Sinclair, Mount

elevation: 2,662 m. height gain: 1,410 m. (175 m. height loss)
area: Radium,BC map 82 J/12

Ref: Sonny Bou's scrambles archive

Note: We ascended a different rib to gain the west ridge. We left the Kimpton Creek Trail around 742096 reaching a treed saddle at 755105. In order to avoid the crux on the west ridge, we dipped down to the main drainage (north). It is possible to regain the west ridge beyond the crux or continue in the gully.


Kimpton Creek Trail, that way!
Snowshoe trip: RT 10.25; 6.0 up. With the recent deluge and snow across the Rockies, creeks are running high and some areas are flooded; that made planning an outing slightly more challenging. In addition, Fabrice had tickets to see Steve Earle that night; he had to be back for 7 PM. We would have to find an outing in the near vicinity. The Columbia Mountains are still very much snowbound, some people are still sledding! But south of here, where it's a bit drier, the mountain's southern aspects are free of snow up to treeline. We chose to try out Mount Sinclair despite the estimated duration of the trip and some uncertainty about the snowpack on the north aspect. We left early for this one! We also planned to avoid the crux along the west ridge, not willing to take a chance and be turned around with time constraints... The approach trail is well maintained; we reached our ascent rib quickly. Most of the height gain is along the rib, it is steep for a long time! The bushwhacking is not tedious and numerous trails assist the ascent, this area is obviously popular with ungulates. We reached the saddle and put on our snowshoes for the descent in the main draw. The snowpack on the steep northern slope was quite firm; we experienced very little postholing but the recent snowfall (turned to mashed potatoes) made travelling down tricky. After lots of slipping and falling, we got to the drainage. We pleasantly climbed on avalanche debris and eventually veered up a grassy slope to the west ridge. With the crux behind us and the antennae in sight, I started to feel excited. A short plod on scree and we stood by the repeater. We continued to the summit, which is a couple of minutes away. We were very thrilled to be standing at the top; we enjoyed the sights with the neat cloud formations. We would have loved to stay longer but we were pressed for time, so we started descending after a brief pause. The climb back up to the saddle was surprisingly easy with no slipping like earlier on. Once at the saddle, after tabulating our extra time, we had a good break as we packed up snowshoes and ate some lunch. We returned to same way and made it back to the car with 20 minutes to spare. This was a great trip on a seldom-visited mountain.

crossing a drainage

We cross a drainage before we veer off in the woods.

easy bushwhacking

Bushwhacking is easy in the open forest.

steep terrain

Ascending steep terrain.

nearing the saddle

Nearing the saddle.

at the saddle

At the saddle, low clouds reduce visibility towards Mount Sinclair.

heading in the drainage

Heading down into the drainage, we're lucky the snowpack is firm.

in the drainage

In the drainage, visibility improves as the clouds lift.

avoiding the crux

We circumvent the west ridge's crux from below.

trekking on avalanche debris

Trekking on old avalanche debris.

weather is improving

Looking back, the weather is getting better.

summit and west ridge

The summit and west ridge.

up to the ridge

Going up to the ridge.

repeater is visible

We can see the repeater from here.

looking back

Looking back towards Redstreak Mountain (center).

almost there

Almost there.

summit ahead

From the repeater, the summit is minutes away.

northern view

Northern view from the top.

looking at the approaches

The approach on the ridge requires some scrambling.

standing by the cairn

Fab is standing by the cairn with the view south.

lovely cloud formations

The cloud formations add texture and a surreal feel.

we leaving too soon...

Unfortunately we must leave soon after reaching the top.

down the draw

Back down the draw.

retracing our steps

Retracing our steps up the steep treed slope.

sinclair from the saddle

Now we can see Mount Sinclair.

steep snow slope

Coming up was easier, less slipping and sliding!

down the ascent rib

Back down the ascent rib.

retreiving flags

Fab is retreiving his flags.
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