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"Kain's Ridge"

Difficulty: 
Easy Scramble
Elevation [m]: 
2300
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
11.4
Net Elevation Gain [m]: 
1260
Total Elevation Gain [m]: 
1500
YDS Difficulty: 
3
Ascent Time: 
4:00
Bushwhackyness: 
Fearsome For Bottom 300m, Soso After
Tripdate: 
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

With a free day to head to the hills and a fair bit if snow still in the alpine Ken and I were scrambling for a decent objective and ended up with a 'pack all the gear and we'll decide when we can see something' sort of trip.  The end result of this was a beta-less trek up around Mount Kain just west of Moose Lake in Mount Robson Provincial Park.

Our original plan was to ascend Kain itself but we soon dialed back to a less lofty goal of a nearby ridge after reevaluating our schedule.  The area around Mount Kain has a surprising feeling of remoteness despite the short distance from the road (BC bush is a pretty good deterrent for most folks).  After parking on the side of the Yellowhead near the creek draining from Mount Kain we thrashed upwards on the east side of the creek amidst dense bush of all types occasionally on animal tracks (which didn't really lessen the thrash).  Some 500 meters up the bush started to thin and more rocky terrain was found (along with views too!).

 

Parking on a steep ditch along the Yellowhead.

 

The bush can be pretty dense in places.

 

We came across what looked very much like an old trail.

 

Views of things that are not trees at last!

 

Shortly after we tried to traverse broken slopes with red rock.  With recent melt the red rock had frozen into moraine type texture which I was in no mood to traverse so set off upwards instead.  Heading up brought us to some easy scrambling terrain and onto an open rolling boulder - plateau.  Gaining the ridgecrest we spied an old-style cairn above and rambled up to it. 

 

Looking back down the valley towards Mount Robson.

 

A wider view slightly higher, the sub-peaks of Mount Kain visible on the right.

 

Ken ascending the early scrambling section.

 

Up on the rocky semi-plateau.

 

Tons of great viewpoints around here.

 

Views from the cairn were actually pretty great.  Looking across the valley the peaks above Moose Lake and more lofty giants behind were visible.  The true gems of the sights were Kain and its outliers.  The five outliers of Kain (including the spire with an incredibly large 'window' in the rock, see below) are worthy of ascents and names of there own!  Even Razor Peak to the east looked quite impressive along with The Colonel to the northeast.

 

Mount Kain on the left and Razor Peak on the right.

 

Closer view at some of the unnamed peaks in the area.

 

Looking down towards the Moose River Route.  The Colonel is the large peak on the right.

 

Zoomed in towards Razor Peak.

 

Still having some time we kept wandering higher towards the ridge of Razor Peak towards several bumps that had cairn-like features atop them.  From later on looking down on the valley below you could really appreciate bivying down there for a few nights and bagging the nearby peaks!  Eventually our schedule caught up with us and we picked our turn around highpoint (we certainly wouldn't have had time to safely get up Razor and back) and started back towards the cairn.

 

Heading along the connecting ridge towards Razor Peak.

 

Surprisingly hard snow around here.

 

There are many things around this area that look like summit cairns.

 

Looking down to the nice potential bivy sites below.

 

The true summit of Mount Kain visible on the right.

 

Views from our highpoint.

 

Zoomed in across the Moose Lake valley.

 

Definetly a cairn on top of this unnamed subpeak.

 

"Kains Ridge" is the peak in the foreground on the left.

 

A giant window in the top of the sub-spire, zoom in to see the blue sky behind it!

 

One last look towards Razor Peak.

 

Back at the cairn Ken was telling a story about Conrad Kain from the book 'Conrad Kain: Letters From a Wandering Mountain Guide' where Kain recounted spending time atop a ridge east of the Robson group penning some letters.  While having no evidence to support this I resolved to name the ridge Kain's Ridge, if anything it jives with the nearby peak!  After a quick snack it was time to hit the bush again.  We took a different line and went a ways climbers right of the creek following the path of a prominent rock slide.  The rocks were fairly loose but mostly bush-free the rest being bush light.  With about 600m vertical left to descend we reentered the bush which was actually not horrible for the first 300m though became pretty gnarly for the last 300...  Back at the road we looked up and realized just how little of the lovely scenery to the north is ever seen by people.  In any event, it was great to get out and I am super excited to get out and head up Kain, along with its outliers at some point in the future.

 

The old-style summit cairn, without a register sadly.

 

Looking down towards Moose Lake.

 

Back down along a rock slide path.

 

Looking back up at the slide path.

 

Around here the bush started to get worse.

 

Lots of stuff to jump over.

 

Not bad for a quick exploratory trip, have to come back for the peaks at some point!

rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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