Dam Mountain

GPS recording available here: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/activity-7248078190-c361bc7
(Click on the “Download Route” button for the raw GPX file)

Elevation Gain: 253m
Distance: 4.49km
Total Time: 47 minutes
Date: August 4th, 2021

Dam Mountain is a small peak located directly west of Grouse Mountain that is part of a series of low forested summits before Crown Pass and Crown Mountain. In my opinion, it garners little interest from a scrambling or even hiking perspective and so I haven’t bothered to make a day of tagging Dam Mountain or any of it’s neighbors. Instead, I’ve been saving these summits for when I have extra time after my weekly grouse grind training sessions. On this particular day I finished the grind about 2 hours before my climbing session at the Hive and so had a bit of time to kill. A quick look on my GPS revealed that Dam Mountain was only 1.7km “as the crow flies” and if I ran most of it, I’d have more than enough time to grab it.

With the plan hatched, I started a light jog along the paved pathway towards to Grizzly Bear habitat. Shortly after the pavement ran out and then the trail continued along a service road that ran beneath the southwestern flank of Grouse Mountain. At the end of this service road there was a trail marker and I simply followed the directions for ridge line trail instead of the alpine trail. The trail got a bit rougher here with more loose rocks and steeper terrain, but it was no issue really.

Here’s the paved trail for the first portion to Dam Mountain
On the left is Dam Mountain and Grouse Mountain on the right
On the service road now
A few more loose rocks, but nothing terrible as you go further up

I continued up the trail for a few hundred meters more, taking care to not trip on the numerous pipe crossings and cables along the trail. At the end, I reached a small plateau with a heli-pad and muddy patch directly ahead. I hopped over the muddy sections, rock to rock, and then continued up towards the summit. Again it’s a bit more steep trail sections and then I arrived at a small block of scrambling to gain the summit. It’s a short section and took minimal effort to reach the top and finally I’m at the summit.

Typical terrain on the upper sections
A cool opening near the summit
The heli pad. Stick left here
A bit of scrambling before the summit
The summit block
Sky Pilot group in the background and Goat Mountain in the foreground
Panorama from the summit
Self timed shot on the summit block
Mt. Baker in the distance on the way back to the gondola

Surprisingly, there were actually okay views at the top. It’s a bit obscured by the tree line, but I had decent views of the bay and towards Goat Mountain and Sky Pilot area. Overall not bad and with the sun reaching the “golden hour” I ended up spending more time than anticipated at the top. Looking at my watch, I was now pretty close to being late for my climbing session, so I back tracked the way I came up and tried my best to keep a running pace all the way back to the gondola. Despite a few sections of steeper trail it was pretty straightforward to maintain speed and within 10 minutes or so I was back from the summit and boarding onto the gondola.

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