September 23, 2015
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.