The day starts off at the parking lot for a popular hiking trail, Burstall pass. Commonwealth peak can be seen in the distance.
The approach is on a nice wide trail (I took my bike, trusty rusty). It looks to me like this rock made an appearance after the trail was built, which would have been pretty exciting to be around when that happened.
After a short bike ride down the popular trail I bail out and can see the objective for the day. I had read that between the trail and the base of the mountain was a very wet marsh so I wore some old shoes and hung my boots off my backpack.
The rumors were true; my feet were absolutely drenched by the time I reached the base of the mountain.
On the way up the views are pretty good. I used the old snow patches to travel up the valley as it is much faster than grovelling up loose scree.
Time for a safety message….. You’re happily walking up the snow patches, as I mentioned in the previous picture, distracted by the outstanding scenery. You come across another snow patch like this one. If you are not paying close attention, and just keep walking up the snow, you will likely have a bad day.
And this is why. That is a cornice, which is overhanging snow created by wind. Although this one isn’t very large, some cornices are enormous and overhang large cliffs. Needless to say, the snow can’t always support your weight and you will fall through it. To make matters worse, when the cornice collapses beneath you, it can often trigger an avalanche in the snow below and take you for an exciting ride after.
Anyway, enough about that. From the cornice at the col this is the remainder of the route, only 300m of elevation to go. (That’s about 1000 feet in freedom units)
Not the best picture but this is the crux, right before the summit.
Looking back down the crux, cornice snow below.
It’s a short ridge walk from the top of the crux to the summit.
Traditional summit selfie!
The views up here are not bad at all!
The spray lakes make an appearance.
The parking lot where my day started can be seen in the lower left hand corner.
One last look at the views before heading back down.
Back at the base of the climb I put my soaking wet shoes back on for the trip across the marsh. The bike ride back down was quick and mostly downhill,,,, which is always nice.