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Trip Report    

Basic Alpine Climb - White Chuck Mountain/Northwest Route

Easy and fun trip on a less visited peak

  • Road rough but passable

Road to trailhead is in decent shape. Several potholes but easy to navigate around or through, as long as you go slowly through them.

Started from trailhead at about 11:30 with a group of 4. We couldn't find any interested basic students, so we were two climb leaders and two intermediate graduates.
After about a mile, you reach the gulley (on the backside of the NW Peak). There is a bootpath that leads into it. This is a good place to put on helmets. When the choss starts, you can either step gingerly up steep sand & loose rock, or go climber's right, zigzagging up the slabs. I found the slabs' various ramps to be easier on the descent.
Near the top of the gulley, there is a faint trail on climber's right that becomes more pronounced as you go. This is well before the gulley steepens even more and becomes more of a slab.
The trail leads to a ridge where you can see the glacier to the north. Stay on/near the ridge and head towards the tower. The trail becomes slightly more pronounced near the top. If you traverse lower, you'll come to the boulder where you would go off-route if you continued traversing (this is the boulder featured in Day of the Chucks trip report on Summitpost). We did go low and realised our mistake and we easily went up from the boulder and gained an obvious trail.
If you look back and see this distinctive boulder, you have gone too far and need to go back or go up
The trail took us to the infamous downsloping slabs which do require attention and are not a good place to be if they are wet, especially on the descent.
Downsloping slabs
Shortly after these slabs is the notch which is an easy 3rd class down climb. We did not set up a handline here. From the notch, it's 5 minutes to the summit.
We spent 45 minutes at the summit watching the clouds come and go, and returned uneventfully. When we got to the gulley, the skies had cleared, suggesting a later start would be even better :)
4.5 hours total time, including summit break. The summit register is full but almost all the pages have an unused backpage, so we added our entry on the back of the second last page. Thanks to Tom Girard for placing the current register there in 2018.