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Resolute Mountain (Lion and Lioness Peaks)

Difficulty: 
Moderate Scramble
Elevation [m]: 
3164
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
24.2
Ascent Time: 
5:30
Tripdate: 
Sunday, July 7, 2013
 

 

After tossing around a bunch of plans for the weekend Steven, Vern, and I eventually settled on Resolute Mountain (with its two peaks Lion Peak and Lioness Peak) directly East of Mount Cline. Apparently the two peaks were named as they look like the heads of a lion and lioness but I failed to see any resemblance. The trailhead for these peaks is just east of Thompson Creek on the David Thompson Highway East of Saskatchewan Crossing.

Waking up at the (oddly late compared to the last few weeks) hour of 4, we were on the trail around 4:30 and quickly encountered the effect of recent rainfall, the lovely wide gravel trail was washed out almost from the get-go leading to some travel through light bush instead (nothing horrible though). After travelling parallel to the creek for a few km the path eventually diverged upwards climbing up to yield great morning views of Corona Ridge, Mount Murchison, and the other giants around the crossing. After taking a few photo breaks for the morning light we kept carrying on upwards coming to a marshy waterfally section (that also looked quite nice in morning light) which proved to be fairly soggy to cross. Once past the bog slog the views opened up with the towering rockwall of Mount Cline our constant companion on the left and Lion and Lioness peaks rising up to the right. At this point my path diverged from the other guys as I had elected to bring my light shoes which don't mix with my heavy crampons so while the boys took a straight line up the hard frozen snowgully towards lioness I trudged up the scree instead (oddly enough we both ended up gaining the top of the ridge at about the same time). Once at the Cline/Lion col the views got an order of magnitude better with countless peaks spreading out northwards (though the Whitegoat Peaks really steal the show from this vantage point).

Once above the col Lion loomed directly ahead and we faced the choice of gaining the summit block now or later, now seemed like more fun so we went with that. Shortly after scrambling up a few loose sections we came across a couple notches (good practice for the scaled up versions on Cline!) that were kind of neat, before traversing beneath some difficult scrambling sections towards the actual summit. Gaining the true summit of Lion Peak didn't require anything tricky (if it gets difficult you are probably off-route) but even still we were rewarded with pretty fabulous views (blocked by the odd transient clouds to the South). I'm glad I climbed this before Cline as now if clouds roll in on Cline I'll be less bothered having seen mostly the same view from down here. After taking in the views and snapping off a bunch of pictures it was time to turn Southwards towards Lioness Peak. Peering over the edge of Lion showed that a direct assault was not going to be feasible without several raps, so we rambled back, lost a bunch of elevation, and then contoured around Lion's summit block before gaining the Lion/Lioness col. The trek up Lioness was nothing more than a scree bash with the top section being exceedingly loose. Views from Lioness were pretty much the same as from Lion but cloud conditions were better for Southwards peaks so it was still a worthy trek. With talk of thunderstorms in the afternoon and a long way back still ahead of us it was time to start back down the trail where we mostly followed the same path (though hitting the now soft snow-lines made for a much nicer descent).

All in all, another great day out in the hills, have to head up Cline sometime soon!

 

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