The wind was howling by the time we reached the south summit, and the main summit, plastered with snow, didn't look too inviting. I certainly had second thoughts about continuing, but having a companion to share the misery seemed to strengthen my resolve to bag this peak. Thus we continued along the ledge on the east side of the ridge connecting the south and main summits. As per Alan Kane's route description, we eventually scrambled back onto the ridge crest just before the main summit. Some sections here are both narrow and airy, and with the wind and snow that day, we must have been insane to tackle the ridge. Nevertheless, we made it through safely and soon were standing beside the summit cairn in whiteout conditions. I didn't bother searching too hard for the summit register in the snow-plastered cairn; I was more worried about our ensuing descent down the west face.
The upper portion of Kane's alternate descent route is much steeper
than I had expected, and we took considerable time to come down this
part. The snow that day made some sections downright dangerous.
At one point, I slipped on some downsloping slabs and slid about ten
metres. I was very fortunate to escape with just a scraped knee.
Cory and I both breathed a sigh of relief when we reached the easy scree
slopes at the bottom. By this time, it was raining steadily, and we
had to contend with more slippery rocks in the drainage gully on the way
out. Although my round-trip time was barely over 5 hours (about 4.5
hours for Cory), this felt like an epic, but I was glad to have shared
the journey with a nice, makeshift partner like Cory (he was planning on
climbing Mount Temple the next day while I was planning on doing Dim
|Cory picks his way through some challenging terrain.|
|Cory slogs up to the south summit.|
|This is the main summit of Storm Mountain as seen from the south summit.|
|At the south summit, Cory checks the route description in the scrambles guide. At upper right is Mist Mountain.|
|The east side of the ridge connecting the south and main summits is a good place to get out of the wind.|
|Cory straddles the narrow ridge crest en route to the main summit.|
|While taking photographs at the summit, Cory kneels to steady himself against the strong wind. Cory and Sonny would later cross the intervening ridge to the lower west summit (at right). Alan Kane's alternate descent begins just beyond the west summit.|
|Cory and Sonny stand beside the snow-plastered cairn on the 3095-metre summit of Storm Mountain.|
|Cory crosses the exposed ridge to the west summit.|
|Cory works his way down the slope. At this point, the worst of the downclimbing is past.|