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Marmot Mountain, Muhigan Mountain, and Indian Ridge

Difficulty: 
Easy Winter Scrambling and Snowshoeing
Elevation [m]: 
2622
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
37.9
Net Elevation Gain [m]: 
1248
Total Elevation Gain [m]: 
2234
Bushwhackyness: 
Not Bad
Tripdate: 
Saturday, January 26, 2013

Setting out on another trip with Steven this time to Jasper, in specific the area around the Marmot ski hill. Our original goal was to head up the backside of Marmot Mountain and then head up Indian Ridge and downclimb to The Whistlers but after summiting Marmot and getting a feel for conditions, which were quite good, we decided to escalate the trip to include Muhigan Mountain.

Upon getting to the trailhead for an alpine start our plan was complicated as the Marmot ski hill has a gate blocking off access to the trail overnight. This necessitated parking at the next nearest lot (the Tonquin Valley Trail turnoff) a good 6km and 300m below the parking lot! Setting out at around 4:30 up the road we set off aiming for the Whistler Creek trail (which we later discovered had a very well packed trail) and up Marmot Mountain. Reaching the summit of Marmot just before sunrise left us walking back and forth trying to stay warm waiting for some visibility for summit pictures. The wait proved to be worth it as awesome cloud colouring greeted us casting great lighting across the Eastern peaks. After waiting around for a little longer and taking some more pictures we headed down to the creek towards Indian Ridge, here was where we decided to include Muhigan Mountain in the trip. Aiming for the col between an unnamed highpoint and a ridge of Indian Ridge we plodded through trees (with some post-holing for a while) while all the time being in the middle of a lovely winter environment. Once reaching the col we had to lose some elevation to get over to the access to Muhigan Mountain and then ditched the snowshoes for boots as the rest of (what we thought was) the route was pretty dry. Turned out what we were aiming for was only a false summit, the true summit was another 45 min northwards with a few scrambling moves to finally achieve the summit. Views from Muhigan were pretty great but limited Westwards due to some menacing cloud cover. After descending Muhigan and making our way back to the col we slowly plodded up to Indian Ridge (moving a fair bit slower at this point), gaining the ridge and taking in the great views along the way. There was a thought of descending from Indian Ridge to The Whislers but after a few looks at the doubled corniced icy downclimb section we thought we should probably call it quits and headed back down the valley. After a long trek trek back down the Whistler Creek trail we arrived back and the resort just after closing and headed down the road. With about 3km to go back to the car a truck drove by and gave us a ride, which after a long day was much appreciated.

 

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