Summit Elevation (m): 2984
Elevation Gain (m): 2400
Trip Time (hr): 10
Total Trip Distance (km): 25
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 3/4 – you fall, you break something or worse
Difficulty Notes: Easy alternate descent is the way to go on this one! Difficult scrambling on the ridge described by Kane. Note: This trip combines both Pilot and Brett with a bike approach.
Technical Rating: SC7; YDS (4th)
GPS Track: Download
Map: Google Maps
After ascending Pilot Mountain I decided to take advantage of the long approach up the Redearth valley by bagging Mount Brett while I was in the area anyway. I have to say – this is a long day. When Kane says you’ll be bagged afterwards, he’s not kidding! After descending into the valley between Pilot and Brett I was left with almost 1000 meters of height gain and some difficult terrain to negotiate – and it was a hot day which didn’t help the energy levels. That would leave me with a total of 2500 meters of height gain in a remote area on difficult terrain. It was an awesome day but probably not something I’ll repeat too often – especially as a solo objective.
The route is fairly straight forward. Descend into the valley either right under the pinnacle or you can traverse up high on Pilot to skier’s left and drop into the valley a bit further up. Either way leaves you with a trudge up to the lower ridge on Brett.
The scrambling on Brett is certainly harder than on Pilot. I ended up going around the second down climb on climber’s right without realizing I was bypassing the down climb – I simply followed the terrain and ended up there. I didn’t enjoy it though. It’s still very exposed and it’s loose and down sloping.
It was a nice surprise to arrive at the summit, since I was still expecting the down climb! The views were excellent and I spent some time at the summit enjoying my accomplishments of the day. I even had a phone conversation with Kevin Papke at the summit! I had to return all the way to the parking lot so eventually I reluctantly started my descent.
The crux that I by-passed on the way up is actually more exposed if you go over it on the way back. I found myself clinging rather desperately to a questionable hold while my feet sought solid ground for a few moments! I’m still not sure which way I prefer, I’m just glad I’m done it. I would do the alternate descent that Kane mentions (and that I failed to notice when I read the description) for the safest option.
The rest of the walk to my bike was uneventful except for a few nervous moments when my tired brain mistook a large grey rock for a grizzly. (I nearly pepper sprayed it when it refused to move! ;-))
The bushwhack to the Redearth road was a bit of a drag and I found myself wondering what the heck I was doing out there on my own but eventually I did make it back to my bike. The ride out was fast and fun. My round trip time of 10 hours wasn’t even that bad, but it felt a lot longer. I would highly recommend doing these two mountains together if you can handle the long day of difficult scrambling and the elevation gains.