Monday October 7th
It is nice to be able to walk from your front door to the trail head and that is the case with this Scramble up Grotto Mountain via route #5. This is a route Lee has been wanting to try for a couple of years and he spiked my interest in what he calls the 5th route. Route #1 – Alpine Club, Route #2 – Direct, Route #3 – Rats Nest, Route #4 – Treed Edge West Side. Route #5 goes up through the rocky gully on the far west side from Cougar Creek. This one is the most difficult and least popular with a fair amount of route finding.
The access is about 0.75 km from Cougar Creek parking lot starting on the right side .Look out for a gravel wash down next to the big hump.You cannot see the hump from the creek so eyeball it from afar. The trail is faint at first but as you pop out of the trees it becomes obvious, and you can see this from Lady Macdonald Trail.
The rest of the way you have to route find as there are no cairns or tape to follow. There are two places where you can practise your scrambling/rock climbing skills.
The feature image shows what we came to call the Stairway to Heaven. The loose rock is all washed out with the June storm and the rock forms large steps all the way to the final crux. Climb out onto the final section about the same place where the Alpine route comes out of the trees/
Distance return 10 km Elevation gain 1350 m to the lower summit. Time 6 hrs.