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Trip Report    

Third Mother Mountain

Trip Date: 3/29/2015
Distance: ~7 miles scrambing, 11 miles biking
Elevation gain: ~3700'
Elapsed time: 11 hours 30 minutes

Bike ride to Ipsut Campground took about an hour, and we started hiking towards the Wonderland trail around 8:30am. Left the Wonderland trail at the first non-brushy spot pass the stream at 2900'. Heading uphill we kept the stream on our left in earshot, and hit a cliff band just below 3600'. We looked around for the easy gap through on the right but couldn't find it. Heading higher on the left, we found a bench - 2 people scouted ahead and did not find it there either. I went up a promising gully, only to run into a very slippery corner. So I came back down. Meanwhile, 2 people in our group found a wide chimney/gulley a little further left. It was muddy and wet, but it went up. I scouted it out, it had one hard chimney move at the top. I put a runner around a branch for others to use as a handhold. From the top of this gully, we headed uphill to about 3900'. I placed (and removed) several flags on the way up in this area. And good thing, because even with several gps/smartphones in the group, it was difficult to find the gully we ascended.

From 3900' to about 4200' we encountered a mix of slide alder and devil's club, very slow going. From there on we ascended talus slopes and various gullies to the saddle at 5400' Snow started at about 4800' and was not very deep.

At the saddle (great views), we went around the back side and found a treed gully with a rap anchor on a tree. We ascended this gully very carefully (watch for rocks). At the top of the gully we left our packs and finished the trip to the top. Made the summit at 2pm. We set up 2 fixed lines to descend the treed gully. Some used their hasty harness & klemheist knot, others a real harness, others just used it as a handline. Another hour back to saddle (3pm). We were worried about daylight and didn't linger.

On the way down we were able to avoid some (but not all) of the brush by going slightly lower.

If I was ever to do this trip again, I would want more snow on the route, or I would do it in summer from Mowich Lake to avoid the brush.

 

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