Mount Cunningham

(Stats include all 7 days)
Elevation Gain: 4,388m
Distance: 104.8km
Total Time: 7 days
Dates: Sept 3rd to 10th

On the morning of the 8th, I woke up after a very restless night of sleep after ascending Mount Davidson the previous night with Andrea. We were now day 6 into our 7 day Chilcotin traverse and this was going to be our biggest day so far. Before we started the trip, our plan had been to do Mount Cunningham all along, but after we arrived in the park, the taller and equally stunning Relay Mountain also caught our attention. There’s a long connecting ridge between the two peaks, but they’re over 5km apart, so no matter what you have to make a long day to get both. Since we were now committed to doing Relay as well, we had to come up with a new plan.

Our camp site below Mount Cunningham
Looking at Relay Mountain

We both agreed hauling the heavy packs up to Cunningham and summitting that first made the most sense. From there we could ditch the packs and just carry the bare necessities for the long ascent and return to Relay Mountain before continuing on to our final camp site of the trip. With the plan, we packed up and started along the ridge towards Cunningham. There’s an obvious trail along the northern flank, so we just aimed for that and marched up the moderate ascent to the northern ridge.

Looking at the obvious ridge up to Cunningham
A cool volcanic tower of sorts on the base of Mount Cunningham
Looking back at the ridge we camped on and Mount Davidson on the right
Walking along the north flank of Cunningham
Looking at the connecting ridge to Relay Mountain
Hiking up to the ridge
On the ridge line looking east towards Card Table Mountain

From there we followed more obvious tracks to a small rock outcropping and ditched our packs here. Now we aimed for the first of two false summits and climbed up the ridge the final 300m to the summit. We crested the first false summit, followed up the second and finally reached the true summit around 12:40PM. The views were phenomenal and we had some celebratory candy for before getting on our way.

Looking up towards the summit area, although this is a false summit. We ditched our bags at that little rock pile on the left.
On the summit ridge
The summit
Castle Pass/Peak from the summit
Relay Mountain is a long ways away…
Neat colours along the western ridge line
Summit Panorama

We reversed course to our packs and then equipped with a light day pack made our way towards Relay Mountain.

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