Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Mount Kent

Corkscrew route on a bluebird day is a winner

  • Sun, Mar 31, 2019
  • Mount Kent
  • Scrambling
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • There's a large snow berm making the trip slightly longer - short walk to McClellan Butte TH.

    The McClellan Butte trail was essentially snow-free to the road at 2200'.  The decommissioned roads after that are becoming overgrown but the snow cover largely held that down.  There are many voids lurking beneath the snow - snowshoes helped a lot but didn't entirely prevent the occasional punch-through.  After reaching the end of the road system there's about 500m of threading through forest and occasional clear snow patches to get to the base of the basin, slowly gaining elevation.  Above that there's a generally clear area, including (on our day) a solid snow bridge over Alice Creek.

    From the basin the trees block views of the ridge and summit, but it's fairly straightforward to navigate to the ridge as the forest is not dense here.  Our navigation wasn't perfect - we gained the ridge higher and closer to the summit than originally planned.  This worked very well as it avoided some rocky barriers on the ridge.



As we proceeded along the route, I kept asking myself - what evil must be ahead of us?  The route was so enjoyable, surely there must be some reason that people don't go this way more often.  There's probably a short time window for success, as the penultimate ascent from the basin has avalanche potential in places, and likely serious brush bashing once the snow is gone.  But on our low-avy-risk day everything was nearly perfect.  If anything, a little too perfect as the intense sun turned the snow mushy.  We took our snowshoes off (despite the serious post-holing) as they were acting too much like tractionless sleds for the descent into the basin and return through the forest to the decommissioned road end.

Our small (did the warning about a possible water crossing scare people away?) but strong and skillful part took 4.5hrs up, 3.4hrs down.  We might have gone a bit faster with more people to kick steps on the basin ascent.