Friday, June 22, 2007

A Three Hour Tour: Hiking Mount Ludlow

Mount Freya from Mount Ludlow

Apparently, more people in the world can identify McDonald's golden arches, than can recognize the Christian cross*, so I'm banking on quite a few of the boomers on this site recognizing the theme song from Gilligan's Island. However, our hike to the top of Mount Ludlow was hardly a fateful trip, and could easily be done (return) in under three hours.

A series of peaks and interconnected ridges runs along the Koch-Hoder Creek divide, starting with Mount Flynn in south and stretching 25 km to Woden Peak in the north. Mount Ludlow lies between Mount Freya and Mount Harlow about half way along the divide, and, like all the other peaks along the divide, is easily ascended from either the east or the west side. Logging roads travel up most valleys and make ascents of all the peaks easy, most are half day affairs, but the potential for a great ridge traverse along the spine of the divide crossing all six peaks awaits younger, fresher blood than mine.

Doug and Kumo on top of Mount Ludlow

A good logging road travels up the middle branch of Watson Creek to about 1900 metres and ends in a cutblock roughly southwest of Mount Ludlow. From the very end of the logging road, it is an easy hike up through light bush and meadow to the southeast ridge of Mount Ludlow, and once there, a short walk along the ridge to the summit cairn. From about 1850 metres on the logging road (just before a big washout and about 400 metres from the very end of the road) it took us under two hours to reach the top. You could also climb Mount Ludlow from spur roads off Hoder Creek FSR, the distance would be a bit further, but if you timed it right (say mid to late June), coming up from the east would be a pleasant snow climb.

* Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser

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