Mount Rexford - July
Mount Rexford lies across the Nesakwatch valley from its well-known neighbour,
Mount Slesse. With its location
near the Canada-US border, the summit of Rexford at 2329m is perfectly situated for 360° panaramas between the Washington Cascades, specifically
Baker, Shuksan, and Glacier to the south; the Coast Range,
well-past Garibaldi and the Tantalus Range into some unidentified (to us) high
summits to the northwest; and far into the interior past Hope to the east.
The views of the northeast buttress of Slesse are fantastic.
Reid Holmes and
I climbed the west ridge of Rexford on July 25, 2003, under clear skies.
Due to the great conditions, we were able to make a quick round-trip and
only required a 25m rope for two short rappels.
See Reid's excellent photos.
The drive to Rexford is the same as that for the Slesse Memorial trail.
From Chilliwack River road, it's 30km east to the turnoff for
Chilliwack South FSR. This road is unmarked; a few hundred metres after turning
onto it, the road crosses a bridge and comes to a T-junction. Follow the right
branch along Nasakwatch Creek FSR for 5km to a gate on the left side.
This gate is unlocked
7:00 am - 4:30 pm. We tried without luck phoning
to track down a key the previous day.
The road continues for 2.0 km past the gate to a fork. From here, a rough road
heads left for 450m to the trailhead, marked by flagging tape in a clearcut.
Kevin McLane. Elaho Publishing
Again, Reid and I had tied the bikes to the car the night before. Again,
I picked Reid up at 5:00am. This time, however,
instead of the usual drive north along the 99
we headed east to Chilliwack.
At 7:30 we were at the gate [640m]
tying laces and eating the last bites of a muffin.
We biked up 2.5 km to the trailhead [920m]. From there, we hiked the approach
trail, first through clearcut, then through forest, then
along the edge of a granite cliff to the open talus and boulder field
After hopping from boulder to boulder to the base of the west ridge
we reached the fantastic bivy rocks below the climb.
We chose the right side; instead of climbing the snow-filled gully, we
climbed onto the foot of the ridge. From here, the climbing is mostly third
class with the occasional fourth class step to the base of the summit pyramid.
Here the route moves left into fourth class terrain with two short sections of
fifth class climbing.
We reached the false summit at 12:00 and made our way to the
nearby true summit [2329m].
Here we spent an hour eating lunch, taking photos, and enjoying the views.
We watched a pair of climbers ascend the South Nesakwatch Spire.
Our descent was quick. We reached the top of the trail at 3:00 the car
by 4:30. Here we met a pair from Washington/Colorado who were heading up
the Northeast Buttress of Slesse the following day.