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Redan Mountain

Climbers Scramble
Elevation [m]: 
Round Trip Distance [km]: 
Net Elevation Gain [m]: 
Total Elevation Gain [m]: 
Ascent Time: 
Not Too Bad
Friday, September 20, 2013

Another trek down the Celestine Lake road and another time up the Vine Creek trail. Ken and I had our sights set on Redan Mountain the most northerly highpoint of the ridge connected to Gargoyle Mountain. We had previously seen the route from Roche De Smet the previous year and thought it looked a little spicy so packed a rope and climbing gear, this proved to be a good choice.

Setting out on the Vine Creek trail around sunrise we set a quick pace upwards towards Vine Pass and eventually turned west off of the trail when we were near the ascent ridge (some 8 km from the trailhead). Bushwhacking was pretty dense in places and slowed down progress considerably but soon enough we were out of the trees, hit with a breeze, and heading on up with relative ease on grassy rock littered slopes. Once atop a prominent rocky highpoint the rest of the route came into view and it looked doable, but 'interesting'. The closer we got the more 'interesting' the route looked and before long we were at the base of what would be the crux and were glad to have brought a rope. I ended up leading several pitches of rock (we only had a 30m rope so half pitches) and then setting up top rope anchors, intermediate gear placements were few and far between so it was pretty much climb till there's a good sling for an anchor then stop. The first pitch proved to be the crux and would probably be 5.2/3ish if rated as a technical climb, definitely scrambleable but with consequences for any mistakes. After the crux we stayed roped for a 40 more meters or so before coming to the more scrambly terrain directly beneath the summit. Atop the summit was a small cairn (with no register, drat!) but large views. Mount Robson and Whitecap Mountain looked exceptionally awesome on this particular day! Knowing that some interesting downclimbing awaited us below we didn't linger too long on the summit and swiftly were heading down loose scree on slab to keep back to where we stashed the rope. To reduce danger we ended up rapping most of the climbing portions, which given our short rope required 3 separate raps (two of which on pitons no less) which went quite smoothly once appropriate anchors had been secured. Once down below the summit block it was an easy plod back down to the trail, this time we took the prominent gully north of the summit which proved to have nice descent scree eventually fading into shrub covered rock with a nearby bubbling stream. After some more dense bush we were back on the trail and made good time back to the car.

Long story short Redan Mountain was a fair bit more than we were expecting. It is possible that there is an easier line up the summit block but bringing a rope if only for descent would probably be a decent plan. All that considered both Ken and I agreed that the view from Redan is nicer than from nearby Roche De Smet and worth the extra effort!


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