I apologize for the lack of posts but I’ve had a short and hectic summer. So, this post is a few weeks late but it was a great trip and I wanted to make sure to report on it! Last summer, Justin and I made a trip to Little Harrison Lake where we planned to traverse off trail to Harrison Lake and climb Harrison Peak. Although we were able to complete the traverse to Harrison Lake, rain and storm clouds prevented us from summiting the peak. We vowed to return to the mountain and so that’s what we did a few weekends ago.
Friday morning, Justin and I were joined by our fellow crew member Connor as we set off. The plan was to camp at Two Mouth Lakes (one of my favorite spots in the Northern Selkirks) and use it as a base to summit Harrison Peak. This approach is north of the mountain and although not the most direct route, it is possible to visit some beautiful unnamed lakes and have an exciting off-trail adventure. The trail to Two Mouth Lakes is about 4 miles long and we quickly completed the hike and set up camp at the lower lake. The two lakes are generally connected by a wonderful marshy waterway of pools and granite waterfalls, but unfortunately dry conditions this year had most of these features dried-up. Fire restrictions prevented us from having a camp fire but we nonetheless enjoyed the subalpine sunset and clear starry sky.
Saturday we grabbed our daypacks set off on the roughly 3 mile bushwhack to the peak. As you climb out of the Two Mouth basin towards unnamed Lake 6291, the Rhododendron and False Azalea provide a thick and formidable wall of brush that must be fought through. It was slow going as we pushed through encountering large downed trees, wet marshy areas, and steep-sided boulders. Lake 6291 is small and forested, but features a rocky ridgepoint above it. Another thick bushwhack around the ridge brought us to the larger unnamed Lake 6321, which sits beneath the false-summit of Harrison Peak. This spectacularly beautiful and pristine lake sees very little human use and is a wonderful and remote place. From here, the goal was to get onto the eastern ridge of the peak. To do this, we first skirted the base of ridge and found a point we thought we might be able to cut up through the brush and cliffs. Unfortunately, it got too steep and brushy, so we retreated back to the base to work further down. Finally we found a fairly easy scramble up the ridge and we were soon on it and working our way to the summit. The trees along the ridge are thin and scattered, making hiking quick from this point. As we reached the rocky pinnacle that forms the summit, we scrambled up the cliffs on the north side. On top, we were standing on what is basically a knife edge that overhangs at an angle with a lot of air underneath. From here, it was a short but airy boulder hop up to the high point on the south of the ridge. The view was incredible and although Justin and Connor seemed fearless, my legs were a little wobbly when I got near the edge of the most overhanging rocks. Overall though, it was well worth it and we fought our way back through the brush to camp.
The next morning, we awoke early to rain and quickly packed up things. This was a fantastic trip and although it was a tough and slow off-trail hike, I think we all enjoyed it because the view provided a great payoff. Most people approach this summit from the Harrison Lake trail, which is on the south side of the peak. This route however allows one to camp at the much prettier Two Mouth Lakes and to travel to a few little lakes which few people travel to. Enjoy the video!