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Mount Persimmon and two nearby peaks
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.24 - 22:42:38
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges / Persimmon Range
(6 days) Elevation Gain: 1300m
Participants: Paul, Jenise and Warren Finlay
Difficulty: 2: A long approach (circa 40 km) on muddy horse trails and some bushwhacking, followed by a moderate nontechnical scramble on awful scree.
First recorded ascent (to the author's knowledge) of Mount Persimmon
Despite being the highest point on the 40+ km long Persimmon Range, Mount Persimmon has no recorded ascent that I could find. We successfully ascended it on July 18, 2018, plus two nearby unnamed summits on July 17, 2018. With no motorized access of any kind allowed in Willmore Wilderness Park, reaching these summits required following ridiculously muddy horse trails up the Wildhay River from the Rock Lake trailhead, where we branched off on a trail that heads up Persimmon Creek. After another junction, the trail became faint and nearly grown over in dense willows when it headed to the creek bed from an empty horse-riders' campsite. We then followed Persimmon Creek, with an overgrown trail appearing now and then, but otherwise following game trails or bushwhacking, with several creek crossings to avoid steep banks.
Upon reaching the upper valley, we bushwhacked through dense willow and spruce to find a somewhat flat place to set up base camp in the meadows just below treeline. Having seen many grizzly bear and wolf tracks on the way in, but no trees to hang food at base camp, we hung our food from nearby cliffs at night. After a 3 day approach, on day 4 we attempted to ascend Mount Persimmon by climbing nasty scree to reach the SW ridge above a gendarme above the pass at the end of Persimmon Creek valley. However, we were turned back by a chossy knife edge at 2740m. We then descended back to below the pass, and then traversed across scree and instead climbed up scree to reach the summits of two unnamed peaks immediately SW of Mount Persimmon. GRS 826356 did not have a cairn, so this may be its first ascent. Summit GRS 826363 had an existing cairn. Topo maps show the south summit as higher, but it was clear to us (and our GPS) that the north summit was slightly...
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