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Cinnamon Peak

Mostly Moderate Scrambling With a Difficult Step
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Dense Alders And Devils Club By The Trail
Saturday, August 23, 2014

Starting out from the Berg Lake trailhead a bit before sunrise, Eric, Steven, and I set off to climb Cinnamon Peak. As far as the mountains in the Robson group go, Cinnamon enjoys relative obscurity due to its (relatively) low elevation, a mere 2733 m rather than the lofty near 4000 m heights of Mount Robson next door. For this reason though Cinnamon Peak holds one of the most excellent views in the region, high enough to grant wide reaching views, but low enough that the towering titans nearby look exceedingly impressive.

The route for Cinnamon Peak starts off on the Berg Lake trail but quickly branches off at a large avalanche gully a few minutes along the trail packed dense with alders. This first part of the route was pretty miserable with shoulder-high uphill bushwhacking the name of the game. A little higher up the bush started to let up and then the gully became a nice dry creek, moving into a decent wet creek. For the vast majority of the ascent we stuck to the middle of the gully, occasionally branching left or right to avoid rockbands or waterfalls (this was a very wet route higher up). After gaining about 1200m of elevation we branched off climbers right into a large bowl and headed up towards the ridgecrest. Views from the ridge are impressive, with Mount Robson dominating the surroundings but with excellent visibility of Whitehorn, Resplendent, and other Robson group peaks. Sticking to the ridgecrest to the false summit was only easy/moderate scrambling (with harder rock if you stay a little below the ridgecrest on climbers right). At the false summit there is one of those green BC false summit tower weather station contraptions which was a good place for a snack.

From the false summit there is a decent amount of elevation loss (~100m) with interesting moderate/difficult scrambling. Getting closer to the true summit the scrambling becomes more exposed and loose (be sure to stick close together at this point to avoid rockfall). Once on the summit we found a register placed by Greg Horne in '86 which had only two other entries (our group was the 3'rd), clearly the prospect of 2000+m of gain and dense bush down below was enough to deter the crowds! Views from the summit are among some of the best I have seen, the sheer size of Mount Robson beggars belief and that view alone is worth the trek.

Descent back down the ridge was uneventful (but with sustained excellent views). Once back down in the gully things became less rosy though, as the terrain within the gully, being a mix of steep slippery grass, steep slippery rock, and less steep water slippery rock, required constant vigilance to avoid slipping. We slowly picked our way down which became more mentally tiring than physically tiring. About 80% of the way down Eric took a slip which lead to a fair bit of blood, but after a quick med-kit-break was bound and bandaged and we were back on our way. In wet conditions descending down the gully would be quite perilous. Once back at treeline we decided to follow the gully back to the trail which led to a tradeoff as there were less alders on this route (nice!) but a fair bit of devil's club (not so nice!).

Overall the views from Cinnamon Peak outweigh the sustained elevation and dense bush required to reach its summit, save it for a day when visibility is definitely going to be good.


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