ApproachThis is a 3300’+/- ascent day (your starts are high in this region via the pass)
. I was looking for a little exercise before spending a climbing week on more serious objectives in the Fryatt Valley. This was a perfect outing for such. This scramble was on the easy side of moderate. I will leave it moderate as that is how it is published. The route is extremely straight forward. Park at Highwood Pass and take the Ptarmigan Cirque Trail across the road and to its dead end.
Continue left via a scramblers faint trail. Stay left and achieve the left handed col of the Ptarmigan cirque, scrambling up a large talus/scree gully. This col is approximately 9500' and once you top out you will have a great vantage point for Mount Rae’s summit to the north as well as its small glacier below the north side of the col.
Proceed right on the ridge for a short scramble and then traverse on a scramblers trail left to avoid a large obstacle on the ridge.
Continue to angle upwards at all times until you reach the ridge again at about 10,000'. The final 500' is a joy. There was no summit register in 2004, but a significant summit cairn. You are treated to a good view of Opal Ridge
to the north.
Return the same. I made this a fast three hour plus round trip, but had an acquaintance that just took 10.5 hrs. So obviously conditions and circumstances can vary.
Alpine Ax and Helmet if Snow Conditions Prevail, Gaiters and Bear Spray