Ascent of Dunn Peak on 2017-08-31

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Thursday, August 31, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Dunn Peak
    Location:Canada-British Columbia
    Elevation:8648 ft / 2635 m

Ascent Trip Report

9h20 day hike from NE, good trail to peak, YDS 3 and some 4. Good gravel roads on approach; high clearance needed for last 6 km, sturdy 4WD for last half km to trailhead.

The day after our Assiniboine ascent, I leave Invermere late am, spend an hour at Salmon Arm checking access to a couple of P1000s, arriving at Barriere at 6pm. I pack for the climb (rightly expecting mosquitos at the trailhead) then follow the Stolk/Myers directions (and OpenStreetMap) via excellent gravel roads, to Dunn Peak forest road. This last has a couple of challenging rocky sections. The last half km needs 4WD high clearance as per Stolk TR and I park my RAV4 below it for the night; there's just room to turn round and park off the road.

Next morning I hike at 0615, a few mins along road to trailhead, good trail from bottom L corner climbs thru nice forest to col and descends W to lovely valley with cotton grass meadows and lakes. Trail crosses to W side of Joseph Creek (bridge) and continues up W side of valley, in time descending back to bank of creek, passing several small lakes. At one point big trees splintered apparently by avalanche, although only lower fringe of forest affected, very localised.

Dunn Peak comes into view, looking steep, dark and forbidding. Route takes the far R (NW) ridge; trail follows creek, intermittent across area of huge boulders, then peters out on steep slope of talus and granite slabs. Best line is to skirt R once above steep vegetated slabs then head directly up to 2320+ col: good boulder slope; trail reappears partway up.

Route turns L at col and follows NW ridge, intermittent trail, a few cairns helping define route as it passes R of a tower then returns to crest which is more or less followed to false summit, with occasional blocky scrambling YDS 3. Scrambly descent to col, short traverse R then steep scramble to summit, obvious lines being a couple of grooves, YDS 3/4.

Summit has a cairn near the highest outcrop, a transmitter and a small wooden helipad. Minor E summit also cairned. After 15mins enjoying the smoky view (odd as no significant fires near, but I can smell smoke) I head down. Initial descent awkward as I can't remember exact route and downclimb more class 4 than necessary. Descent from false top straightforward, mostly following cairns. Intermittently sunny on descent and soon clear of smoke; nice cool temp for hiking. Back to trailhead in 4h with short stroll back down to car. There's felling along Harper Creek road so I leave it until about 5pm before driving out.

Final (15th) ultra of my 4 week trip to Canada, and a beautiful hike. Tomorrow I head back towards Calgary with a few possible P1000s en route.

I've subsequently been given the following info regarding an alternative route said to be better: "You can climb up to the saddle on the east side. The face has lots of ledges and walkways up it. The only sketchy spot is the slope up to the saddle. If you climb it too late in the day the snow and mud will be melting making it prone to sliding. Once on the saddle you can move around to the south and climb a steep but safe slope till almost the top. Then there is a short cliff with a bit of a ledge up the south side. Sketchy but better than the west side."

Dunn Peak photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3628 ft / 1105 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3628 ft / 1105 m
    Distance:16.2 mi / 26 km
    Start Trailhead:5020 ft / 1530 m
Descent Statistics

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