Ever since my Limestone Mountain attempt in 2006, I wanted to return to finish the job. Back then I took the scramble route, but this time I would hike. For the route, I referred to Sonny Bou's website.
After parking my car at the end of Limestone's west ridge, I hiked up to the powerline road. After taking a few dozen steps on the road, I spied a cairn on my left that marked the trail. It wasn't much of a trail, rather faint, but it quickly knocked off some elevation. After ascending 80 m the trail passed a small structure, not much bigger than an outhouse. The trail continued on only to become intermittent before disappearing altogether. No matter, all I had to do was stay on the ridge.
But it wasn't that easy. Stuck in trees, unable to see much past several metres, it was often difficult to determine the path of least resistance. Whenever I encountered dense vegetation or steep rock outcrops, I couldn't tell which way was best: left, right or to even attack the obstruction head on. I kept to the right at the beginning where it seemed more open, but that didn't last long.
On the last half-kilometer, after reaching an open shoulder, the grade increased sharply, as did the number of steep, slabby rocks. Here it was definitely better to keep left. Even taking only a few steps to my left revealed easy walk-up routes. (Keep right to scramble if that's your preference.)
I reached the top of Limestone Mountain without fanfare. But then, there was no one around to notice my achievement, and too, it was only the 4105th highest mountain in Canada (according to Peakery.com). Seriously, Limestone Mountain may be a modest endeavour with the best views reserved for the summit because of a claustrophobic ascent in trees, but it serves well as a half-day summit.
I passed a small structure on my way to Limestone Mountain, seen in the distance.
Lots of slabby rock outcrops on the ridge
Looking ahead along the ridge with Opal North in the background (mouse over)
Looking back at Mount Kidd
I spent most of the hike in the trees
Whenever I knocked a pine tree, it exploded with pollen. The pollen quickly dissipated but I was
left covered with it. It even dusted my sunglasses and my camera lens.
From here the ridge swings left to a shoulder. From the shoulder it's a steep climb to the summit.
After the shoulder, I kept left whenever the way looked doubtful. (mouse over to see my route)
Summit is hidden.
Although steep it was mostly a hike
More steep hiking
The grade eases just before the summit
Looking down at the ridge from just below the summit
82 J/14 Spray Lakes Reservoir
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