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Black Rock Mountain (Blackrock)

Summit Elevation (m): 2462
Trip Date: Friday, April 15, 2005
Round Trip Time (hr): unknown
Elevation Gain (m): 920
Total Trip Distance (km): 8
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain something
Difficulty Notes: Easy scrambling on a good trail. The hardest part might be driving to the trailhead.
Technical Rating: OT4; YDS (Hiking)
Map: Google Maps


I’ve wanted to scramble Black Rock Mountain for a long time. It just has a cool sounding history and I was also intrigued by the area because I have never really explored in the Ghost Wilderness Area of the Rockies before. Let me start out by saying that the ride in along 16.5 km of rough road / trail is not to be underrated! I was driving my 2004 Corolla and trust me, I was very nervous that I would blow a tire or bust a strut or something. If you really value your vehicle, take your friend’s instead. 😉

Black Rock Mountain Route Map

The other comment about the drive is that you will save yourself a long, hot, dusty walk in the ‘valley of death’ by taking your friends 4×4. That way you can actually drive to the trailhead and save 3.5km walking each way. The drive is kind of like boiling a frog. The road simply gets worse and worse gradually until you realize that you’re so far in you don’t really have a choice but to continue! I felt very alone on a Friday in April but if you choose to go with a friend or in the summer you’ll be fine.

That brings me to my next observation. It’s funny to see how I’ve progressed over the past couple of years. 2 years ago you wouldn’t have caught me in a remote area like this for anything. There really was nobody around for miles. I only met one dirt-bike on my way out but for the rest of the day it was only me,the wind, some crows and whatever else I didn’t see.

The fire lookout looks very small from above the gap. It’s only about 40 minutes away at this point.

If you choose to do Black Rock I would highly recommend you do it in the early spring because any snow will melt very quickly off it and there is no one else around. I would recommend you bring someone along if you’re not used to being on your own in a very remote setting. It didn’t help that there was a bear warning posted… 😐

 
Association, End, Orient Point, Devils Fang, Costigan, Aylmer, Poltergeist, Devils Head, Castle Rock, Davidson, Barrier, Ghost (Kink) and Fallen Peaks (R).
Views towards Association and End also include Stenton, Townsend and Carrot Peak (R).

I really like this mountain. It reminded me of Moose Mountain (but it’s more scenic and remote) and the walk in along the endless valley reminded me of Mount Fullerton. The mountain itself is very entertaining once you break tree line. I enjoyed it as much as Gap Peak’s cliff bands, very interesting scenery and just enough scramble sections to keep you interested.

Incredible views of Ghost Peak (R) and even Barrier Mountain (L).
Descending the gap with awesome views of Costigan.

This is not a tough scramble by any means, but it’s an entertaining hike that will get you to a summit with some of the best views I’ve had in a while. Highly recommended.

Black Rock Mountain (Blackrock)
Immediately you are presented with an amazing view of Phantom Crag or 'Devil's Fang'.
Immediately you are presented with an amazing view of Phantom Crag or 'Devil's Fang'.
Black Rock Mountain is a long ways off when you first come into the Ghost River valley. Devils Head at far left.
Black Rock Mountain is a long ways off when you first come into the Ghost River valley. Devils Head at far left.
The mountain is bone dry.
The mountain is bone dry.
Looking back it seems like a long way.
Looking back it seems like a long way.
Relief in the form of a comfortable outhouse - complete with a roll of TP!! NOTE: The floods of 2013 have demolished this luxury, I'm afraid. :(
Relief in the form of a comfortable outhouse - complete with a roll of TP!! NOTE: The floods of 2013 have demolished this luxury, I'm afraid. 🙁
Coming out of tree line about 35 minutes after the outhouse, at a good pace.
Coming out of tree line about 35 minutes after the outhouse, at a good pace.
Starting a familiar scree grind.
Starting a familiar scree grind.
Views back over the Ghost River towards Orient Point.
Views back over the Ghost River towards Orient Point.
The route up through the gap.
The route up through the gap.
Cliffs.
Cliffs.
The fire lookout looks very small from above the gap. It's only about 40 minutes away at this point.
The fire lookout looks very small from above the gap. It's only about 40 minutes away at this point.
Vern hoists the enormous summit register on Black Rock.
Vern hoists the enormous summit register on Black Rock.
Incredible views of Ghost Peak (R) and even Barrier Mountain (L).
Incredible views of Ghost Peak (R) and even Barrier Mountain (L).
Vern on the summit of Black Rock.
Vern on the summit of Black Rock.
Vern surveys an excellent panorama from inside the hut.
Vern surveys an excellent panorama from inside the hut.
Association, End, Orient Point, Devils Fang, Costigan, Aylmer, Poltergeist,Devils Head, Castle Rock.
Association, End, Orient Point, Devils Fang, Costigan, Aylmer, Poltergeist,Devils Head, Castle Rock.
Costigan, Aylmer, Poltergeist,Devils Head, Castle Rock, Davidson, Ghost Peak.
Costigan, Aylmer, Poltergeist,Devils Head, Castle Rock, Davidson, Ghost Peak.
Poltergeist, Devils Head, Castle Rock and Davidson (R).
Poltergeist, Devils Head, Castle Rock and Davidson (R).
Mount Aylmer.
Mount Aylmer.
Devils Head from the summit of Black Rock Mountain. I would finally climb that impressive peak 7 years later in 2012.
Devils Head from the summit of Black Rock Mountain. I would finally climb that impressive peak 7 years later in 2012.
Devils Head and Castle Rock (R).
Devils Head and Castle Rock (R).
Aylmer, Poltergeist, Devils Head and Castle Rock.
Aylmer, Poltergeist, Devils Head and Castle Rock.
Impressive views down the Ghost River towards Orient Point.
Impressive views down the Ghost River towards Orient Point.
The Ghost River flats.
The Ghost River flats.
Views towards Association and End also include Stenton, Townsend and Carrot Peak (R).
Views towards Association and End also include Stenton, Townsend and Carrot Peak (R).
The summit shack.
The summit shack.
The summit shack.
The summit shack.
Views east over a small pond and Lesueur Creek.
Views east over a small pond and Lesueur Creek.
The summit shack.
The summit shack.
The summit shack.
The summit shack.
Views from the summit shack.
Views from the summit shack.
Views from the summit shack.
Views from the summit shack.
Views from the summit shack.
Views from the summit shack.
Views from the summit shack.
Views from the summit shack.
Looking down the south ridge to the Ghost River.
Looking down the south ridge to the Ghost River.
Views back up to the summit.
Views back up to the summit.
Descending the gap with awesome views of Costigan.
Descending the gap with awesome views of Costigan.
Vern taking some last looks before heading down through the gap and back into the trees.
Vern taking some last looks before heading down through the gap and back into the trees.

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