N 50° 27.754 W 114° 55.178
BCP465 - Mount Loomis
We (Cougarman70, Fish Fly, and I) got our usual early start from the Lineham Day Use Area (in fact just before sunrise) for our trip to the cap site. It was the perfect morning and the run down through fords of the Highwood River and Loomis Creek to our stop at the first Old Sawmill site on the Odlum Creek Trail seemed effortless.
After checking out the Odlum Creek Trail cache we headed west to the Odlum Creek Crossing site and the parking location for our bikes. The sun was only just starting to rise over the peaks and ridges to the east giving us spectacular views of Odlum Creek and the peaks in our target area.
On arriving at the Odlum Ponds we were treated to the presence of a Bald Eagle high atop one of the trees over the pond. Obviously the eagle family has also discovered the amazing fishing for Cutthroat trout, which are in abundance in this quiet spot. Later in the day Cougarman70 and Fish Fly quickly (within 20 minutes) caught their limit in a minimum number of casts.
The hike / scramble past the waterfall (hundreds of wild flowers) went especially well as we found a solid game trail to the top and the second creek crossing. The trek over the scree leading to the chute to access the Loomis outlier went very well and we found ourselves at the summit of the outlier by Noon.
Cougarman70 made quick work of finding the two caches along the outlier ridge and soon we were on our way to Mount Loomis.
Initially you lose 50 - 100 metres of elevation between the Loomis northern outlier and the mountain itself. Once at the base of the connecting ridge we picked up Sheep trails and followed them to a grassy strip leading further up the mountain.
Once at the top end of the grassy strip route finding is especially important as you track through a few steep gullies with loads of extremely loose rock. Eventually we found ourselves at the crux of the scramble to the Loomis summit, with the option to climb a steep chimney or a massive block of rock with a good bit of exposure . I decided on the block due to some potential good hand and foot hold locations. The climb was definitely airy, but with the trekking pole put away this spot provided good hands on scrambling.
The 750 metres to the summit past the crux provided a most pleasant ridge walk with views down into three valleys - the Elk to the west; Loomis Creek and Lake to the immediate east; and the the Odlum Creek Valley to the NE.
The cap is located immediately under the summit cairn and is in pristine condition. Unfortunately the summit register container is badly broken up with no register inside. So after snapping numerous pictures of this truly amazing Divide Peak, I rebuilt the summit cairn, and stashed a cache immediately on top of the cap at the summit. Our round trip track log showed a distance of 33.8 km with a total elevation gain of 1745 metres over a 14 hour journey.
Thanks to Cougarman70 and Fish Fly for their terrific company along the trail. If you get the chance and want to check out the Odlum Ponds or venture further check out Doug Eastcott's book Backcountry Biking in the Canadian Rockies. The Odlum Ponds bike from the Lineham Day Use Area is considered to be a real cruiser special - minimal elevation gain on the way out and a cruise all the way back to the trailhead.
Thanks OFTH for this well positioned cap with an outstanding view!