Rowley, Mount

elevation: 2,408 m. height gain: 1,140 m. (from the ATV)
area: Donald,BC map 82 N/11

From Golden, drive west on highway 1 and exit at Donald. Head north on the Bush River FSR (gravel). Continue in a north-westerly direction staying on the main road, keeping track of the yellow kilometer markers along the side. The junction for the access road is on the east side, just past the 18 kilometer marker, 747160. From there, the road progressively gets overgrown; we chose to quad the 8.4 kilometer approach. Stay on the better road: 240 meters in, go right; 530 meters in, go left; at 3.1 kilometers keep left and at 5.3 kilometers (740200) go right. The road switchbacks then climbs gently before veering east (6.5 km) along the foot of Mount Rowley. We parked 8.4 kilometers from the truck, 757199. From there, we bushwhacked following a rib, 768207; there's some nasty alders all the way to treeline. The rib easily gains the ridge crest, which leads to the telemetry. The true summit is about 1 kilometer north.
ascent rib

A good view of our ascent rib, just left of center.

burnt tree

The only picture worth taking on the way to treeline.
Scramble: RT 9.25; 4.0 up (from the ATV). The weather for our days off was unstable. On Saturday night, three forecasts agreed Monday would be the better day but during the day on Sunday, the forecast changed. Ready to tackle an outing in the rain, we decided to go somewhere near and hopefully avoid thundershowers... We planned to revisit Mount Rowley, it had been our "go to" mountain for a few years and this would be our fifth attempt on this local peak. Twice, we snowshoed the south ridge partly. Once, we drove out in deepening snow (30 cm) and aborted at the trailhead. Last fall, we checked out a different access but with the truck and no saw on the overgrown road, we turned around. This time, we set off on the ATV and we didn't forget the saw! We aimed for the ascent rib from the quad. We weren't surprised to see alders at first. We stayed clear of the drainage to avoid it but the forest offered little respite. As we climbed higher, I was astonished; the alder infested timber did not let up... Are we in Revelstoke? We continued, struggling against the nasty bush and swatting at the annoying black flies. Once at treeline, we finally left the alders behind. The hike along the rib was a relief but it started to drizzle and looming dark clouds made us press on. We easily gained the ridge and the telemetry on the false summit. A solar panel is mounted on an old freezer, Fab dubbed it "the fridge on the ridge". We didn't linger, in pursuit of the true summit a short distance away. The ridge was mostly snowbound. We followed numerous grizzly bear tracks that seem to avoid the cornice; how do they know where it's safe to trudge? There was so much traffic that we expected to see one at any point. It was snowing when we reached the top. We sat for lunch, enjoying the feat and the partial view. After a nice long break, we returned the same way. We were tempted to glissade one of the several gullies but the snow was unstable. Instead, we spent time throwing rocks and snowballs, releasing loose wet slides that ran fast and furious; good times!

Bye bye bush... for now anyway.

south ridge

Looking along the long south ridge with Robinson Peaks in the background.

ascent ridge

The ascent ridge to the false summit.

grizzly tracks

Distinguishable grizzly tracks.


The fridge on the ridge!

true summit

The true summit is a short distance away.

connecting ridge

Along the connecting ridge.

almost there

Almost there.

reminds me of travois peak

Same weather as on Travois Peak.

at the top

Two steps away from the top!

checking out the map

Fab's checking out the names of local peaks around.

an outlier of felucca mountain

A picture of me taking a picture with an outlier of Felucca Mountain.

view north

To the north, Felucca Mountain; 2,772 meters.

kinbasket lake

Blackwater Mountain and Kinbasket Lake behind.

leaving the top

Leaving the top.

connecting ridge

Straightforward ridge walk.

steep slope

Back up a short, steep slope.

posing on the fridge

Posing on the fridge.

remainder of the ridge

The remainder of the ridge.

grizzly playground

Grizzly playground, so many tracks here!

approach rib

Nearing our approach rib.


Showers, as we reach treeline.

alder bush

Thankfully alder bush is easier to travel through going down... but only by a bit!

all smiles

Out of the bush, we're all smiles.
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