Date: March 8, 2015
Participants: Dylan, Martin, Brittany Zenger, Ed Zenger, Geoff Zenger
Report: A trip report on clubtread of a visit to Mt. Baird in the waning days of February spurred my interest to visit this rarely climbed peak near Hope. The previous weekend I’d been exploring the roads on the east side of Harrison Lake (long story short, the road to Nahatlatch is washed out just 4km from Nahatlatch) and had tried to approach the Old Settler from the east, but no luck. This weekend I’d be able to climb Mt. Baird and get good views of the Old Settler from the south east. The forecast was looking good and a last minute trip posting on the BCMC website managed to fill up my Jeep for the excursion.
We met up at Columbia Station in New West at 7:30 and made our way out to Hope. The access to Mt. Baird is easy right now via Nickelmine Road which if you follow it is well maintained for by both a local offroad association and for active logging and leads into Emory Creek. We parked right next to the turn off for spur 3569 (just a bit past the 11 km marker), walked up the short spur, and then ducked into the trees. We found ourselves on the left side of a creek, and made our way up the left side of the creek through open easy forest all the way up to treeline. This appears to be the ideal route up the mountain.
We hit snow around 1200m, and by 1400m were on a long ridge heading up towards the summit. At about 1400m there are some bluffs and we chose to head around them to the left, which we did and followed some snow filled gullies up towards the obvious broad snowslope leading up towards the left of the main summit. It was a reasonable route, but on the way down we came down the other side (climber’s right) and found it to be even easier going and more straightforward. The snow leading up to the summit was very pleasant and enjoyable, and at a quarter to 1, less than 4 hours after leaving the cars, we found ourselves on the small rocky summit of Mt. Baird.
The views from the top of the Old Settler were grand as expected, but what was unexpected was the fantastic views of so much more. From the summit there are great views of the Anderson River group, Needle Peak, Cheam Range, Judge Howay area, Baker area, and even the Outram and Silvertip regions of Manning Park!
We spent a good long time on the summit in the unseasonably warm temperatures before eventually making our way back down to the car. The descent on the snow was fast and descent through the trees was easy and quick as well, and we made the descent in well under 2 hours.
Thank you to everyone for the great company and great trip. You need a low snow year like this year, but if you’re able to drive to at least 800m on the logging road, Mt. Baird makes for a great early season or winter trip!