October 29th Tuesday
Too early to cross county ski, so although the valley had some snow over the weekend we decided to have a go at Grotto buttress from the Rats Cave Parking lot.This is a route up Grotto Mountain but today the buttress would do. The trailhead is on Hwy 1A left side about 5 km from Elk Run Blvd
The route is probably easy in the summer but with up to 30cm of snow the route was hard to find. The trail to the Grotto Buttress and summit is just before a little dip ( under the power lines ) that lead to the Rats Cave. Look for a small cairn to your left.
After about an hour lots of cairns appear this is the time to look for the route to the right that will take you along the side of the big dry gulch.Try to keep your elevation and walk at one point along a rock face.
Keep looking for the rock buttress it should be over your left shoulder but you are heading for the Col.
The views and the exposure from the top are spectacular.
Very icy going up the creek to see the Cave.
Elevation gain 850 m High Point 2152 m. Distance 5.0 km Time 5.45 hrs. Side trip to Rats Cave 90 m 2.5 km