BCP765 - Onion Ridge (FOUND)
N 52° 08.133 W 116° 01.432
Elevation: 2205.809 metres
Today, I joined Sleepy_hollow and made my third attempt at reaching the Onion Peak survey marker. (It would be SH's sixth attempt.)
I left home at 4:00 a.m. to meet SH at 4:30 and begin our three-hour drive to the trailhead. This time, we did two major things differently.
First, we picked a sunny, warm, Spring day with gentle breezes and very little snow on the ground (rather than a cold, blizzardy, Winter day with gale-force winds and lots of snow/ice on the ground and/or in the air).
Second, we scrapped the idea of ascending the east ridge and opted instead to climb the drainage just west of that ridge. SH had brought a pair of mountain bikes, which we rode 3.25 kilometres along the Onion Lake Trail before we started our climb at 9 o'clock.
This third ascent was surprisingly easy. The climb was relatively gradual, with no major obstacles, and lots of great scenery to reward our efforts. SH and I reached the saddle after a half-hour bike ride and a 2.25-hour hike. Our total elevation gain was a little under 500 metres.
We had brought a measuring tape, metal detector, and spade, but they were all unnecessary as the cap was very close to the obvious guard post and a couple inches above ground level. The brass was already perfectly clean with barely any scratches. It looked like it had been placed three years ago rather than over thirty.
The views were amazing from 2,206 metres high on this picture-perfect day, so we took a few photographs, soaked in the scenery, and ate part of our lunches.
After two failed attempts, it was great to finally reach (and find!) this particular benchmark, even if I can no longer log it on the Brass Cap cache page.
It wasn't even noon yet, and the sun wouldn't set until 9:56 p.m., so we had plenty of time to make the more difficult climb to Onion Peak summit. Our initial route upwards left us facing an impassable obstacle, but we backtracked a little ways and found a better path to the top, where we were rewarded with even more incredible views at 2,475 metres. Success!
We descended the southwest ridge, visiting a couple of the lower summits (and four geocaches) along the way. Don also placed six new geocaches during this trip. The bikes made for a relatively easy, 20-minute ride back to the vehicle rather than an hour-long trudge after an exhausting day.
It was now 5:00 p.m. My track log showed our total distance at 17.8 kilometres with 969 metres of total climbing. As well as seeing some spectacular scenery and numerous early wildflowers, we spotted scores of deer, dozens of wild horses, several coyotes, and a family of five bighorn sheep. I arrived home a little after 9 p.m. to end a simply wonderful day.