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Edge Peak - Northwest Ridge Route
Timestamp Free: 2020.11.24 - 22:51:51
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges
(2 days) Elevation Gain: 1680m
Participants: Justin Brown, Nancy Mickelson
Difficulty: 4: Good trail to the col between Edge Peak and the Golden Ears. Northwest Ridge of Edge is mostly 3rd and 4th class with exposed steps and notches on good rock. Could be freeclimbed but a light rope and some pro would be recommended for most.
Ascent of Edge Peak via the northwest ridge route and the West Canyon Trail.
We started out on the West Canyon Trail in Golden Ears Park about 9 am. Our goal, to sleep on the summit of Edge Peak. Having spent much of my life doing various trips in this park, I had yet to summit the elusive and seemingly well protected Edge Peak.
The West Canyon Trail is the standard route to access the Golden Ears, an aesthetic hike to a double summit that is the highest of the peaks known as The Golden Ears Group. We would use this trail to gain the col and access our northwest ridge route.
The trail is approximately 12km one way right to the summit of the Ears and gains a little over 5000 feet elevation. The first 3km is almost entirely flat old fire access road so we opted to ride our bikes to optimize time and comfort on both sides of the trip. We stashed the bikes at 3 km and continued on slightly rougher trail for another 3 km to a campsite known as Alder Flats. From this point the trail begins to climb more aggressively up a seemingly endless dry creek bed through scrub and alder to an opening and viewpoint of the east sides of Edge and the Ears. A rubble retaining man-made step system leads up into the forest from the clearing and a steep switchback trail leads up to Panorama Ridge. The ridge leads up to the snowfields on the southeast flanks of the Golden Ears. From the Emergency shelter, approx 1.5km from the summit of the Ears, we left the trail and began to meander up and to the southwest to gain the ridge proper that connects to Edge. After gaining the ridge, we ascended slightly over a hump and then dropped in elevation to our first obstacle of which was an exposed notch, seemingly the first of a few to come.
It was a perfect inclining knife edge walk through a notch leading onto a 4th class step about 30 feet high. Exposed on both sides,...
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