BCP396 Mount Rae
Van der Decken, Shigman and I set off from the Highwood Pass parking lot at about 8:20 AM with great expectations of reaching the summit of Mount Rae and finding the brass cap that resides there. The walk to Ptarmigan Cirque was beautiful as always on this cool morning and we had the place to ourselves (that would change on the way down). The work really began after starting the climb beyond the official trail into the giant scree bowl. What a grind up this ever steepening loose scree slope, a real test of lungs and legs. We reached the col 2 hours after leaving the car and turned to start the walk to the top only 650m or so away. The ridge top was to us, intimidating and we ended up following scree trails along the north side. Eventually however we were forced back to the top where a knife edge section of ridge presented itself. We were within 200 meters of the top with only 50 vertical meters to go when courage failed, our fear tolerance was exceeded, so we turned back to start the long journey down. Once we got back to the scree bowl many people where climbing up while we were attempting to go down. We had to proceed with extreme caution to avoid knocking rocks down on them. A few did get away causing some anxious moments and loud warning shouts of ROCK, ROCK!!! So, wear a helmet on this trip or don’t go on a weekend. We stopped in the grassy area of Ptarmigan for a short picnic before continuing our journey down.
Although we were disappointed in failing to summit, our journey was still well worthwhile as the views were splendid, even if they were a bit smoky from the BC fires. We may even try again but will bring ropes and harnesses for protection. We did see 1 male moose, many deer and 2 grizzly bears on the drive up to the pass. Thanks for posting this very challenging cap ofth and congratulations to Sleepy hollow for getting to the top!