Elevation Gain: ~2200m
Total Time: 45 hours 58 minutes
Date: July 30th to August 1st
Note that my GPX stopped just before the climb, but should still be useful for the approach and descent.
Mount Ratney is the tallest summit in the local “Ratney Group” and like its counterpart Mount Bardean, it offers some steep climbing on the precipitous north face. It also gained popularity as the descent line for climbers coming up from the summit of Mount Bardean and needing to reach the base again. Brayden and I were planning to do “The Tuning Fork” route on Mount Bardean and decided to use the Ratney descent line as our approach to the base of the climb. From the south east side it’s a simple class 3 scramble up and so when we reached the col between Bardean and Ratney on July 30th we decided to tag the summit and scope out our descent route for the following morning.
From our camp we traversed across granite slabs until reaching the col proper and then ascended up a mix of heather slopes and slabs. We climbed until reaching the edge of a long heather ramp on the upper east side and traversed around until we found a weakness in the cliff band above. With a few fun moves we pulled ourselves onto a bench of sorts and traversed around clockwise until we were at a ramp that lead to the summit.
The summit was then easily attained with just a short section of boulder hopping. We grabbed some photos and then descended the north west side to locate our descent line. About 120m from the summit we came to the top of a large headwall and Brayden located a nest of rappel tat that marked the first rappel. We couldn’t scope out much more without actually rappelling but the line looked fairly straightforward. Both of us were happy to have the route visible in day light before committing in the morning.
Now we re-ascended the steep heather and granite back to the summit and retraced our steps our back to the cliff band. Some simple downclimbing took us back to the heather ramp and then we descended all the way to the col and settled in for the night.
If you were only here to do these summits by their scramble routes, Mount Ratney has the most fun line and some amazingly good views. Definitely worth a trip up the slab gully for a visit.