Ascent of Monument 83 Peak on 2014-06-14

Climber: Craig Willis

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, June 14, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Monument 83 Peak
    Location:United States/Canada
    Elevation:6520 ft / 1987 m

Ascent Trip Report

With a very poor weekend weather forecast back at home, I started searching for which areas had the most favorable forecast (at least relatively speaking). I opted for Manning Park, specifically Monument 83... also known as Holdover Peak in some resources... which only had a 25% chance of precipitation. After seeing a trip report for the peak from the previous weekend, I also knew it was very doable summit destination.

The Monument 83 Trail (road) was very easy to follow. There were multiple tree blowdowns but nothing that really impeded progress or required re-routing. However, winter storms and snowmelt had completely wiped-out two road switchbacks. The first major cut-out section was at approximately 6km from the trailhead and caused by a seasonal stream, which required dropping down and then up a steep dirt slope; it was easy to traverse but will only get worse (i.e. steeper, more difficult) over time. The second major cutout section was at approximately 9.5km (6 miles), where the road passes across Monument Creek. The large wooden bridge from the crossing was wiped-out; I noticed it grounded approximately 100m downstream. This required a stream ford; the water was not deep but it was very swift. I threw some small downed trees in the water, for extra security for the traverse.

The final few km/miles to the top was fairly uneventful. Actually, most of the road-trail is uneventful, as it is in trees the entire time. The old cupola cabin appeared to be at the highest point; some people, resources, and GPS devices still show the cupola cabin as being on the USA side of the border but whether or not that is true is debatable. I visited both lookouts as well as a nearby bump that looked like a possible highpoint contender (but probably was not). The slight smell of creosote on the newer tower was apparent. It was fun to climb a ladder into a cupola room of a cabin, something I do not recall ever previously doing. The gravesite of "Pasayten Pete" is located between the two lookout buildings, and a poem commemorating him and his killer was found in the cupola cabin. Kind of strange but interesting all the same. The weather was taking a turn for the worse and I was not able to get any outward views. A lot of fog and low clouds consumed the area, and a bad storm appeared to be moving in. After spending 40 minutes at the lookouts, it was time to leave.

The hike down the mountain was uneventful. After returning to my car and changing my clothes, a bad rainstorm started. I drove several km/miles west and stopped by the Manning Park Visitor Centre to provide a trail update, as there had not been on since the previous year. I picked up some maps and literature for the area; I definitely would like to return for more hiking opportunities.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2820 ft / 859 m
    Round-Trip Distance:19.9 mi / 32 km
    Route:Monument 83 Trail
    Trailhead:Monument 83 TH  3700 ft / 1127 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:0 Days 4 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:0 Days 3 Hours 50 Minutes

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