WHITE GROUSE MOUNTAIN 2642 m 8668’
Map: St. Mary Lake 82F/9
Many KMCers have seen White Grouse Mtn., but few have scaled its mighty slopes. Those who have climbed Haystack Mtn. have likely seen this blocky peak lying above upper Meachen Creek to the east of Haystack.
On August 27, 2007, Howie Ridge, Peter McIver and I drove to St. Mary Lake via Kimberley and continued on Lakeside Road and St. Mary/Hellroaring FSR to camp at km. 10 on the St. Mary/Meachen FSR. The next morning, we are away at the rugged hour of 8:30 to drive the mostly 2WD Meachen Creek road to about the km. 29 sign, where we take a left spur near the signed trailhead for Hourglass Lakes. We continue on this for about 7 km. through cutblocks to park at 6250’ (381-849).
At 9:25, we leave the truck and head straight up through fairly open timber to gain an increasingly steep west ridge, which we follow to an 8300’ sub-peak at 393-852. At this point, we turn left and follow the long, easy southwest ridge to the summit by 12:30.
After this totally non-technical walk-up, we survey our broad, grassy summit and, finding no cairn, build one. During our hour on top in fine weather, we enjoy some new perspectives on Haystack, Snowcrest Mtn., Mt. McKay, and the headwaters of the Goat River.
For our descent, we return via the southwest ridge, cutting off the sub-peak, and reach a delightful grassy col at 7550’ (394-841). From this point, we head down to the west, find and lose a sketchy trail, continue down a big slide path, and regain the trail, which exits onto the road 50’ south of the truck. When we reach the vehicle at 3:30, I get a good ribbing for not locating the trail on the way up. Still, I am a happy guy after climbing a peak I have eyed for more than ten years.