Williams Peak 13/08/10

Andrew R. on Williams Peak:
“I was joined by Rebecca and Valerie on a gorgeous Friday for a hike up to Williams Peak overlooking the Chilliwack Valley. We got an early start and arrived at the well-marked trailhead at 9:30. The trail climbs steeply up to the top of Williams Ridge and then it is a easy (but long) walk along the treed ridge to a rocky knoll where we got out first clear view of the peak itself. We stopped at the knoll for a bit of lunch and to mull over the best route through the basin towards the peak. Luckily I had gotten advice not to descend into the basin but to continue up to the second knoll where we eventually spotted a cairn that told us we were heading in the right direction. Carefully following cairns and flagging, we traversed the side-slope on the left (north) side of the basin. This saved us having to lose and regain a lot of elevation – a huge help! (This route doesn’t seem to match with the route shown in Matt Gunn’s scrambles book. He seems to drop down into the basin.) Along the way Rebecca’s sharp eye spotted a momma and baby black bear moving quickly up the basin below us. It was her first bear sighting and an exciting spotting. We continued across the boulder field at the base of the peak (loudly, in case the bears were still in the area) and gained a rocky ramp that took us around to the scrambling gully on the south side of the peak. There seem to be a few options here, but all the routes seemed to converge on the main gully, which is STEEP. Some fun scrambling up this section. We reached the summit and enjoyed a good 45 minutes or so with fantastic views in all directions before reluctantly making our way down. We carefully retraced our route to find the flagging and the route around the side of the basin. At this point you are very glad not to have to descend into and climb back out of the basin! After gaining the ridge and having a last look back at the impressive peak we’d just descended from, it was a long dusty march back through the trees to the car. A long and tiring day, but the good company, fun scrambling, and great summit views made it totally worthwhile.”

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