Summit Elevation (m): 2694
Trip Date: Friday, September 5, 2003
Round Trip Time (hrs): 3
Elevation Gain (m): 650 from the Tekarra Campground
Total Trip Distance (km): 6 from the Tekarra Campground
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 3 – you fall, you break something
Difficulty Notes: Loose, steep scrambling to gain the summit bowls. There was no trail from the north / west side that we did it from. We did it from the Tekarra Campground.
Technical Rating: SC6; YDS (3rd)
GPS Track: Download
Map: Google Maps
It’s fitting that the belle of the ball was the last major summit we tried. After doing Antler Ridge, Curator Mountain, Amber and GR403502 by the Notch we were ready for a real challenge. We got our challenge in the form of Mount Tekarra. The night before I challenged the boys if they would join me getting up at 0600 to try tackle Tekarra from the ‘other side’. I had noticed from Amber Mountain summit that we could have quite easily walked up the back side of Tekarra from the Skyline Trail. It would have been about 2km out of our way and we were to tired to bother so I thought we would try from the other side, going up a ridge that touched down near the Tekarra campground and wound around to the North side of the mountain.
I’m not sure if they took me serious but sure enough at 0600 I woke up and went to get the guys. After getting our toques on and fumbling into our clothes in the dark we were across the stream and bushwhacking our way up the ridge. There was a smattering of trails – probably from sheep – making their way up the ridge so we followed them. Eventually we worked our way to the col between the cliffs of Tekarra and the ridges from Signal Mountain. This is where I thought our morning was about to come to an end.
When we topped out at the col. I immediately noticed that we were in trouble. There was no gentle slope meeting the ridge but instead a line of cliffs marched off into the morning mists with no obvious way through. I have done enough scrambles that I know that cliffs can have amazing weaknesses when they are observed up close so I decided to keep going. Good thing.
As we got even closer to the line of cliffs we noticed a steep rubble chute cutting through the cliff to the ridge. We originally tried to go straight up a ledge system on the cliff but were forced to go to the chute by the exposure. When we got to the tail out of the chute we realized that we could make it here. After scrambling up loose rubble and scree we topped out at the bottom of a scree ridge. On top of the ridge was a communications tower and we could spot two other promising looking peaks past this.
Once we got to the communications hut we realized that the third (and furthest) peak was probably the summit. We lost a bit of elevation working our way over to it but quickly made it up again by climbing big boulders and rock to the high-point. A large cairn greeted us with a stony stare. As we waited for Kev, Jon and I took in the wonderful views and I felt a deep satisfaction with our accomplishment. Using only the map and our sense of direction we had found a way to the top. I’ll be doing a lot more of these unknown scrambles – I guarantee it!