The Aruthesa Knob
FRA- G.Cornell, July 2009
A fast scramble car-to-car that takes you through a slice of very pretty surroundings near Highwood Pass. Although this subsidiary peak sits low compared to its’ neighbours, the vistas of those neighbours is grande. Only the final north-facing 75m would be considered tricky and more so when iced up as it was in mid-summer. The remainder of the route is just a scree slog. No cairn was found on top here, Mt.Aruthesa along the way is of more interest to scramblers or the cairn blew off the tiny summit decades ago! Who knows, but there is no published ascent that could be found of this peak that can be easily seen from the car like a large yellow shield.
From Highwood Pass drive south about a kilometer and park along a stretch of dirt road that heads north across a meadow. Before the stream, find the good trail that heads up into the forest for about only 20 minutes before you are popped out into an incredible alpine valley with a narrow yazoo stream coming towards you.
Follow the stream east and over slopes of talus to where it flattens out below the yellow-orange steep face that consumes the valley. Find pieces of trail that take you around the left(north) buttress of this big crag where a collection of boulders capture the falling waters into sweet, colorful pools. Ahead should be a cirque of scree. Hang a hard right and take the part of the rubble slope up for half and hour that hugs close to the walls of your objective. On the horizon should be three slender rock spires standing up in the wind gusts – aim for these. Before you get to the ridge where the spires are, look up right to the summit composed of tight rock ledges. Find(cairns) a ledge system that most easily allows access, be careful of the cascading drop and hump over two short steps until a meter wide parallel alleyway appears. Scramble up this feature for 25m, then up two more rock steps to the summit. It is also possible to access the summit from a broken ridge going down NW but is dodgy with an airy drop, but makes a more demanding finish from the initial ledge off the scree slope.
Descend the same way. Expect a total of 4-5 hours.