Cummings or Wilkinson Ridge?

This is the ridge that towers over Highway 40 before the road starts its winding ascent to Wilkinson Summit. Or to put it another way, the ridge between Raspberry and Pasque in the series of ridges lining the west side of the highway.

Wilkinson Creek crossing. On our return we found our crossing Crocs had been stolen. So whether you”re going up Pasque or this ridge take time to find a really obscure hiding place.

Just turning down Cummings Creek snowmobile trail from the junction with Pasque snowmobile trail. Note the cutblocks.

Not surprisingly, Bob Spirko, Sonny and friends  have also been up it, as I’ve just  found out later when browsing his web site. Cairns on the lower and highest points testify to other ascensionismts.

Cummings Ridge from Cummings snowmobile trail.

Cutblock on the west face of Cummings Ridge. Pasque Mountain in the background.

Like Bob, we followed the obvious route: up Pasque snowmobile trail, a steep unremitting road to a junction, then the undulating Cummings Creek snowmobile trail that crosses the ridge’s west flank. Like Bob. we, too, were dismayed to find the old exploration road offering easy access to the south ridge had been overlaid by cutblocks, only the far end of it intact and ending in coal prospects on the steep east face. If only we’d come a couple of years earlier!

The end snippet of the coal exploration road.

On the grassy ridge leading to the lower summit.

Townsendias in plenty in the grass. Among the rocks were great clumps of saxifrage.

The summit. Down left is the steep east face.

Unlike Bob and Co. who had  a little snow on the ground in  November, we were treated to a marvelous display of flowers, both in the cutblocks and on the south ridge, something to delight in despite the awful cold blustery weather.  The final section along a rock ridge was made slippery by rain and sleet, the mountains to the west and roundabout all socked in.  Luckily, before the weather closed in we had enjoyed a unique view looking straight up Highway 40 as it wound up Wilkinson Creek  to Wilkinson Summit below Plateau Mountain.

Descending Pasque snowmobile trail is almost as bad as climbing up it.

Return the same way. Do NOT try shortcutting across to Pasque trail. If you do you’ll be in for a horrid surprise.

See Bob Spirko’s Account 

Start: Highway 40, Same as for Pasque Mountain. Distance 10. 6 km return, high point 2410 m (7907 ft.), height gain 570 m (1870 ft.)

Share
1 comment… add one
  • Gillean Daffern Jul 22, 2019, 11:00 am

    On browsing Sonny’s website I saw he got onto the south ridge from the exploration road lower down than we did and had to contend with “easy to moderate” scrambling. We avoided this by leaving the road higher up beyond the bits of meadow and just climbed up through trees wending right, which was easy enough. Got to the south ridge just below where the grass started.

Leave a Comment