Vermillion Peak

Vermillion Peak in Kootenay is a great little summit that is reached with only a few slight obstacles. The route is generally obvious – follow an avalanche slide path to a ridge, and eventually to the summit, however this slide path does not quite reach the present highway, and so the scramble begins with a short bushwhack. After gaining around 40 metres from the highway, one encounters a former road. This can be followed to the base of the slide path. The summit ridge is a little more exposed than I had anticipated from Alan Kane’s guide, however there are lots of good holds, and the toughest sections may be circumvented by either traversing left or right. Hazy skies from forest fires prevailed, but the views were still extensive in any direction.

01_vermillion_ge
I ascended the left gully near the summit ridge, then scrambled through a rock band to gain the ridge. On descent, I followed the ridge down to easy rubble slopes, and took the more vegetated gully to avoid loose scree
02_hwy_view
Approximate ascent route as seen from the highway
03_old_road
After 10 minutes of bushwhacking, I come to the old road which I follow to my right in order to reach the base of the avalanche slide path
04_name
The views are nearly immediate from the slide path, since no trees are around to block the view!
05_shadow
Vermillion Peak casts its shadow across the valley. I managed to complete most of the climb before the sun hit me
06_view_summit_ridge
View to the west from the summit ridge. The ascent gully is right of centre
07_summit_ridge
The final approach to the summit was slightly more exposed than I had anticipated, but the rock provided good holds and options to avoid the trickiest parts
08_whymper
Mount Whymper, a few of the Ten Peaks, and Mount Temple on the far left
09_castle_mtn
Castle Mountain in the blue of distance
10_descent slopes
Descending the bushy gully, full of fireweed
11_fireweed
Fireweed (epilobium angustifolium)
12_marmot
A marmot pokes his head out from the foliage
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