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Mount Cline

Mostly Moderate Scramble With Two 5.4 Class Pitches
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Only Mild If On Route
Saturday, August 10, 2013

After hearing about Steven doing a successful daytrip of Mount Cline a few weeks ago Vern and I were eager to give it a go whenever the weather seemed decent (turned out the best we could go for was slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon but it all worked out nicely). We agreed to meet up at the trailhead at the Thompson Creek bridge east of Saskatchewan Crossing around 4am. I got there early to take a pretrip nap and was treated to great views of clear starry skies over Mount Wilson. A bit before 4 Vern arrived and after a quick gear check we were off.

After having been up Resolute Mountain not that long ago we knew there was a good trail on the east of the creek so we followed it until the meeting point with the creek draining from the Cline Lakes (hoping across on a convenient log). Once on the west side of the creek travel slowed considerably as we weaved on and off of a trail which had been mostly washed out by the recent flooding. Carrying on down the trail still in the dark beside the creek we missed the proper turnoff and were soon plunged into exceedingly soggy alders. After consulting the gps we knew we had to backtrack and made a big loop back towards where the trail gains the prominent ledge system. Once on the ledge the trail was good and travel was considerably quicker. After gaining elevation to above the first major waterfall visible from the creek the trail becomes indistinct across fairly loose rubbly slopes which eventually lead to the lovely tranquil Cline Lakes.

Its easy to see why so many people bivy at the lakes given the nice location but the increased hassle of hauling overnight gear doesn't seem worth it (it only took us less then 3.5 hours from the car to reach the lakes). That being said after a quick refreshing water break we were back at it ascending climbers left up the obvious trail to bypass the headwall. Once past the headwall the rest of the route pretty much comes down to 'go upwards' avoiding the big pile of scree on the climbers right which is apparently known as 'Mount Owen' in some circles.

The glacier crossing to reach the side is very short but somewhat steep for a little bit. I was having big troubles with my new lightweight crampons and had to fiddle with them mid-slope a few times which slowed us down considerably (I think we sorted out the problem on the return trip however).

Once on the ridge it was time to face the fabled notches. Despite some assurances from elsewhere we couldn't find fixed protection on the downwards side of the first notch (or the summit side of the second notch) but enough slingable rocks were around that is worked out fine. We top roped both notches which were as exposed as expected but quite solid holds! On the second notch despite considerable effort couldn't find a non-sketchy way of stepping across so decided to jump it instead (which took a couple minutes to get in a good state of mind for it, see attached video). Past the notches it is just a scree bash up to the summit, and what a summit it was!

Apparently most folks have bad luck with summit weather for Cline but today views were big and far reaching, and even more strangely for DTC there was no wind! The summit panorama below speak for themselves, my favourite views we're the Whitegoat Peaks to the north and Mount Murchison to the south. After snapping a bunch of pictures the threat of thunderstorms came back into our minds so back down we went following mostly the way we came.

If you can wait for a clear day for Mount Cline, the views are worth it! As far as Cline being a day trip or a multiday trip I would say if you feel confident on the distance/elevation numbers for a day trip (and have good weather) it should work out quite nicely (and save the hassle of hauling extra weight back and forth!).


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