all the slogging and thoughts you had about turning around; cause every now and then I was thinking "it ain't worth all this for a peak that I had never heard of until last night!"
But then you get to the top and all that's left is a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that is unmatched and all that work and suffering was well worth it! And I'd do it all again in a second. I think I will slog up another mountain again soon... I'd love to do the ultimate slog for one peak - Recondite - this summer.

Jason Wilcox

Topic: Getting Head (9 of 14)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 08:35 AM

I hear ya TJ! ;-) But I also hear JW. Slogs are never worth it unless you get to your destination. That's why I'm still ticked off with Jimmy Simpson (the mountain - not the guy). All that work for nothing! GRRRRRR. :-)

Other than possibly heading out this Friday (maybe Mount Lawson?) I won't be bagging any more peaks till June due to a family vacation (wedding) coming up...

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com
http://www.pbase.com/vdewit

Topic: Getting Head (10 of 14)
Author: Kevin Barton
Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 12:42 PM


TJ

Man, you being a bit tough on Mt. Head. Agreed, the approach with bushwacking and polehosting sucked, but you stopped before the best part.

The upper ridge was a decent snow climb. If there was no snow, the whole day would have been a mindless slog, but the snow conditions we had on the summit ridge made the climb worth the effort.

I would recommend this peak as a good spring snow climb or even a good winter climb, then you might be able to ski the approach and part of the ridge.

Cheers.

Kevin.



Topic: Getting Head (11 of 14)
Author: Mountain Ninja
Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 01:59 PM

I also enjoyed the ascent up Mt. Head. The snow definately made the ridge more interesting. Considering the conditions we had last weekend (lots of snow in the front ranges and high avi hazard), it was a good choice for a peak in my opinion. There`s always some suffering involved in bagging a peak. You either love it or hate it.

Raff

Topic: Getting Head (12 of 14)
Author: Jp S
Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 03:26 PM

Nice pics. The final ridge looks enjoyable but there looks like a fair bit of suffering to get there.

jp

Topic: Getting Head (13 of 14)
Author: T.J. Neault
Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 05:42 PM

I still wouldn't recommend this one. It is way too long of a day to be as easy as it was (if that makes any sense). Incase some person decides to follow someone out on this one... I built a great wind-screen about 3/4 of the way up the ridge. You can get a solid 2 hrs of sleep with your face to the sun here while the others tag the summit! I am looking forward to getting out and doing another mtn to get the bad taste of head out of my mouth. Vern - I didn't stop because I was physically tired, I stopped because I just didn't think that it was worthwhile going to the summit. So, unlike you and Jimmy Simpson, there is no feeling of "un-accomplishment". It was a feeling that I was glad I didn't go any further. The day was good, I just really didn't mix well with the objective.

Topic: Getting Head (14 of 14)
Author: Ben Bwards
Date: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 05:58 PM

I attempt Mt Head on the Thanksgiving Long weekend as a 3 day backpack 2 years ago. It was the only backpack and scramble that I could think of that we didn�t have to camp in the snow. We where unsuccessful due to taking a line that involved too much bushwhacking and sidehilling and simply ran out of time but mostly my crew lacking conviction to say nothing of the fact that we should of brought ice axes. The first day we backpack in got 2/3 up Holy Cross Mountain and made are way back to camp. The second day we made it to the first peak (the peak to the NW of the true summit). The final day we finally got up something going back over the bull creek hills.

Ben

Topic: Mount Head (1 of 7)
Author: Rob Eastick
Date: Monday, July 10, 2006 08:06 PM

John Barge and I bagged Mount Head on Sunday. We went in over Grass Pass and tried to stay as high as we could on the south side of the east peak. I think this was a tolerable route, as it had a bit of ridgewalking instead of that interminable scree bash. (We took that scree bash in descent, trying to avoid the oncoming thunder clouds.)

It appears we were the first to summit this year. I had forgotten Sonny couldn't find the register so I was most disappointed to not find a limerick waiting for me. So, I left my own.

Pictures and trip report here:
http://reastick.250free.com/2006.07.09%20Mount%20Head/index.html

Rob.

Topic: Mount Head (2 of 7)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Monday, July 10, 2006 10:03 PM

Great report Rob, and congrats. Mt. Head is one cool mountain (or hot in this case...). You know, I think this has to be a first - a limerick written about Sonny! :-)

Linda Breton
http://scramblesandrambles.150m.com/scrambles.htm

Email: peaksdarkandbright@yahoo.ca

Topic: Mount Head (3 of 7)
Author: Andrew Nugara
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 07:31 AM

Nicely done on Mount Head, Rob and John. It�s a great little mountain and deserves more attention. I had no idea you could see Harrison from the summit � great shot! That moveable panorama is also very cool!

Andrew

Topic: Mount Head (4 of 7)
Author: Sonny Bou
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 09:45 AM

Nice job on Head, Rob. Limerick needs work ("sunny" and "Sonny"--they're homonyms which technically means that they rhyme, but in terms of style, it's a bit of a rhyming faux pas), but good first effort! :-)

Sonny

Topic: Mount Head (5 of 7)
Author: Rob Eastick
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:17 AM

I thought "top" and "clock" was pushing it too. :)

Topic: Mount Head (6 of 7)
Author: John Barge
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 08:41 PM

Nice looking hike. Seems vaguely familiar.

Topic: Mount Head (7 of 7)
Author: Sonny Bou
Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 09:13 PM

"Nice looking hike. Seems vaguely familiar."

Must be all that scree... :-)

Sonny

Topic: Getting Head (1 of 17)
Author: Sonny Bou
Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 01:23 AM

After failing on an attempt about a month earlier, I successfully scrambled up Mount Head on Saturday (21 May 2005) roughly via the route described in Gillean Daffern's K-Country Trail Guide (Vol. 2; route info credited to Dave Birrell). Here are some of my thoughts about the trip:

I approached on foot via Grass Pass for both attempts (about 1 hour 20 minutes to the mouth of the access valley--a leisurely but non-dawdling pace). Though the hiking is easy, the climb back up to the pass at the end of the day is more than a little annoying. I imagine that a bike approach via Flat Creek, though longer, would be a lot more fun ("riding" a bike between Highway 541 and Grass Pass would NOT be fun in either direction!).

Access to the valley (GR706899) where the tributary of Wileman Creek branches off can be a little ambiguous. Coming from Grass Pass, the road eventually drops steeply to a little clearing where it bends sharply to the right (north). Toward the left side, there is a trail that seemingly enters the clearing from the south. This is a good place to cross Wileman Creek and follow various game trails along the south side of the tributary. There are a few places where it may be necessary to cross over to the north side or to contour high above the banks of the tributary. On my first attempt, much of the south side was still choked with deep snow, and I had to travel mostly on the north side which entailed much more bushwhacking.

At some point, it is necessary or even desirable to escape the confines of the valley and head uphill toward the northeast outlier. It's best to look for an obvious drainage coming in from the right (north). The slopes before (east of) the drainage are guarded by steep cliffbands although on my first attempt I did find a single weakness (moderate to difficult scrambling) here. The terrain above the cliffbands appeared quite reasonable (this was where I turned around on my first attempt). In retrospect, I should have ascended this way for my second attempt, but my thinking was that I would save some elevation gain/loss by by-passing both the northeast outlier and the middle bump along the ridge. Thus, I proceeded up the slopes after (west of) the drainage and eventually endured an awful sidehill scree bash that rivalled some of the worst of the Kane Scrambles (Murray and Pilot come to mind).

There was still a lot of snow on the summit, so I couldn't find a cairn or register. Too bad, 'cause I could have probably come up with some nasty limericks using the word "head". ;-)

After my aborted first attempt, instead of returning to HWY 541 via Pack Trail Coulee, I headed back along the ridge separating Pack Trail Coulee and Gunnery Creek. Apart from some tattered remains of Prayer Flags and an abundance of ruffed grouse, this ridge is notable for quite a number of circular depressions (about 1-2 metres in diameter) in the ground scattered all along the ridge crest. Some of these depressions have red wires sticking out of the center, and alarmingly, a tag that was attached to one of these wires read, "MS/0/DANGER EXPLOSIF/EXPLOSIVE/AUSTIN/26MY04". Anyone know what that's about?

Sonny Bou
http://members.shaw.ca/ssbou2005/head.html

Topic: Getting Head (2 of 17)
Author: Andrew Nugara
Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 02:00 PM

Way to go Sonny. We were actually debating between Mount Head and Lorette for this past weekend and opted for Lorette. I'm glad you've paved the way to make the routefinding easier for those who follow. How did the traverse to Holy Cross look from the summit of Mount Head? It looked pretty hairy from Holy Cross.

Andrew

Topic: Getting Head (3 of 17)
Author: Sonny Bou
Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2005 07:49 PM

Andrew, I must have stared at that connecting ridge two dozen times or so during the day, and it seemed to look worse the higher I climbed! My gut feeling is that it's more than just a scramble and some technical gear would not be out of place. After what you and your brother did on Lorette though, the ridge between Head and Holy Cross would probably seem like a walk in the park.

Sonny

Topic: Getting Head (4 of 17)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 08:26 PM

Congrats Sonny! That's awesome. I've been thinking about Mt. Head since Frank and I did Holy Cross. I have one question...which Star Wars action figure did you bring up with you? ;)

Linda Breton

Topic: Getting Head (5 of 17)
Author: Sonny Bou
Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2005 10:16 PM

Geez, I was hoping nobody was gonna bring that up. Now you've exposed me for the SW geek that I am, Linda! Here's a hint: we were talking about T-shirt logos a little while back. :-)

Sonny


Topic: Getting Head (6 of 17)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 12:00 AM

Ah, an excellent choice!:)

Sonny, I'm wondering about the Cache Creek Elevators in the background of your Pasque trip. I can't find them named on the maps I have. Do you know where they are located? Is it possibly GR670450(thereabouts)? Thanks.

Linda Breton

Topic: Getting Head (7 of 17)
Author: Sonny Bou
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 02:16 AM

Linda, your grid reference sounds about right although I don't possess the topo map for that area (I have the Tornado Pass map just to the south). In case you haven't checked it out, here's the link for "The Elevators" at Peakfinder.com:

http://www.peakfinder.com/showpeakbyid.asp?MtnId=90

It's an unofficial name, hence, its absence from maps. Gillean Daffern mentions in her guidebook (printed in 1997) that the more easterly of the two towers is unclimbed. I wonder if that's still true or not (Wanna give it a shot? ;-)).

Hope that helps.

Sonny

Topic: Getting Head - FA's? (8 of 17)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 10:35 AM

Hmmm, an unclimbed and cool-looking peak...yeah I would be into that! ;)At least I might go up to it and drool for a while. That brings to mind another topic suitable for the board.

Does anyone know where to get information on first ascents? Of course Peakfinder has some of that info, but where can you look for the if's, when's, and who's, of a peak like this? Is there another source?

Linda Breton

Topic: Getting Head - FA's? (9 of 17)
Author: Sonny Bou
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 01:26 PM

Linda, the Canadian Alpine Journal is probably your best bet for that kind of thing. I'm not sure if they have an online searchable database though.

Sonny

Topic: Getting Head - FA's? (10 of 17)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 03:43 PM

Thanks Sonny. I'll have to look into it.

Linda Breton

Topic: FA (11 of 17)
Author: Sandra Mcguinness
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 05:39 PM

www.bivouac.com has a lot of the first ascent info. Otherwise you'll need both of the green books - Rocky Mountains South and Rocky Mountains North - they have been out of print for eons, but I believe Dave S managed to get secondhand copies from somewhere on the web. They are invaluable if you want to do scrambles/peaks that aren't in either Dougherty's book or Kane's book

Topic: FA (12 of 17)
Author: Dave Stephens
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 06:11 PM

Wow. Good memory Sandra. I got my copies of the north and south books from Abebooks.com, which seems to be a middleman website for finding old books. The books are pretty cheap, but worth a lot in information.

As for the FA, you really have to check a number of places first. As for The Elevators, I think the Medicine Hat climbing club bag them last year. We were talking about them briefly on the Waterton Blogg back in April.

I think before calling it an FA, you need to check as many sources as possible (books, clubs, and online resources). Then, you can call it an FA, but it will always have that sense of doubt. For instance, what if some unknown Native American got bored one hundred years ago, and decided to climb it, but never told anybody. I think if you climb it, and don't bother to tell anybody or make a record of it, then the FA goes to the next person.


Dave Stephens
www.dave-stephens.com

Topic: FA (13 of 17)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 08:13 PM

Thanks Sandra, Dave, for the tips. Those are good places to start looking.

Out of curiosity, does it say anything about Castle Peak in the green books? I've heard something of a 1881 ascent, besides Mr. Collier's trip...??

Linda Breton

Topic: FA (14 of 17)
Author: Dave Stephens
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 08:32 PM

It's not mentioned at all in the green book. In fact, a lot of that area isn't mentioned in those books.



Dave Stephens
www.dave-stephens.com

Topic: FA (15 of 17)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 08:53 PM

Thanks, that's interesting. Not a lot of info out there on that area in general.

Linda Breton

Topic: Getting Head (16 of 17)
Author: Ken Takabe
Date: Friday, May 27, 2005 02:41 PM

On 5/24/2005 1:23:00 AM, Sonny Bou wrote:
>After failing on an attempt
>about a month earlier, I
>Some of these
>depressions have red wires
>sticking out of the center,
>and alarmingly, a tag that was
>attached to one of these wires
>read, "MS/0/DANGER
>EXPLOSIF/EXPLOSIVE/AUSTIN/26MY
>04". Anyone know what that's
>about?

I wonder what'd happen if you were to connect those wires to a 9 volt battery. :)

Topic: Getting Head (17 of 17)
Author: Linda Breton
Date: Monday, May 30, 2005 10:55 AM

I keep thinking about those depressions and red wires...is it possible they're detonators for seismic testing? Now we have to worry about landmines...

Linda Breton

Topic: Mt Kidd and Mt Head (1 of 5)
Author: Ben Bwards
Date: Monday, June 11, 2007 10:32 PM

On Saturday, with an ACC group, I ascend Mount Head. We went over grass pass and headed up the drainage just south of the peak going due west. We head up directly under the first cliffband clearly evident from the drainage. We found a nice break that was only 1.5 meters high, no need for cams or ropes. The rest of the day was just a trudge over loose scree with some interesting rock at the summit. On the decent we went back to the first peak and headed due south. 10.5 hours, 1500, 18.7kms. There was almost no snow on the mountain. At the summit we looked over at Patterson Peak�s and it appeared that the east slopes may provide an easy scrambling route? It would be a long bike ride up flat creek. Maybe later this year.

On Sunday, I had dreams of ascending Charles Stewart but lack of fortitude and the possibility of showers made me decide to head up a shorter objective Mount Kidd. There was still lots of snow on the middle third of the mountain, but it was tough to find any snow to glissading down on the upper third. No need to worry about avalanches now.

Topic: Mt Kidd and Mt Head (2 of 5)
Author: Vern Dewit
Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 09:22 AM

Hey Ben,

What time were you there? We did Holy Cross on Saturday and never saw another soul all day, except for one lone scrambler coming in to do Holy Cross at about 1:30pm when we were on our way out already.

Vern Dewit
http://www.fresh-oxygen.com
http://www.pbase.com/vdewit

Topic: Mt Kidd and Mt Head (3 of 5)
Author: Marko Stavric
Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:14 AM

Ben, how did the ridge look to traverse from Head to Holy Cross?

Vern, did you find a register on Holy Cross. I went on Sunday with a group and we couldn't find it though we didn't spend a lot of time looking. I think it must be hidden really well.

Topic: Mt Kidd and Mt Head (4 of 5)
Author: Ben Bwards
Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:22 AM

I could only see the steep side of the traverse so I'm not really sure. Its worth a try, but there are no guarantees.

Topic: Mt Kidd and Mt Head (5 of 5)
Author: Wietse Bylsma
Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 11:31 AM

Hey Marko,

We couldn't find a register on Holy Cross. There was only an empty juice bottle.

Wietse Bylsma
http://www.rockies4u.ca