Storm Mountain, North Ridge (Attempt)
Kootenay Park, B.C.
March 8, 2008

After my reconnaissance in January, I realized that to gain the North Ridge of Storm Mountain I would have to make a detour around the cliff bands. I returned with Dinah Kruze to try a different approach.

After parking at the Continental Divide Parking lot on Highway 93, we walked a short way down the highway before dropping down to Vermillion River. As we snowshoed down the river I looked for a break in the dense forest on our left. About 600 m from the parking lot we found it. Leaving the river we entered a lightly wooded flat area that led to a steep slope.
As we climbed, the live vegetation gave way to dead trees. The snow was in fair condition. Occasionally we sank to our knees but we made steady progress. Along the way we encountered tracks: skiing, snowshoeing, or buried under so much snow it was hard to tell which. Sometimes we took advantage of the last two tracks but often, when they didn’t go our way, we made our own.

Eventually the trees began to disappear and at 2300 m we passed the highest ski tracks. At 2400 m we removed our snowshoes and started hiking up the mostly bare, rocky ridge.

As we climbed, the ridge became narrow, rugged and exposed. When we reached a snow-covered section where it was only a couple feet across with a drop on either side Dinah hung back while I carefully crossed. I continued on only to be soon confronted by a narrow, exposed ridge buried under snow. It was as far as we could safely go. We missed reaching the summit by less than 100 vertical metres.

We spent about half an hour at our turn-around point and then retraced our steps to where we left the river and walked along the highway back to our car.

Although we didn’t make the summit, we enjoyed our climb. Perhaps one can scramble the last section in the summer but then he or she would have to climb over the countless number of logs that we snowshoed over!

KML Track

MOVIE (posted on YouTube)


The North Ridge (mouse over to see how far we got)


Snowshoeing down Vermillion River


We were able to avoid most of the deadfall


Topping out after a steep section


We bear to the right to reach the ridge above us


On the ridge


The trees begin to disappear


The snow begins to disappear too


Storm Mountain behind us


We left our snowshoes behind


Enjoyable ridge walk here


The ridge narrows


Heading to the false summit


Storm Mountain (mouse over for a close-up of the frozen tarn)


Huge cornices


Mount Whymper


As far as I got


Stopped by this narrow ridge – about two feet wide. Not seen in this
foreshortened view, is a drop in the ridge ahead.


Dinah waits for me


82 N/1 Mount Goodsir

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