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5040 Nahmint Traverse - 1st day of Summer
Date: June 21 2009
Weather:Mixed with clouds by afternoon
Seeing it was the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, the plan was to do an all day-er. I had a few trips on the burner, but the Nahmint traverse was one I had to complete since my first attempt was aborted due to time and weather. Wanting to leave Port before 5am, a half awake Tawney pulled down my driveway at 4:30. After a quick go over of gear we were on the road under sunny skies reaching the Cobalt trail-head by 6:30. The first section up to Cobalt was a dream, then it was up to the saddle taking pictures of the wild flowers along the way. A quick boot ski and we were down the backside of 5040 heading over to the ridge. All our sunny skies had disappeared when the clouds rolled up the valley making visibility next to none. Weatherman had called for sunny skies. Ahhhh!!! Still forging on, I was not concerned knowing my GPS had the track route loaded into it. Crossing the ridge took a few hours with the clouds parting now and then for views of where we were heading. Beverley Lake unfortunately was still frozen with only the rim showing water here and there. Some route finding was needed in order to find a way for Kiku to safety venture up the false summit from the ridge. There was a couple of small rock steps where I had to pick her up over my head so she could continue on. Luckily we did not have to summit the false peak and were able to skirt around the south side at the half way mark. Now we had a good view of Nahmint's West side as the clouds lifted for a while. I had been up this route a number of times via the West Ridge so it was pretty straight forward. From this point, it was only a short step up the first bluff. Then you can either stay on steep grass and rock and choose a route up the middle to reach a steep ramp to the summit, or you can follow the juniper bush for the first half for extra security on the right side and then take a grassy ramp leading to the summit. The time of year will also be a big factor. Beware of the large cornice that can form on certain years.
How to get there?? Leaving from Port Alberni, drive towards the West Coast on HWY #4 for 46km. Turn left onto Marion Mainline. Drive up the mainline to around 9.5km. Look for a small pull-off at GPS UTM Zone 10 Easting 332164.0 Northing 540327.7
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