Ashlu Mountain - East Ridge, August 2009
As was the case with Mount Rexford, Welch Peak, Overseer Mountain, Mount Matier and probably a handful of other peaks in BC that I have since forgotten about, I first learned of Ashlu Mountain while perusing the many trip reports on Bivouac.com. The Ashlu report describes a stout 5.10a rock climb on the peak's impressive South Face. Though the climb itself certainly intrigued me, the photos depicting the wild, glaciated scenery in this remote corner of the Coast Range were really what captured my imagination. Years went by and I would have all but forgotten about Ashlu were it not for a chance sighting while heli-skiing near Powder Mountain last March. Seen as an aesthetic pyramid of rock towering above neighboring peaks, Ashlu's lure was too much to resist a second time around. Content with simply scrambling up the peak's East Ridge, Eli and I chose Ashlu as our 'debut' climb for a two-week romp in the mountains of BC and AB.
The Scrambles Guidebook to Southwest BC by Matt Gunn describes the approach and climb with a level of detail not commonly found in other guidebooks. This helped a great deal in demystifying what is otherwise a confusing 4wd high-clearance 'drive' along the Ashlu Main forest road just to reach the trailhead. Note that if you value the paint on your low-clearance vehicle, you will want to park at the 9km marker across from the upper-power project on Ashlu Creek and bike the remaining 40+ kilometers (25+ miles) to the bridge over Shortcut Creek. For those without the forethought to bring a GPS or an odometer however, the approach is tricky. (more...)
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