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April 14, 2010
Tried and failed to climb the Three Cairns mountain near Etherington Creek (#55, Vol 5, 4th Edition).
At the 4 way junction at 664768, anything obvious heading upwards leads to... a permanent orienteering mark (#2, about 25 m above the trail). There is no flagging anywhere, removed I suspect to make the orienteering harder. I suggest walking about 50 m up the Etherington Creek to Baril Creek snowmobile trail (#54) before turning right as it gives better access to the short steep meadow anyway.
As we made it higher, we found no evidence of any kind of trail, until we got near... another permanent orienteering mark (#3, about 200 m above #2). I would probably describe getting up here this way: "gain the top of a rock rib and following it relentlessly upward."
According to my altimeter, we ran out of any kind of thinning in the trees around 60 m below the my map's top altitude of hill 659780, and started searching for routes in the dense forest with no sightline to the target col. The suggested ways down and to the right were full of hideous thick matchstick deadfall on a steep side slope. We searched but could find no way though it. If someone does go up there and finds a route, could you please flag it or something?
As it was, we took just over 2 hrs to get to our turnaround point, plus spent another 30 min of searching for a route across. On the bright side, the views from the high point we got to were good, it took just 30 min to get back down -- plus, if you ever take up orienteering, you already know where two marks are.
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