Summit Elevation (m): 2588
Elevation Gain (m): 800
Round Trip Time (hr): 4.5
Total Trip Distance (km): 21
Quick ‘n Easy Rating: Class 1 – You fall you tripped over your own feet
Difficulty Notes: Easy hiking on backcountry roads or open shale slopes.
Technical Rating: OT3; YDS (Hiking)
Map: Google Maps
On Sunday, November 18 2012 I joined Bill Kerr, Dave Salahub and Kevin Papke on a snow slog up an unnamed peak to the south of Isola. Dave decided to call the peak “S.O. Isola or Monola” in order to satisfy Kev’s requirement of an ‘official’ summit. (Since then the peak has been named a more fitting name, Monola, due to its location between Isola and Monad Peaks.) Monola isn’t particularly difficult. We managed to cross the river in our 4×4’s on the blue bridge and drove all the way up the approach road on 4-6″ of fresh snow. We even drove a couple hundred meters down the ATV trail until the track dropped down – we stopped on top of this drop. On hindsight when you get to the obvious clearing it’s best to stop rather than follow the narrow track into the trees beyond.
We walked in on fresh ATV tracks for a long way, trending towards the col between Monola and Monad Peak. Finally the tracks ran out and we broke out the snow shoes and made tracks up the treed slopes on the NW end of the mountain. The day started out with heavy flurries and I actually turned around 3 times on the way up the peak, I just wasn’t in the mood for a dreary summit. Adding to my lack of energy and will power was 80-100km/hr winds near the summit! Somehow I drudged on until it was almost pointless to NOT bag the summit.
I drove my own vehicle in order to have some flexibility (I initially wanted to tag Monad Peak too) so I went ahead of the other three guys once we broke out the snow shoes. I managed (barely) to take some summit photos and even saw a bunch of sheep on the summit ridge. The wind on the summit was so strong that my camera almost blew out of my hands and my poles kept blowing horizontally into the photos. The views to the west were awesome, the weather had cleared by now.
I rapidly descended, only stopping briefly to let the other three know that I was heading back to the truck and going home ahead of them. On the way down I took a shortcut gully and made short work of the track back. I really should have tagged Isola – the south slopes were completely bare of snow – but I didn’t have the energy. I’ll be back on my bike to do Monad and I’ll summit Isola then. There are lots of larches at the Monad / Monola pass that are begging me to come back in September some time.