Cape Horn Mountain


A long ridge walk on snowshoes to the top of Cape Horn involves many false summits and excellent views.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Our original plan for this weekend was a moonlight snowshoe, but the weather prediction wasn't favorable for moonlight. As a second option, we chose Cape Horn Mountain, inspired by our trip to Bull Trout Point several weeks ago. The weather report for here wasn't really promising either, but we weren't depending on clear skies.

We hopped out of the car and got moving at 8:15. The temperature was mid-teens. We were sinking in to the snow about 6-8 inches... not too bad.

We hadn't gone too far when we found an old snowshoe/ski track going our way. Sweet!

This shot shows much of the upper part of the first basin, one of three we would be traversing on the connecting upper ridgeline we had chosen. Our route would eventually take us over the high point to the right, but first we had go left, then traverse the connecting ridgeline.

The first basin
Once we made it up to the ridgeline, it was simply a matter of heading north over the many up-and-downs connecting the east-west trending valleys below. Dave is in the middle of the following picture, and heading toward the point swallowed by clouds at the left.  

We were excited when we could finally see what we thought was the summit, the peak on the left. But we still had a ways to go and another major false summit to deal with.

More ridge
When we got to the top of that false summit, we topped another drainage, our third for the day. And we could see it thankfully wasn't too much further to our summit- we were getting tired. Summit

And after 'just' 5 hours of hard work, we were there- note the cairn just above Dave's right hand.

But wait.... note in the picture above you can see another bump on the ridge, lower and to the right? Well, when we got to the cairn, we got suspicious. By eye, and then by consulting the map, we could see that the LAST bump was the true summit. Oh well, what's one more false summit?

"False Summit" shot

From the true summit, we had great views in all directions. This is looking in back of some of the drainages above which we had been traversing, and into the Stanley valley.

The following picture is looking to the west and Bear Valley, with Blue Bunch Mountain on the right.

Looking toward Stanley
Bear Valley

This is looking north-east. The peak just left of center with the big bald patch is one I climbed with Julie and Jazz, Roughneck Peak.

Roughneck peak

Although the weather predicted 30% chance of snow, we only saw perhaps a 5-minute squall. The rest of the day we had pretty good visibility, and even the occasional direct sun. Temperatures were mild enough to occasionally go without hat and gloves, although our perspiration was freezing in our hair.

Meanwhile, it appeared that our friends over on Bull Trout Point were engulfed in a cloud most of the day. Sorry, guys.

If it makes you feel any better, we had over 600' of climbing to do to get back. Let's just say I was pretty glad when we finally got back to the car.

Clouds on Bull Trout Point

Map of our route

Super Dave's trip report

Clouds on Bull Trout Point

Mr. Natural Home | 2008 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski