Mermaid Peak

July 10, 2021


Manatee Range, BC

Mermaid Peak is a rather insignificant summit immediately to the east of Wahoo Tower and is significantly overshadowed by its fabled neighbour. The rock on this peak is actually quite good. The easiest way to reach this summit is by the south ridge/slopes but when Ellie, Jason, Rob and I got in there we decided to try the west ridge from Wahoo/Mermaid col, which looked to have better rock quality.

Our routes on Wahoo Tower and Manatee Range group. GPX DL

From camp it took us a little over 10 minutes to plod to Wahoo/Mermaid col but then we immediately faced some difficult snow-to-rock transition. Above the snow we had a section of climbing that I’d call as “class 4+” meaning that we definitely did some rock moves but it wasn’t sustained to warrant the use of rope. I was the least comfortable climber in this group and I did it with some beta help by others. The terrain then gradually transitioned to mostly 3rd class and that lasted all the way to the summit. The rock quality was really good but there’s some black lichen on the upper route.

Jason, Ellie and Rob plodding easy glacier towards W/M col
Ellie starting her line off the snow. These few moves were too hard for me
Jason then led me up this wide crack which worked out
Jason continuing scrambling exposed terrain on the lower west ridge
Ellie posing for a shot in front of Wahoo Tower
Me charging up the upper route. Ellie’s photo
Ellie higher up on the route. Mostly 3rd class now
Summit Panorama from Mermaid Peak. Click to view large size.
Ellie looking at Oluk Peak, our next objective
Me on the summit of Mermaid Peak

From the summit we inspected the direct traverse towards Oluk Peak but the initial bits of descent looked tricky. We then spotted a route that could drop us onto the snow on the east side, so descended the south ridge for a little bit then down-climbed onto snow. There’s some steep snow traverses to do with a yawing bergschrund under the slope. Once running out of snow we hopped back onto rock and easily descended to Oluk/Mermaid col, then carried on towards Oluk Peak and Dolphin Peak.

Me leading us down the upper south ridge towards that spot to hop onto snow
Down-scrambling exposed upper south ridge
Rob and Jason on the south ridge looking down at our next stage
The snow traverse above a gigantic bergschrund
Rob and Jason at this awkward rock-to-snow transition spot
Ellie down-climbing the steep-ish snow
Traversing easy snow now with Mermaid Peak behind
That yawing bergschrund. A lip into it would be death.
Scrambling down easy rock ridge with Wahoo Tower behind