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Ipsoot Mountain on skis from Rutherford Branch 550
Timestamp Free: 2018.12.11 - 04:33:38
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1900m
Participants: A BCMC trip: Greg Stoltmann, Ramsay Dyer, Jane Weller, Maxim Aleksandrov, Ryan Allderman, Paul Kubik, dog Linus
Difficulty: 3: glacier travel, avalanche gully
A moderate day trip on skis up Ipsoot Mountain from the west.
I led a last minute BCMC trip to Ipsoot on a Saturday. We were going to try for the SE approach from Rutherford Creek FSR by either the Km 5 or 8 approach but the snowline was way too high. Bivouacer Greg Jones had some excellent info on a brand new road to the SW, which was the backup plan. The road is Branch 550 at Km 15.5. A sledhead on TAY had a road report from the previous weekend that said the road open to Km 13. It turned out he must have consumed too much beer - the road was clear and plowed beyond Km 15.
  [photo]IpsootRGM.jpg[caption]Ipsoot in centre. Our approach gully on the right. Photo courtesy of Ray Mason, Totally Awesome Adventures.[/photo]

On Saturday, we regrouped at the start of Rutherford FSR and drove up together to Km 15.5 or thereabouts. We parked at the start of south-facing Branch 550 and started hiking. The road was free of snow and heavily modified with tank traps. At the top of the road in the clearcut we were able to put on skis. A couple of hundred meters up valley we ran into mega alder and veered off right to go up a steep avalanche slope. It turned out we'd have been better off in the forest, which is the way we came down.
  [photo]50530050-EndofBr550.jpg[caption]Ryan at the end of Branch 550[/photo]

We climbed steeply for 300 meters through shattered trees, isothermal sugar snow with a crust. Crawling on all fours was the only way. We then gained a nice avalanche bowl near 5000 feet with still a long way to go and already 12:15 PM.
  [photo]TopOfgully.jpg[caption]Top of the avalanche gully[/photo]
  [photo]PaulAndLinus.jpg[caption]Paul and Linus at the top of the avalanche gully[/photo]

Steadily plodded up to 7600 feet where we intersected the sprawling summit...

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