After hiking Mount Burke the day before we were ready for a longer day on Saturday. Wietse and I thought that we would hike Raspberry Ridge in the morning when the snow was hard and then hike Gunnery Peak in the afternoon since it looked snow free from the highway.
Ascending mountains always sounds so easy the day before you actually get out to do it! ;-) Since Raspberry Ridge was such an easy sounding outing we didn't even bring the map or the book along. Well, 30 minutes later we were back at the car digging around for volume 2 of the hiking guide. Sure enough. It said 'turn right at the gate' so away we went again. 30 minutes later and we back at the car AGAIN!! LOL. Actually it really sucked. Apparently the guidebook meant the OTHER gate. Use the GPX to save yourself a headache.
So after already gaining and losing 100 meters and wasting an hour we were back to starting our hike up Raspberry Ridge! Talk about depressing.
Well, we didn't come all the way out there to just get back in the car so off we went, this time the way was obvious and soon we were following the Nugara brother's ski tracks up to the ridge. It's funny how these outings are always a lot different than you imagined, even if you have other trip reports to go off of. We weren't expecting the long approach to the ridge and the deep snow was a real struggle. For some reason I had a lot of energy compared to the day before and I kind of got a bit ticked off at all the snow and made a very determined effort to get through it. After about 1.5 hours we were finally approaching the base of the ridge, after struggling through knee deep to crotch deep snow again.
[After struggling through deep snow for almost an hour the ridge finally comes into view.]
[Sometimes we got lucky and the old ski tracks held our weight. It never lasted very long.]
The ridge itself was steep but clear of snow and we took a shortcut up an obvious trail coming down straight from the ridge top (but not the one recommended by Daffern because it had a huge cornice hanging over it).
[Another dramatic tree shot on the way up Raspberry Ridge.]
[Wietse comes up the steepening slope behind me. This is just before topping out on the ridge.]
[Mounts Armstrong and McLaren steals the show for the second day in a row.]
Once at the top we traversed over to the fire lookout and enjoyed a great view of the divide peaks for the second day in a row. The wind wasn't as bad as the day before and we spent about 20 minutes at the top before heading back down.
[Vern takes in the incredible view.]
[Baril Peak (R) and Etherington (L) come into view.]
[A more sobering look at the area surrounding Raspberry Ridge.]
[A black and white showing the continuation of the ridge and subsequent ridges on descent.]
[Color panorama looking south and west from the summit of Raspberry Ridge. ++]
[Black and White panorama. ++]
We had a very nice glissade back off the ridge and then it was back to wading through the snow till we finally reached the car. Now it was time to see if we had the energy to bag another mountain!