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Mt Adder via Sutton Pass - Mid Winter
10hrs return

     Date: Jan 29 2007

Mt Adder NW Ridge

Weather:  High overcast clear
Wind:  Moderate

   Awesome weekend up high... clear skies warm wind what more could one ask for when hiking high in the hills on the West Coast of Vancouver Island... well how about perfect snow conditions, got that too Our hike started from Highway 4 right at Sutton Pass hiking 5km of road before reaching the trail head. This is a popular route with the local hiking clubs during spring and summer months when one can drive the first 5km. Lots of snow and hard enough to walk on without snowshoes which made for a fast walk up the road once in the forest the snow softened a bit so had to put on the shoes. Hiked moderate forested slopes which get steeper once going up the gully that tops out onto an open ridge. Here the snow harden up again so put crampons on and pulled out the ice axe to make things easier. Climbed over small rock bluff then could see Mt Adder's summit. Man was it beautiful up there.... Just wanted to hang-out and absorb it all in but had to move on. Hiked gentle ups with one down before reaching the final ridge line that took us up to the North face. Some years in the spring it can be a hassle crossing over a bergschrund but this time of year it was a nice steepish snow slope, just had to be cautious of the cornice's

   Seeing as I've always done this route during the winter months, I thought it was due time to give it a go during the summer. First thing different was being able to drive up the long hill to the trail head which saved about 1hr. I see road surveyors have recently been out there because there a string line going right up to the end of the spur where the trail started. Hope they are not looking at logging the area some time soon. Trail up to small pond was in fair shape and well flaged except travel through the small blowdown was akward with a big pack. Past the lake trail basiclly dissapears and flagging is sparse, so route finding and a kneen eye is needed to be able to reach the upper main ridge. Once on the ridge I noticed the travell overland was not as easy as winter beacuse of all the bouldering. I was surprised to see how much snow was still left, so I took advantage of it when I could. It was a good day for bird watching, came across three seperate pairs of Ptarmigan, one pair had two little ones. Weather was not on our side today but made for a cool and pleasent trip. No views to speak of on summit but made for interesting pictures but the flowers were outstanding, could`nt stop taking pictures of them.

Winter Pictures
Summer Pictures

   How to get there??     Head West on Hwy 4 and park on South side of Hyw at Sutton Pass during winter months. Summer time you can drive 4km up spur road which saves time and energy

Stay tune for more adventures at Island hikes

Cheers: Quagger   Email

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