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Ascent of Obstruction Mtn. from Job Lake
Timestamp Free: 2019.12.09 - 14:57:05
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges
(1 days) Elevation Gain: 1156m
Participants: Warren Finlay, Jenise Finlay
Difficulty: 4: 5th class cliff bands can be avoided via a hard to find 4th class route that is protected by a valley chock full of large tightly spaced boulders (from a massive landslide).
An approach from the SE that leads to a col that then follows the normal route
[photo]viewfromsummit.jpg[caption]Looking NW to Brazeau Lake from the summit of Obstruction Mtn.[/photo]
While camped at Job Lake we decided to see if was possible to ascend Obstruction Mountain via a south east approach. I am unaware of any attempts in this regard. Crossing a bridge at the north end of the lake, we bushwhacked up to the valley east of and above Job Lake. A short gentle walk through a beautiful alpine valley soon ended in a nasty boulder field. The boulders were 3-4 meters tall and were mostly close enough together that we could hop from boulder to boulder if we chose our route carefully, but occasionally they were too far apart, necessitating either backtracking a little to find a different boulder-top way through, or down climbing from the boulder tops onto the floor and then ascending again onto the boulder tops to continue. Very slow going. We started on the east side of this boulder valley, but we moved to the west side in the hopes of ascending the west side onto a ridge to get out of the boulder field. However, the west side did not appear easily climbed, so we continued to the head of the valley where we searched for the easiest way up. After a bit of searching, we eventually found a narrow but relatively easy 4th class ramp (5 m high) that led to a much steeper 4th class cliff (10 m high). Given how hard it was for us to find this 4th class route that was surrounded by unappealing 5th class cliffs, we decided to place small cairns along this section in order to find it on our way down. Ascending above this short 4th class section, we followed easy scree to a col. I believe this col is where the normal route via a NW approach ascends to the summit, which we then followed via straightforward scree to the summit via SW slopes. A cairn at the...
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