Balu Peak (8812 Peak) GR:588830

elevation: 2,673 m. height gain: 1,340 m.
area: Rogers Pass,BC map 82 N/5
2014-Aug-25


Park at the Discovery Center at Rogers Pass and hike along the well-defined trail to Balu Pass. From the pass, head towards Balu Peak's south-east ridge; scramble on or near the ridge crest to the summit (class 3-4). **check trail restrictions**
balu pass trail


Balu Pass Trail.
Scramble: RT 10.0; 5.0 up. After being shut down on our first objective by a trail closure, we decided on a whim to visit Balu Peak. We drove from the Icefields Parkway back home and checked trail restrictions for Balu Pass; although a bear warning was issued, a minimum of 4 people was not obligatory. We hugged the dogs again and hopped in the truck for more driving, in the opposite direction this time. It's a short drive to Rogers Pass from Golden, we were soon at the trailhead. Our packs were light, that made the trek to Balu Pass even more enjoyable. We didn't see much wildlife other than marmots standing guard in the boulders. Once at the Pass, we left the trail and started up Balu's south-east ridge. The trek to the summit block is both short and pleasant. We continued up the steep broken ridge without our poles and scrambled on or near the blocky ridge crest. The easiest route was at times tricky to find; I'm surprised it's graded as class 3, I thought it was as difficult and longer than Mount Afton's east ridge which is 4th class. We occasionally saw cairns and Fab flagged a couple to facilitate backtracking (we retrieved them on descent). I was nervous; although the scrambling is delightful, the grade is steep and is more sustained than what I'm familiar with. The last stretch was easier, I regained my wits and led to the top. The sky covered up, it almost looked like thunderstorms were eminent; despite that, we enjoyed the phenomenal view and grabbed a quick bite before heading back the way we came. Going down wasn't as tough as I expected; I took my time, followed Fab, recognizing the way I came earlier. Back at our poles, we took another break as the weather was holding. Smoke combined with clouds gave the sky color, texture and depth; that beautifully framed the surrounding mountains. I felt happy about today's outcome, Balu Peak is a primo scramble!
nice trail

A nice trail through the boulders and marmots.

balu peak

Balu Peak.

yellow brick road

Walking the yellow brick road before Balu Pass.

leaving the trail

Leaving the trail behind.

south-east ridge


Balu's south-east ridge.


scrambling begins


Leaving the poles behind, scrambling begins.


along the ridge crest


Never too far from the ridge crest.


looking back


Looking back.


easier scrambling to the top


Easier scrambling leads to the top.


at the top


Whoot, whoot!


ursus grizzly and tupper


Checking out the north-east ridge with Ursus Minor (far left), Grizzly Mountain (left) and Mount Tupper (center).


view west


Catamount Peak (left) and Ursus Major Mountain to the west.


sirdonald and cheops mountain


Mount Sir Donald is shrouded in cloud, Cheops Mountain is in the foreground.


heading back


Heading back down.


delightful scrambling


Delightful scrambling on blocky terrain.


last glimpse


Last glimpse of the upper mountain.


more scrambling


More scrambling.


another break


Why not take another break!


sirdonald and cheops again


Sir Donald and Cheops again.


balu pass


Balu Pass.


very pleasant


The trail is a pleasure to follow!
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