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Traverse of Mount Arrowsmith
Thursday, August 21
It had rained heavily the night before, and when we got up it was still raining. Despite this, the forecast for the day still looked decent enough, so we headed down to the ferry, fully kitted out with necessary gear (the nose route requires a bit of technical climbing). We rendez-voused at 8:15am with a slumbering Ewart and Ruth by the side of the road at Cathedral Grove. Ewart really can sleep anywhere!
A Civilized Start
The intrepid group - 1
Unsettled skies
We had five people and two cars for our Arrowsmith Nose Route redux expedition, and so we chose to do a fun traverse of the mountain, climbing the Nose route and descending the easier Judges Route. We parked Ewart's car at the end spot, the Judges Route trailhead, and continued with 5 people and packs in the remaining car to the departure point for the Nose route. The weather was more satisfactory than excellent, with swirling clouds and only periodic splashes of sun.
Morning light
Ewart climbs the roots
Beneath the bumps
We climbed uneventfully through the trees to the col separating Mt Cokely from Arrowsmith, then started out on the climb of the ridgecrest, soon reaching first of 'the bumps' (and a nice bit of sunshine too, which was welcome). We scrambled up and over the fairly steep first two bumps, then easily along the remaining ridgecrest to the base of the nose. Unfortunately, the clouds socked-in again and we had pretty much a repeat of the cloudy weather of our last Nose attempt. Shame.
Exposed Scrambling
Mount Arrowsmith
Tarn far below
The Nose
Nose from below
Ewart climbs away
We took a long time climbing the two short technical pitches, what with five people and one rope, and with three of them being unfamiliar with roped climbing. We were in no rush, though (and perhaps going slow would allow the sun to come out), and after a couple of hours emerged onto the summit of Arrowsmith, still clouded-in but satisfied. After a short break on the cool, breezy summit, we started down the very steep but non-technical Judges Route, arriving back at the car well before sunset. Traverse accomplished!
courtesy ETempest
Jenn looks intent!
Summit in sight
On top of Mt Arrowsmith
Down the Judges route
Ewart downclimbs
With all of us safely back at the two cars, we sorted out our gear and headed off. It was time for a splitting of ways: Ewart and Ruth were splitting off from us here, heading west to Tofino and the last few days of their trip. Jenn and I headed in the other direction, dropping Jenn's dad off at the Gabriola Ferry, and then continuing south down to Victoria. Our flight back to Ottawa left from Victoria the next day.
Warning! You've only seen a brief set of images and a short writeup on our climb of Mount Arrowsmith. Click here to go to a special "in-depth" page that contains a more complete account, a lot more pictures, elevation graphs, and an interactive track-and-photo map of our route.
Wrap-up and Return
Friday, August 22
Cathy and Mike graciously offered to let us stay one more night with them at their place in Victoria, and, as usual, we had a pleasant time staying up late into the night having a few drinks and chatting about this and that. We may have even convinced Cathy and Mike to come on one of our desert hike adventures... who knows??
The next morning, we returned our rental car and headed off to the airport. Unfortunately, our Westjet flight blew a tire on landing, and a seemingly slow wheel-and-tire change by the repair crew meant we got bumped onto a different flight, one that connected through Calgary. The result was a net four-hour delay in our Ottawa arrival. Many thanks to Jody and Ange for picking us up so late at the airport. You guys are the best!
Flat on a 737
Tire changing duty
On a jack
And for that matter, so was our trip: yet another successful outing to the big left-hand island!
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