Hapush Mountain

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There are times when a mountain doesn’t quite measure up to one’s expectations. I’d pushed off an attempt on Hapush Mountain to the backburner in favour of other peaks on our list for several years. When Phil and Rick first did the Hapush, they recited nightmarish stories of bush and down climbs. Stories that were repeated whenever Hapush came up in conversation. It wasn’t one that I was rushing into.

Mount Cain Ski Lodge

But in July, when another friend successfully summited the peak and came back with a much better version of the story, I figured it was time to try her route to the summit – a route described by Tak O and Sandy B. I’m sure glad we did! I posted a trip to attract members who want to some more challenging terrain without the commitment of a huge day. It didn’t work out but we still had a great day!

Total Distance: 10 KM
Starting Elevation: 1140 m
Maximum Elevation: 1757 m
Total Elevation Gain: 800 m
Total Time: 4h 30 m

We approached from the lower meadows located west of Hapush Mountain, arrived at with a short walk along a deactivated logging road that begins not far from the Mount Cain parking area. The meadows offer a lovely hiking experience along a light boot track that leads directly to the old Lodge; more of a ramshackle, collapsing A-frame structure. We poked our heads inside tried to visualize the heyday of this remote location.

Beyond the cabin, we headed into the bush, passed the north end of a mosquito factory and ascended through the moderate bush while keeping to the south side of an obvious watercourse until we emerged in the cirque below the south face of Hapush.

a look up the gully

A shot of the group coming down the gully

Cresting over the lip of the cirque, I finally caught my first glimpse of the mountain. As the cloud blew through, I could see the route we hoped to use, and it looked good! Until that moment, the ridges and peaks had been obscured in clouds, and even now the view was fleeting.

A look at the group coming up the gully

After a bit of a rest and time to admire the view, we continue up the obvious scree gully on the mountain’s south face. As scree slopes go, it’s remarkably stable and a lovely experience compared to other death-gullies I’ve experienced. Considering the drama of the feature, we ascended quickly. Regardless, we kept tight to the right side and avoided walking on it to reduce the risk for those coming up behind us. In short order, we exited the gully via the first obvious exit.

Looking down on the group as they ascend the grassy gully

Ascending the class-2 (maybe a bit more) slope, we reached the more stable terrain and traversed the south face of the massif to another very obvious grass-filled gully that leads to the summit ridge. With one class-three move and a long reach at the top, we were all able to get up and out of the gully and trundled off to the clouded summit.

In the clouds on the summit ridge.

With our moderate effort, we arrived at the summit in just over two hours! Though we didn’t exactly earn a long break, we took our sweet time at the summit cairn for lunch in hopes of getting a view of the nearby peaks.

Though the day was short, and it was a missed opportunity for folks that want to learn some easy mountaineering skills, it was still a great easy day for the group that participated.

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Matthew is an adventure blogger and photographer. He documents his adventures on explorington.com. His stories create a vivid backdrop that give his photographs cotext. He finds his adventures with the Island Mountain Ramblers, and whenever possible, his family joins his adventures.

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