Gap Mtn 2675m – North Ridge
FRA- R.Mitchell, Aug.1977
This is a beautiful looking ridge when viewed from Hwy#40 however a recent ascent doesn’t confirm it being that with the obvious dip half way up, and looks harder than the original 5.6 grade given in the old ‘Green Bible’(Rockies South).The FRA party of one stated it at 360m and hard 5.5 which seems to be closer to the recent ascent parties grading, which may make the long ridge with the drop, potentially unclimbed. The 1977 party descended the west side from the summit down a gully with one rap but the normal scramble way from the SE may be a better way.
Access: This route can be accessed from the Valleyview Trail about 8 km. north of Highwood Pass. From the bridge, follow a faint trail on the north bank of Elpoca Creek (the drainage north of Gap Mountain) to the ridge. Follow the north ridge which is mostly scrambling, some level ridge sections and the odd loose pitch which can be roped. Views are spectacular. Overall grade might be 5.4 or less. From the summit, you can continue a traverse of the mountain by following the scrambles route down to the east and south – watch for cairns and well traveled sections to stay on route. If you don’t have a second car, you might want to stash bikes to travel the 3-4 km. back to the bridge. 850m elevation gain from Elpoca Creek.
Gap Mtn 2675m – South Ridge
FA- J.Martin and L.Howard, Sept.1999
It should be noted that the first ascent parties summit record was found from a 1948 recording by the well-known Hans Schwartz which at the time it was named Mt.Gita, but was changed in later years. The south ridge is better than it looks and is very obvious from the highway. Once again, the best way down is to follow the way of the scramblers route.
The south ridge is a single rib that is stepped in three distinct spots and has an exposed feel with drops on either side making escape difficult, however, the ridge itself is kicked back to a relatively easy angle.
Park at Little Highwood parking lot. Angle up through trees to a prominent treed flat spot in about an hours hike. Always be aware of bears in this area. The first step is like a staircase of good rock and is easy. The next section of the ridge is steeper though after passing a level area. This is followed by a 5.6 pitch that has some tricky moves passing a loose block. Continue up past another level part of the ridge. The third step of the ridge looks the hardest but is not as bad when on it, plus, the rock is very textured. It then levels out flat again but drops off in a short cliff. Climb through a notch and up to the ridge beyond which joins the east and west routes for the final 100m roughly and places you on top of the summit of Gap or Gita, your choice. In 1979, this same team did a route on the west side of the mountain but is not described here.