Last Updated: July 18, 2024


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Oh my! Quite the backlog here...

  • Mount Truax - scramble (July 2023)
  • Blackcomb Buttress - rock climb (July 2023)
  • Whitecap Peak - scramble (July 2023)
  • Mount Hanover - scramble (August 2023)
  • The "Long Traverse" incl. Long, Tynemouth, Arrowhead, Tabletop & Anemone - hike/scramble (August 2023)
  • Armchair Traverse - scramble (August 2023)
  • Snowspider Mountain - scramble (September 2023)
  • Mount Trorey - scramble (September 2023)
  • Macleod Peak - scramble (September 2023)
  • Ben Lomond - scramble (September 2023)
  • Mount Killam & Gambier Island - hike (September 2023)
  • Lone Goat & Snow Camp Mountain - hike (September 2023)
  • Isollilock Peak - hike/scramble (October 2023)
  • Manson - Hatfield Traverse - scramble (October 2023)
  • Gargoyles & Columnar Peak - hike (October 2023)
  • Opal Cone and Lava Glacier - hike (October 2023)
  • Park Butte (WA) - hike (October 2023)
  • Trappers Peak (WA) - scramble (October 2023)
  • Rattlesnake Ledge (WA) - hike (November 2023)
  • Sauk Mountain (WA) - hike (November 2023)
  • Mount Daniel & Pender Hill (Sunshine Coast) - hike (November 2023)
  • Mount Dickerman (WA) - hike (November 2022)
  • Winter's End (Verona Peak) - hike/snowshoe (November 2023)
  • Dolomites (Italy) - snowboarding (December 2023)
  • Red Rock Canyon (NV) - scramble (January 2024)
  • Flute & Oboe - split tour (February 2024)
  • Whistler misc. (Train Wreck, Loggers Lake, Shadow Lake etc.) - hike (February 2024)
  • Mount Underhill - hike (March 2024)
  • Bombtram Mountain - snowshoe (March 2024)
  • Steep Peak - split tour (March 2024)
  • Ruby Mountain (WA) - snowshoe (April 2024)
  • Blustry Mountain - hike (April 2024)
  • Sowerby Peak (Barr East) - snowshoe (April 2024)
  • Picacho Peak (AZ) - hike (April 2024)
  • Kitt Peak Observatory (AZ) - (April 2024)
  • Mount Wrightson (AZ) - hike (April 2024)
  • Saguaro Nat'l Park (AZ) - April 2024)
  • Superstition Peak/Benchmark (AZ) - scramble (April 2024)
  • Mount Humphreys (AZ) - hike (May 2024)
  • Petrified Forest Nat'l Park (AZ) - (May 2024)
  • Piestewa Peak (AZ) - hike (May 2024)
  • Channeled Scablands (Columbia Gorge, Ancient Lakes, Potholes Lake, Palouse Falls etc.) - hike/bike (May 2024)
  • Rhododendron Mountain ("Pk. 2220") - snowshoe (June 2024)
  • Flora Peak - hike (June 2024)
  • Gibson Peak - snowshoe (June 2024)
  • Mount Urquhart - scramble (June 2024)
  • Rock Mountain (WA) - hike (July 2024)
  • Ladies Pass Quartet (Cape Horn, Ladies Peak, Snowgrass Mtn. NE Peak, Snowgrass Mtn.) - scramble (July 2024)
  • Old Snowy (WA) - scramble (July 2024)
  • Dog Mountain (WA) - hike (July 2024)
  • Mount Ratney & Mount Bardean - scramble (July 2024)
  • Torrent Peak - scramble (July 2024)

*As of 07/18/2024


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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Ipsoot Mountain - West Route via Rutherford Creek FSR, June 2021

Ipsoot Mountain is a sprawling massif located north of the Rutherford Creek Valley, west of Highway 99 between Whistler and Pemberton. I've longingly gazed upon it so many times over the years, be it from the slopes at Whistler-Blackcomb or countless summits along the Sea-to-Sky Corridor and beyond. During a 2015 heli-ski trip I got the chance to shred a long, low angled pitch of wind-buffed pow from a sub summit at its western periphery before moving on for better snow elsewhere. Ever since that time, I toyed with the idea of bagging the actual summit on foot, but was put off by reports of heinous brush, and long and arduous approaches. All that changed come Spring '21 after reports surfaced on social media suggesting that the peak made for a reasonable day trip thanks to new logging roads having been cut high on its western flank. That's all the nudge I needed to get after it!

Up at zero dark thirty on a warm June morning, driving a short distance past Whistler and taking a left on the well-maintained Rutherford Creek FSR. First time up this way for me and stoked on discovering a new backcountry access route. I eventually left the main road and turned up branch 550 for a steep water bar ridden crawl to a landing at road's end just below the highest cutblock. So far so good and all tires intact! Now on foot, I continued into the forest above and then proceeded up and slightly left to intersect a prominent landslide scar visible on satellite images. Some tediousness over loose gravel and steep boilerplate here, but the scar facilitated for a good ~1500ft of brush-free travel up the west slope before abruptly ending at a cliffy impasse. This I passed by exiting stage right, taking to the trees again for a short traverse before turning back up to gain the toe of Ipsoot's West Spur. It had taken only a little over an hour to get here, and best of all the worst was now behind me!

Now on snow, I continued up and over a few sparsely treed rolls before reaching a point where the rest of the route up the spur was laid out before me. The objective was clear - aim for a minor ridge extending south from the rocky prominence directly ahead. Crossed over this ridge and followed a wide bench now on Ipsoot's south side before turning left and plodding up an aesthetic snow arete descending from the icecap. Big terrain here now as I turned right and traversed the icy expanse for a long slog towards the true summit at its east end. Zigzagged up the final headwall then did some boulder hopping ending with a short, steep snow pitch leading directly to the glorious summit. Holy moly, what a magnificent perch! With the mighty Rhododendron there close at hand, the nearby Pemberton Icefield and more distant Lillooet Icefield, the valleys of Whistler and Pemberton far below and all that lies above as far south as the Tantalus Range and beyond - all on full display! To summarize, a BIG mountain with even bigger views and averaging around 7 hours round-trip, a surprisingly not-so-big day!

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