The scramble route up Kiwetinok Peak is the most challenging of the scramble objectives in Little Yoho Valley
. Kane has the Kiwetinok scramble listed as difficult
in his guide book and I concur. The crux is navigating a permanent snow patch on Kiwetinok’s northeast face
. You must cross a small section of it, depending on conditions, up and to the left to access crumbling and often wet ledges that lead to the eastern ridge. In September of 2011, we crossed one short snow couloir that would have consequences if you fell while crossing it.
That being said, I did cross it with a piece of shale and boots, no poles, axe or crampons. I do suspect that is why Kiwetinok saw no apparent visitors prior to our ascent in 2011 (no summit register entries
). We had late spring snow like conditions in 2011 which would affect this particular scramble considerably.
Starting with Kiwetinok Peak would be my preferred direction if I were to do the Outram Traverse
. It anchors the northern aspect of this traverse (skyline) and shares a col with Mount Kerr
. Mount Kerr is a much easier objective better utilized for a pre-warm-up to an ascent of the President and Vice President
. The summits of Mount Pollinger and Mount McArthur, both a part of the Outram Traverse, are a short distance away to the east once you summit Kiwetinok Peak.
Route Description (s)This is approximately a 3000’ gain from the campground or hut.
From the campground, cross the Little Yoho River and follow a good trail up river. Cross back over to the north bank at a marked crossing (2011) and locate an established trail well to the right of the Little Yoho River up to Kiwetinok Lake. There is a more pristine, but fainter, trail I prefer up the left side of the river that ends in the same place. They both join above some falls below the lake. Once at the lake, circumvent it to the left and follow its bank on the west side
until it makes sense to start hiking up boulders and large scree to the left side of Kiwetinok and Mount Pollinger’s col
. We encountered a significant amount of snow at this upper left corner of the col (which is the easiest way to access the col) and just circumvented it a bit to the right via some easy ledges.
Head up the permanent northeast facing snow patch angling left to access wet scree covered ledges. Cross these ledges to the left and cross a short snow couloir to gain the eastern ridge (2011).
From there I stayed right on better rock, but with a few 5th class sections. You can move further left into more crumbly but less technical terrain. In either case, zig zag your way to the summit.
There was a summit register in 2011. The views are spectacular, with Mount Forbes
clearly visible to the north, Mount Carnarvon’s
impressive north face can be seen to the south and of course a full on view can be had of The President and Vice President’s
popular glacier route.
I took poles and boots essentially. Some might prefer an alpine axe for the crux section, involving a crossing of a short snow couloir. Most would prefer to have a helmet on, particularly if in a larger group potentially dropping rock on each other. There were several water opportunities on the way up to this scramble. If traversing to Mount Pollinger and Mount McArthur, your next opportunity might not come until you descend their col back to camp, where I found running snow melt. If running with one liter on a warm day, you should fill up at the lake.
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