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Triple Peak South West Ridge
Distance - 6.5km return
3.5 hr: Trail head to Summit


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     Date: Sept 8 2005

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Weather: Clear to start cloudy blowing in before reaching summit.
Waterfall Route conditions: Good when conditions are dry

   A few years back I was talking to a friend of mine and he mentioned he'd just got back from Bagging Triple Peak. I was impressed as I knew in the back of my mine how much of a pain in the butt it was to get up onto the Rock Massive below the peaks. Chatting with him some more about it I found out he had gone up beside the waterfall which came from Triple Peaks lower lake. I'd looked at going up that route many years ago but was told it was very thick bush and the rock was slippery close to the falls, so I'd then always gone up the Cats Ears side. Sounded like I'd be going up the wrong way all these years. The waterfall route if you knew were to go was the ticket up, as long as it was dry out.

   Summer 2005 was winding down and Triple Peak had lately been in the back of my mind. So I decided to try the new waterfall route especially now I'd just recently heard some of the thick sections were brushed back. The weather had been clear for the past month so everything looked good all except that the gate was locked when I drove up the road. There was a sign saying "Open to the public on weekends" so it looked like I'd have to try again that Saturday. Unfortunately when we came back on the weekend the weather had turned and the rain was coming down fairly steady. We decided to try and get at least up to the lower lake as the lower section was flagged and brushed back. It was sure nice to have the route cleared out somewhat making life allot easier, the rock was still fairly grippy but the clouds were getting darker. We made it up to the lower lake in just over 2 hrs which I thought was great has it took 4 hrs the other way. Having no view at all we quickly headed back down to the truck to dry off. Now Triple had turn me back twice in one week so I'd made a vendetta to climb it the first nice day down the road.

   2 weeks to the day I had first tried my luck at Triple Peak the weather looked good and I'd heard the road builders had pulled out for a while. Maybe this time I'd be able to stand on it's summit, the skies were clear and all gates open to trail head. The lower section took only 1.5 hrs to hike up to the lower lake, the flora was wet so wearing my Gortex bibs was a wise choice. The sun was shining at the time but it looked like the clouds were starting to form up lower in the valley. Now making my way over to the upper snow I had to hop over two small benches which had multiple ways up. I did come across some loose rock when getting close to the snowfield and some some caution should be noted about rock fall coming down from the cliffs above. By the end of the summer the snow ha`d harden up too much to safely walk across without crampons so I pulled them out for the 10 min walk across the snowfield. I hiked over South East to the far side of Triple Peaks Main summit to where I saw a short gully with a large boulder wedged in the top. From here I climbed the gully and had to take my pack off sao I could squeeze under the boulder's right side. Once popping out I stuck close to the rock wall and climbed around the corner quickly going under a tree with a Black sling at it's base. Climb out of the tree then pull yourself up steep bush for about 20m which ends up at the bottom of a steeper Open Book with some good exposer. This section is roughly 15m in length the lower section did have some nice holds but the upper section had only iffy holds by burring my fingers in the Heather and feeling for rock lip. I was warned about this spot and I bought along a 9mm 15m long to use as a hand line for the way down "I was glad I did" From the top of this section it was just a scramble with a short 3m climb to reach to summit.

   How to get there     Drive Out of Port Alberni travel West on Hwy 4 for 46kms turn left of onto Marion Main Line. Stay on mainline and drive up to the end of the Marion Ck watershed to a Pass which then heads down the Effingham watershed roughly 10kms. Drive another 1km and take right turn at fork another 300m down on right side when road starts to turn left, look for small rock Carin and worn trail heading over the bank. Some flagging might be visible. "WARNING" on my last visit there I ran into road builders, sounds like work is starting in the area so before heading out make sure to check with
Mars Industries, Port Alberni 1(250)724-3351

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Cheers: Quagger

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