Heinz's Report - August 25, 2003

Hosmer Revisited

It�s been quite a while since our last big hike, what with all the smoke in the valley from the many forest fires in the region and the ensuing road closures. It was great to finally get out again. We decided to head back to Mt Hosmer. This trip took place on August 24, 2003.

The day started out quite clear and sunny when we headed out at 7:30 am. It didn�t take long for the smoke to roll in again from the west and then it clouded over pretty quickly. The pictures into the valley didn�t turn out that great so I�m referring everybody to the previous report in June on Mt Hosmer to get a full appreciation of the spectacular views from this peak. This time there was no snow though!

I can�t believe how quickly your physical condition fades after a short layoff! We haven�t been out on a major hike for about 3 weeks or so, but I had considerable difficulty on this 900 meter or so climb. It may have had something to do with the fact that our partners on this hike, Matt and Cally, were half our age and set a wicked pace from the get-go; but probably it was due to scotch nights, pub nights, bocchi nights and just plain abuse. Steve and I were trying to find a way to stuff rocks into their packs to slow them down somehow.

With no snow on the mountain, finding the trail was much easier once we got past the saddle and viewpoint and with the steady pace of our crew, we reached the peak within 3 hours. The top, which is not really the top, has limited seating area. Steve saw a trail down into the couloir between our peak and the next peak, looming about 50 meters above ours, but came back quickly after realizing that the drop-off back into the valley was some 800 meters or so � straight down! I think he said that parts of his anatomy had been pulled up into his throat and he was speaking with a high pitched voice when he returned to our perch.

To the north we saw the scorched trees of the Sulphur Creek fire that had burned for a couple of weeks earlier this summer. It appears that they have cut a number of new roads to get to the burn area and we were wondering if this would provide a new access to the top of the real Mt. Hosmer which lay across the big chasm to the north east of our peak. We had determined that the peak above us that Steve had tried to reach, and which was so tantalizingly close, is actually one of the two peaks of Ghostrider Mountain that is visible from the town. There�s a rumour that there is an access to this peak from the other, east side of the mountain, but we haven�t discovered this one yet.

After a leisurely lunch, we headed back down and were back at our well marked trail head on Hartley Road by 2:30 pm. Total time for trip about 7 and � hours, vertical about 900 meters plus and definitely difficult if you�re out of shape!

Heinz - heinzr@far.redtree.com

The picturesque trees at the saddle on Mt. Hosmer. Remnants of a forest fire some eighty years ago.

The trail leading to the lookout at the saddle on the left. Fernie in the smoke filled valley in the background.

The view down from the saddle and to Fernie. Lizard Ridge and the ski resort way off in the distance.

Steve trying to find a way to Ghostrider Peak just above us. You wouldn�t catch me out there without a rope! Its 2500 ft. straight down that couloir on the right.

Requisite artsy shot of the old gnarly trees on the saddle.

I went on Job Kujt�s nature walk at FAR this summer, but for the life of me, I can�t remember what these flowers are called!

Mother Nature starting to set her fall feast for all of the furry creatures.

Our small troupe for today. Seems everybody is getting slack as the summer drags on and deciding to stay home � you know who I�m talking about Davy!