Well…. Sandy snd I did this hike Saturday June 19, 2015. Our research indicated that it wouldn’t be too difficult and it would be a nice scramble. What the other blogs did not mention, ended up being a few things that would of been nice to know.
This hike is rated difficult. We both struggled. We are not experts by any means but we can both handle a lot and put up with a lot of tough terrain; this hike was challenging for us. The sheer steepness of the ascent to the saddle was nothing we have seen before. There was lots of snow still on the hill so we had to alter our route and go up the gully directly to the left of where the path was believed to have gone (due to lots of slides and avalanches, there was no path between the forest and the saddle).
Once we survived up to the saddle we went up further to the scramble part (or light climbing). Again, there was no defined path or cairns. After slogging through the lower part with no markers, I decided to mark our path for future hikers and for our descent. We chose our path very carefully because there was cliffs to either side of us and one loose footing could send us sliding.
It was nice scramble and the views were spectacular. It was just hard work.
Once we got to the first peak, it began to snow a bit more heavily (we were graced with a few flakes on the way up). The wind picked up too, giving us caution on carrying on. Sandy stayed at this peak and I went a bit further to the second peak to look and see what the terrain was like. The guides and blogs were right that it wasn’t like the Lady MacDonald ridge as the exposure wasn’t the same. The easier path they spoke of below this ridge was partially gone or crumbling in sections, so I doubt it would be safe to go that route.
I turned back and we made our descent. The scramble down proved to be a bit challenging because we got too far left of our trail which caused us to get a bit lost. It was an easy fix, we just had to cross some deep snow on loose rock.
We were looking forward to the scree skiing but ended up in the middle gully and ended up sliding through snow (fun but only when we were in control and not free sliding). We realized that the furthest gully is the skiing section (maybe next time!). From here, the descent was easy.
It’s a difficult hike. Not for beginners or those wanting a “quick” hike. It took us 8.5 hours from vehicle to vehicle. I recommend doing it in July when the snow is gone. Maybe then, the path will be present.