Summit Elevation (m): 2448
Trip Date: May 29 2021
Elevation Gain (m): 700
Round Trip Time (hr): 2.5
Total Trip Distance (km): 7.5
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you are not on the easiest west ridge route
Difficulty Notes: Easy hiking and scrambling up a scenic drainage and rubble ridge / shoulder.
Technical Rating: SC5; RE3
GPS Track: Download
Map: Google Maps
After our 4 hour return trip up Onion Peak, Wietse and I were feeling pretty good as we started up the route to Falls Lookout from the Hummingbird Creek staging area. Just as on Onion Peak earlier, Cornelius Rott has a nice loop route detailed for this peak which is slightly more difficult and obviously longer. We were hoping to go for a “threefer” to take advantage of the long drive so we decided to tackle the most direct route for Falls Lookout rather than the more circuitous one. (As an aside, we met some folks who bailed on Cornelius’ route, which is apparently on AllTrails now. They were sketched out by the terrain and didn’t know of our easier route option.)
There isn’t much to say about this small objective. It’s a Ram Country version of Prairie Mountain! We followed intermittent trails up the SW approach drainage to the base of the easy west ridge / shoulder. We ground our way up this interminable slope on a mix of sharp scree and loose rubble to the upper SW ridge.
After ascending up and over a small false summit on the SW ridge the lookout appeared and we made our way up towards it. Views were similar to the ones we’d experienced on Onion Peak earlier, but slightly less due to the lower height and position. We were surprised by our ascent time of less than 1.5 hours and decided now was a good time to enjoy some breakfast with our views. 😉
Descent was easy and quick and soon we were back at the staging area.
On our way back down the drainage to the parking lot I thought I spotted Raf up on the harder west ridge above the creek. We spotted his vehicle in the parking lot so that was very likely him. Later on I found out that Cornelius had placed a Bighorn Backcountry pamphlet on my windshield and that Matt Clay was also camping in the area this particular weekend. It’s for good reasons that me and my friends are spending time in the Ram / Clearwater areas. Despite being a long drive, it’s really no longer than most hwy 93 objectives and despite not having glaciers, this area has a remote feel to it and wonderful views over many creeks and rivers.