Frances and I joined Steven, Connor and Vlad for a hike near Coquihalla Pass. We saw these peaks during our recent Needle trip, so it was nice to go back for them. 4WD high clearance is probably enough to get to the trailhead. A well established trail takes you through the Illal Creek valley all the way into the alpine.
The guys opted for a more challenging route along the exposed east ridge of the mountain, while Frances and I stuck with the standard southern bypass route which is slightly longer. We separated groups at the pass. Berries galore!
descending from the pass and Jim Kelly behind
southern bypass traverse
up this rib
After traversing along the south face, we started up the south rib which is steep with a lot of shifting small volcanic talus. We arrived at the summit 15 minutes after the guys.
east ridge direct
As Frances and I were descending, I noticed a large bear in a meadow, 300 feet below us, the 10th bear I have seen this year. We watched in silent rapture as the bear lumbered over to a small tarn for a dip. Afterward it stood up to scratch it's back on a tree.
Jim Kelly Peak - 6913'
The guys retraced their route and we retraced ours. From the pass we ascended the west ridge of Jim Kelly, which has some avoidable rock steps.
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