Most of you will be asking “where the h— is Rainy Summit Ridge?” It’s the ridge to the west of Rainy Summit on Hwy. 66. The top end of it links up with Powderface Ridge trail. I don’t know who started the ball rolling, but when we first went up about 15 years ago there was already a trail to the first viewpoint. Since then, the trail through the “cutblock” has splintered amid a dense jungle of shrubs and trees. As someone said, the possibilty of coming face to face with a griz was very real.
So in 2010 a new start was orchestrated by X and a friend that totally misses out the cutblock and climbs through open forest (good sight-lines) to the foot of the rock ridge. The terrain is steeper than the old route, but if you follow the blazes and odd pieces of flagging you should ascend on a zigzag line. In places a trail exists where it follows snippets of game trails. The junction with the old trail is marked with a blazed tree and flagging.
As mentioned, it comes out at the bottom of the rock ridge from where the trail is obvious all the way to the viewpoint. Climbing up farther to Rainy Summit Overlook (no trail) is an option. Besides being the better viewpoint and a destination in its own right, the overlook connects with Powderface Ridge trail, thus making Rainy Summit Ridge an alternate route to Powderface Ridge. Personally, I prefer to use it as part of a loop using the old pack trail shown on the map.