Fullerton, Mount

Summit Elevation (m): 2728
Trip Date: Monday, September 20, 2004
Round Trip Time (hr): 14.5 (It should definitely NOT take you this long…)
Elevation Gain (m): 1100
Total Trip Distance (km): 26
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2/3 – you fall, you sprain or break something
Difficulty Notes: A day trip involving easy to moderate scrambling depending largely on route choice and conditions.
Technical Rating: SC6; YDS (3rd)
GPS Track: Gaia
Map: Google Maps
Photos: View Album

If you haven’t done Fullerton or Fable make sure you don’t do these two mountains in the same year. If you’ve done Fable and you thought it was a long approach you better psych yourself up pretty good for Fullerton or you won’t make it. Fullerton is a wonderful scramble once you actually get up onto the mountain proper. Just getting near the base will cost you about 8 km though. That’s one way. To the base. We did this mountain on a beautiful day when just Fullerton and the Nihahi Ridge traverse were in sunlight and everything else was under cloud and rain. We also did this mountain the worst possible way. We didn’t bring bikes and we even walked an extra 1.2 km because we didn’t check if the far parking lot at Elbow was open (which it was)!

Mount Fullerton Route Map

I would recommend biking to the Nihahi Creek trailhead and maybe even biking up the switch backing trail 100m till you get to the creek. Depending on your biking ability you could probably bike almost the entire way. 

Of course we didn’t bike and the walk seemed very long. Actually according to my GPS the walk was long. We walked around 26km to do this scramble. When you get to the drainage you still have a long way to go till the ridge (took us an hour).

Ed and Dave ascending the NE ridge.
Remus (L), Romulus, Black Ridge, Fisher Peak and Mount Howard (R).
Mount Howard (L), Compression and Nihahi Ridge (R).

Once on the ridge the scrambling is fantastic and almost makes up for the long walk in. On the summit you have great views of other scrambles in the Elbow Valley. On the way down we did the alternate gully and although it was OK, it really isn’t any better then the long walk up. I certainly wouldn’t recommend going up this way due to large, unstable scree for a lot of the way.

I recommend this scramble because of the fun ridge scrambling but don’t recommend walking the whole way and I also wouldn’t do it on a really hot day, that valley would be scorching hot and would get old fast. (Update 2023: Reading this brief trip report from so many years ago makes me smile. Firstly, note the total time it took us to do a 26km, 1100m day. 14.5 hours?! WTF?! That is crazy considering how far I have gotten in less time over the past few years, almost 2 decades later – and older! Secondly, all my complaining about 26 kilometers is hilarious. This would now be considered a very normal day – almost a shortish day for us. It’s interesting to note how things have changed as I get further and further away from easy, front range scrambles to more backcountry adventures.)

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