October 24, 2015
Garibaldi Provincial Park / Whistler, BC
With a mere 66-meter prominence one would argue that Mt. Cook is rather just an extension of the long NW Ridge of Mt. Weart. But on the other hand, this is the easiest peak by Wedgemount Lake area and offers a perfect introductory to newbie scramblers with some of the most incredible views of Garibaldi Park’s high country. For hardcore peak-baggers like myself, there’re a few ways to make Mt. Cook a worthy objective. I’ve heard awesome stories about the 4th-class Cook to Weart traverse, but given the fresh snow on northern aspects I’d expect this route being out of shape for the rest of this season. I’ve also heard skiers accessing Mt. Moe by traversing up and over the summit of Mt. Cook, and that’s the exact route I had in mind. The difference would be me traversing on foot rather than on skis. Earlier in this trip I’ve already bagged Mt. Weart by the standard SE Ridge, and this was the second day.
I got lazy in the morning and slept in till almost 8:30 am. The morning wasn’t as cold as I was expecting and I took my time preparing some hot breakfast. I didn’t bring any route description with me but I did remember there’s an (unofficial) trail heading up Mt. Cook from near the shelter. Indeed once I hiked back up the bump by that shelter I found a few cairns and a path so headed up from there. The ascent to the false summit can be divided into 3 sections. The first section was from the shelter to the “bench” – basically going straight up following the path. The grass was icy and slippery at places. The second section was a rising traverse along that bench way over to the climber’s left. There’s no longer a path to follow now but the abundance cairns kept me on track. The last, and the most tedious section was a long pile of loose rubble – it was not pleasant no matter what line I chose…
The traverse to the true summit was longer than I thought, and the terrain was again, boulders and rubble making somewhat tedious process. Initially I had to lose some elevation down to a broad saddle, then up the other side for a while I got to see a notch. There’s supposed to have a bypass somewhere but I was too lazy to figure it out so scrambled down and out of the notch. Shortly after that I was on the true summit.
The view was great towards all directions but I could also see a layer of high clouds moving in from the south. My next objective, Mt. Moe, did not look close from this vantage point and I had to press on.