Gravenstafel Ridge to Mount Haig | 2010.07.24
Above stats are for estimate to Gravenstafel Ridge and return the same way. For complete stats for this trip, please see page 4.
Nobody to cerebrate my birthday weekend scramble, I decided to go solo hikes. Ok ok ok, Andrea gave me wonderful Yukness and Shaun gave me awesome Carnarvon last week. (x_x☆ I had this special plan. When I saw Mount Haig for the first time back in 97, I wanted to summit it, but that desire never came true. When I found Nugara’s book covers Haig, I was so excited, and finally I made an opportunity to do it!
I parked my car at Castle Mountain Resort. From there I looked at ski hill map and picked “North Run” ski course for ascent. (Basically I did this backwards from Nugara’s route.) Walking on ski course made ascent very easy and I felt I was going very quick pace. Soon, I was at top of Gravenstafel Ridge. As simple as ascent of Gravenstafel was, Gravenstafel to Haig was simple as well. No route finding required, simply I stay on ridge. The dip between these two peaks was more than I hoped for but wasn’t too bad. If you don’t care Gravenstafel, then you can go to the lake then go up to the col between Gravenstafel and Haig. This way you don’t have to lose elevation. There are two ways to go to the lake. Either take a hiking/Quad trail (Nugara’s alternative descent route) or take “Cinch Traverse” ski course.
For descent I took little different approach from Nugara’s book. His route stays on the east ridge until almost at the treeline then get back to NE ridge. NE ridge is pretty much cliff with big rockbands near summit, so I still had to use east ridge, but as soon as I went low enough that I cleared most of the rockbands, I traversed to NE ridge, hoping this will minimize elevation loss (page 16). Most of rockbands on east ridge can be avoided by going right (south) but there was one rockband that was big and didn’t disappear unlike others. If you look for weaker spot, you maybe find moderate scramble, but I didn’t bother and took difficult scramble down climb (page 15). I also wanted to visit the lake so I took a scree terrain that I saw from Gravenstafel to get down. At the top of the gully there was avalanche danger sign (page 5 & 17). There were actually few of these signs along the ridge.
From the lake I decided to use “Cinch Traverse” ski course to get back to the parking lot because this route had more clearance so that I could enjoy the view longer. However there was no trail from the lake so about 1 km, you have to grasswhack til you find the course. I find a course sign at GR136641 (waypoint “Ski Resort Sign 2”).
* Grid References (GR) is based on WGS84 which can be considered as NAD83 (The difference is inciginificant)