There are four summits on Og Mountain. Og is a very cool looking mountain from the approach on the Og Pass Trail and with 1 foot of fresh snow it was also literally a very cool mountain when we climbed it! I was a bit chaffed because the map clearly labels the lowest, easiest west summit as the official one but the fourth and highest east summit is attainable and obviously higher so was it actually the real summit? I wasn't going to take any chances - not after my amusing (to everyone but me) Mount Kerr experience! Rick Collier had the same question when he summited Og and he went for the fourth summit. He had an easier ascent line because he ascended straight up the south facing scree slopes. We couldn't access these slopes even if we wanted to because of a bear closure around Allenby Pass / Valley with an accompanying huge fine if caught in the area. We had to traverse the three lower peaks before we'd get to stand on the highest one!
Scrambling up loose rocks and snow up to our knees in drifts, we made it up to the first summit pretty quickly. There was a large cairn here and I assume that of the very few people who ascend this mountain, 99% of them probably pull out the map, look at the remaining 3 summits and promptly stop here. We pretty much tore apart the cairn looking for an official (or any) register (it was cold and I would have gladly stopped at this cairn if we found something semi-official) but all we found was a wooden mallet with someone's name carved on it. We left Rod to rebuild the cairn while Jon and I pressed on. I was absolutely determined to get to the actual summit of this mountain because I knew the odds of me coming all the way back here were slim.
The first summit was descended easily before heading back up to the second. We had to lose a bit of height after the first so we tried skirting around the second instead of going all the way over it. It wasn't worth the effort - just go right over it. After the second summit there was some moderate scrambling to get down to the 2nd/3rd col. Once we got to the 3rd summit of Og we found ourselves staring down at some loose, steep, exposed terrain. Uh oh.
We decided to poke around at the descent but after about 3 minutes, Jon decided that he'd had enough and would wait for me. I descended on very loose, sometimes exposed terrain - determined to make that fourth summit! It was the low end of difficult scrambling, but with the snow and the weather closing in it felt worse than that. Don't forget that you can easily access this 4th peak from the Og Valley to the south (if it's not closed for bear activity that is) but it was very cool to traverse all the distinctive summits. After the crux it was a 10 minute plod to the top where there was a small cairn buried in snow. I half-heartedly looked for a register but didn't find anything substantial (only a few bits of disintegrating paper) so I'm not sure what happened to the register that Rick Collier placed - I would've looked a bit harder if I knew at the time that he placed one, I didn't find that out till after the trip.
After snapping some photos of the interesting terrain surrounding Og Mountain I rejoined Jon and we headed down to Og pass to hook up with Rod and the girls again. Not many people get up Og Mountain or do the traverse that we did, and this is reason enough to highly recommend it. The views are also steller and this should just convince you even more!
Hiking through the gap along the Windy Ridge lookout (Og Pass) Trail. Og Mountain barely visible in the upper right of the photo.
The rest of the group makes their way across the soggy Assiniboine Flats on the Og Pass trail. Og Mountain's four distinctive summits on the right.
Hiking towards Og Mountain from Og Pass.
Looking back at Cave Mountain from the lower slopes of Og Mountain and the Windy Ridge trail.
Windy Ridge is straight ahead. The lookout is at the col.
Yolande and Jon come up the Windy Ridge trail with Mount Assiniboine looming through the mist behind them about 5km away.
Hanneke and Vern pose on the Windy Ridge lookout.
Jon leads the way up Og's Northwest slope from the Windy Ridge col.
Rod follows us up. You can see Windy Ridge in the background. I really wish I spent the 15 minutes bagging it now! What an easy peak! (I didn't know it was 'official' and when we descended, conditions were really crappy so I didn't bother.)
Jon at the first summit of Og Mountain.
Heading down to the second summit of Og. Each successive summit is higher and harder to get to. It's hard to figure out what the officially named summit is. I think it's the lowest (west) one but bagged the highest (east) one just to be sure.
Looking back across Cave Mountain towards Mount Assiniboine. The views from this peak would be steller in better conditions. As it is they were still pretty good!
Looking back at Rod on the first summit from the second summit. As you can see, it's not much higher!
Jon downclimbing the first part of the third summit. He bailed soon after this and waiting while I finished the traverse.
Jon on the third summit. You can see that it's a wee bit exposed on this side, and part of the downclimb looks right over this precipice.
Looking ahead to the fourth and highest summit from the bottom of the third summit.
Vern on the fourth, and highest, summit of Og Mountain. Third and first summit in the background.
The third and first summits with Jon on the third as seen from the fourth summit.
Looking North off the summit of Og Mountain. That lake is unnamed.
Looking east at the unnamed but higher peak next to Og Mountain.
A very cool plateau in the distance marks Allenby Pass.