Burke, Mount

Summit Elevation (m): 2542
Trip Date: Friday, March 9, 2007
Elevation Gain (m): 885
Round Trip Time (hrs): 7
Total Trip Distance (km): 14
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain something
Difficulty Notes: Mostly hiking and easy scrambling with some loose terrain and minor exposure.
Technical Rating: SC5; YDS (Hiking)
GPS Track: Download
Map: Google Maps

On Friday March 09 2007 Wietse and I decided that we’d had enough of winter and set out for the Livingstone area to bag some peaks. We decided to try Mount Burke on the Friday and give Raspberry Ridge and Gunnery Peak a shot on Saturday. The day started off bright and blustery. After two previous attempts at this mountain, Wietse was determined that a ‘bit’ of wind was not going to deter him a third time! We started off in the creek bed in ankle deep snow and soon discovered that staying on the east side of the creek avoided most of the white stuff.

Mount Burke Route Map

Eventually we came to the left-hand creek. It was here that we noticed some very adventurous snowmobiles had gone up! Until you enter that creek you can’t really appreciate how difficult it must have been for them to negotiate up it. The bottom line was that we could easily walk right up the hardened trail that they left behind and if you’re reading this story give me a call or email so that I can thank you personally for saving us a LOT of time and energy. Once on the main trail heading up climber’s left out of the secondary creek the snow disappeared for a while. But not for long. 

Yep. That’s Burke, waaayyyyyy off in the distance! Pictured from the trailhead.
Wietse trudges up the skyline ridge on Burke’s wide approach.

About 200 vertical meters from tree line the snow came back with a vengeance. It was really, really tough going with pockets of snow up to our knees and sometimes even waist deep! I was getting very annoyed and started openly questioning the wisdom of our early season hiking destination. Of course there was no way that Wietse was turning back so we took turns and eventually to our delight we finally broke tree line.

The summit comes into view with its iconic lookout.
The lookout.

From tree line the summit is reached via a short but quite steep hike. The snow and increasingly cold and strong wind was a bit of a pain but we made it without any major hassles. Other than a terrorist in the hut at the summit there was nothing too exciting up there so we took some obligatory summit pictures and spent the rest of the afternoon strolling back down the mountain under a warm Chinook sky.

Impressive views to the High Rock Range west of Burke.

Other than the deep snow and the logging clear cuts this is a highly recommended hike.

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