Mount Pierce

September 23, 2015

1918m

Chilliwack / Chilliwack Lake Road, BC

Mt. Pierce is a small vegetated summit that doesn’t generate too much interest on its own especially considering the shear amount of elevation gain just to get to its base (the upper Pierce Lake), but considering its proximity to the much more popular Mt. MacFarlane it does draw some attention from peak-baggers like myself. Al and I ascended it as a side detour from our primary objective, Mt. MacFarlane, as we were there already anyway, so why not…

Scramble route for Mt. MacFarlane and Mt. Pierce

Scramble route for Mt. MacFarlane and Mt. Pierce

From the outflow of upper Pierce Lake it appeared like a straightforward ridge walk, but actually not. The bump immediately ahead doesn’t quite connect to the main Mt. Pierce and there’s fair a bit of bush and some hidden cliff bands along the way. The easiest route would be dropping another 50 meters or so down to a smaller lake just to the south-east of Mt. Pierce, followed by ascending some steep grass slopes straight up. We did so exactly and I had to say that grass slope was super steep and fairly open. If wet I think crampons are a must…

Al hiking towards our objective. Firstly we had to cross a saddle

Al hiking towards our objective. Firstly we had to cross a saddle

Now Mt. Pierce is in sight.

Now Mt. Pierce is in sight.

Al pointing out that we should try a different route on the return..

Al pointing out that we should try a different route on the return..

Ascending steep grass

Ascending steep grass

The typical scenery in the Canadian Cascades

The typical scenery in the Canadian Cascades

The slope is very steep... Thankfully it's dry...

The slope is very steep… Thankfully it’s dry…

Partial summit panorama. Click to view large size.

Partial summit panorama. Click to view large size.

Partial summit panorama. Click to view large size.

Partial summit panorama. Click to view large size.

The Cheam Range peaks. Baby Munday is the pointy one

The Cheam Range peaks. Baby Munday is the pointy one

Mt. Rexford

Mt. Rexford

Mt. Webb

Mt. Webb

Slesse Mountain behind Crossover Peak

Slesse Mountain behind Crossover Peak

Chilliwack and Fraser Valley

Chilliwack and Fraser Valley

Me on the summit of Mt. Pierce

Me on the summit of Mt. Pierce

It was a hot afternoon and we’d already ditched backpacks at the upper Pierce Lake, so didn’t have any water along. Without taking too much of a break we started searching for a better line down hoping to avoid that steep grass slope. We tried the direct ridge traverse but soon encountered dense bush and hidden cliff bands. We eventually gave up finding a “better” line and went back to our ascent route, then retraced our steps back to the Lake where Mark was patiently waiting.

Looking back towards our objective

Looking back towards our objective

The little beautiful lake at the base of Pierce

The little beautiful lake at the base of Pierce

Looking back at the low point that we descended to

Looking back at the low point that we descended to

Another look at this lake

Another look at this lake

Mt. Pierce and the lake

Mt. Pierce and the lake

Back to the outflow of upper Pierce Lake

Back to the outflow of upper Pierce Lake

Reflections in upper Pierce Lake

Reflections in upper Pierce Lake

Now it’s the time to think about the long steep hike down… I was not looking forward to this tedious section but oh well, I guess I did not have a choice. There’s little to document other than we got surprised by that wasp nest again… And a few hours later we did make back.

Time to head down...

Time to head down…

This is just a small bump in front of Mt. Pierce

This is just a small bump in front of Mt. Pierce

This is not an easy trail by hiker's standard..

This is not an easy trail by hiker’s standard..

Looking down at Lower Pierce Lake

Looking down at Lower Pierce Lake

Down to a bowl

Down to a bowl

Into the forest

Into the forest

Mark on the slide path above lower Pierce Lake

Mark on the slide path above lower Pierce Lake

The lower Pierce Lake

The lower Pierce Lake

Overall there’s a lot of physical work to get these two summits, but the views were great. There’s minimal technical challenge so these are good introductory objectives for newbie scramblers as well. I’m glad to finally meet Al Blair and I’m hoping to do more trips with him in the future.

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