Bruce, Mount

elevation: 2,510 m. height gain: 605 m.
area: Invermere,BC map 82 K/9

We followed the directions to Lake Enid, past Wilmer; ref: Aaron Cameron and Matt Gunn's Hikes around Invermere & the Columbia River Valley. Staying on the main logging road, Bruce Creek FSR, brings you around the west aspect of Mount Bruce. It also gains a fair bit of elevation, granting an easier access than the Toby Creek side (1400 m. of height gain). Bruce Creek FSR has yellow kilometer markers; about 700 m. past the 10 marker, another road veers left, go straight (the 11 marker indicates the right way). Just past the 18 marker a road dips down to the right, stay on the main, it switchbacks and starts to climb at that point; (this part is not indicated on the topo. map. A Google Earth printout with grid references is useful). At the 24 marker, a couple of landings offer a good starting point, 528973. Head up the open cutblock and aim for the west ridge. Near 533969, the angle eases and the ridge is easily followed to treeline. A pleasant walk on the barren broad summit ridge leads to the top.
west side and ascent

Mount Bruce's 20 km access to its west side from Mount Forster. 

getting ready

Access with our super duper sled.
Snowshoe trip: RT 8.0; 5.0 up (3.5 snowshoe). This small mountain kicked us! I thought we'd be back home in time for "Family Guy", but it turns out this one would have to be earned... The present snowpack conditions in the area are not conducive to great snowshoeing. The weak slab, when present, is not sufficiently strong to bridge the weight of a person (even with snowshoes). The sugary crystals give way to ground; trail breaking is very difficult. We debated taking the shoes off when ascending the steep lower slopes but opted to keep them to make use of the crampons. Going ahead in the trees was easier than the open cutblock with less snow to plow through. The ridge ascending to treeline is quite nice once the grade eases. It is the section that nearly killed us though; the snow was deeper, breaking trail was tough and the wind blown summit ridge was always still further, further... Man, we were glad to reach firm ground and take the snowshoes off. The plod to the summit was enjoyable although the wind picked up and the view diminished. Our stay at the top was short. Now we must return to the truck and hope that it starts!
along the way

Looking towards Invermere on our way in.

at the start

Leaving the sled, we quickly climbed to the trees where the snow was shallower.

yeah, i really like this

A bit of deadfall.

steep slope

The initial rib is steep, we grabbed trees and alder to assist progress.

alder city

It got better, really!

are we on track?

Fab the "navigator" confirms we are not lost.

very difficult

This trail breaking sucks!

scenery along the way

The upper ridge would be enjoyable with firmer snow.

leaving our snowshoes

Finally, solid ground. We left our snowshoes.

summit ridge

Our objective ahead.

summit ahead

Getting closer, it is very windy and the clouds move in.

summit view

Panorama Ski Resort down below.


Tea might have been more appropriate.

summit ridge

The summit ridge from the top.
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