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Mr_Sleazy

[TR] Sun God Mountain - 2421 metres at 7 years old - 9/26/2009

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Trip: Sun God Mountain - 2421 metres at 7 years old -

 

Date: 9/26/2009

 

Trip Report:

September 26 and 27 / Brian Pegg and Angus Pegg

 

I used to climb all the time. Really! I used to be a pretty good climber. Fact is, though, I haven’t done much of it in the past couple years. Job mainly, also the responsibilities of raising a young boy to adulthood, and this TR is mainly about the second thing. The young boy.

 

In particular, a young 7 year old boy named Angus who doesn’t like piano or spelling but who does like video games, ice cream, wrestling, Star Wars, and bushwhacking. I guess most of those things are pretty typical, but the bushwhacking part might be a little unusual. That brings me to the “meat” of this trip report – a father-son trip to Sun God Mountain next door to Pemberton.

 

We began the trip by negotiating regarding the Saturday art animation classes that Angus is signed up for, he likes these classes a lot but they pretty well kill the weekend for any more serious mountain activity. Our plan was to drive up through Pemberton early on Saturday, hike into a small lake and camp overnight, then get up Sun God on Sunday and home in time to get rested up for school the next day. Directions to the end of the deactivated Tenas Creek FSR were faithfully followed, all I did was plot a GPS track and load it into my Garmin, makes FSR navigation SO much easier. Parked near the end of the road.

 

 

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Got to the end of the driving around 1:00 in the afternoon after a fairly leisurely drive up from Vancouver listening to a “book on CD” in the Jeep – “The Lightning Thief”. Good stuff. The drive was the part of the trip that had Angus the most concerned, he does not like sitting still for hours at a time. Neither do I.

 

We planned to follow the Matt Gunn guide description pretty closely, up a steep bushwhack to a small lake on the ridge to the north of the road.

 

 

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This is a good, direct route. The bushwhack was not too bad, real steep but I think steep is better for bushwhacking – its over quicker that way. Angus had no real problems with this, except constant backwards slippage. His 4x4 traction just wasn’t there, only 60 lbs of weight and not real good tread on his shoes. Next purchase for him will be real hiking boots, but they get expensive when the kid grows out of them in 3 months.

 

 

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Showed him one of my favourite trees on the way up, it became one of his too – subalpine fir, otherwise called balsam, or the “zit tree”. Little pitch bubbles that can be popped, aiming at someone if you are good at it.

 

After a fine 2.5 hours of uphill thrashing we emerged into the heather and found our lake. Scrambles book pegs the bushwhack at 1.5 hrs, which may work if your legs are adult sized.

 

Very nice to drop the packs and sit and relax, but WOW winter is coming early this year. Temps already close to zero at this elevation. Lots of ice the next day.

 

 

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Got our first good look at the W ridge of Sun God, it looks real big from this lake, especially through 7 year old eyes. We confirmed later my observation (made many times about mountains) that they always look harder from a distance than they really are.

 

To bed early, after a typical mountain meal of dehydrated food and cheezies. Angus likes that kind of menu, and appreciated that washing the dishes consisted entirely closing up the ziplock back again and rinsing out a cup.

 

Cold in the morning with ice on the lake. This would be a great swimming spot in August.

 

 

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Off across the boulders and heather to the east, steadily climbing through meadows til they run out and we hit the talus.

 

 

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Route soon got steeper and a bit annoying – the kind of talus that’s always shifting under your weight (scree), but when you stick closer to the ridge the rock is more solid. Angus decided about 35 times that “THIS is as far as I can go” but I basically changed the subject each time and on we went. He was never worried about falling off or anything (you would have to consciously throw yourself off this mountain to fall), but he was just realizing that it was hard work hiking up mountains.

 

 

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Near the top was a bit better rock and the views were amazing. Small summit with a cairn almost as large as the summit platform, a great place to sit and have lunch.

 

 

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Something that I have taken great pleasure from in raising a young boy is that I get to play with lego again. Especially Star Wars lego, which is the best of the best. We discovered that Chewbacca and a stormtrooper, usually bitter enemies, had hitched a ride and made it to the top. I have a strong feeling this is the first time that either of these characters has summitted Sun God Mountain.

 

 

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We sent a message on our SPOT satellite messenger back home so mom would know where we were and as proof that we made the summit. I am really happy with this little device, I do lots of outdoor stuff by myself and although obviously it does not replace a partner or good judgement, it does add a safety margin to solo activities (within limits).

 

 

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Down the way we came and back to the lake to pack. A joyous reunion with the bushwhacking terrain after we packed, into the Jeep and to Pemberton for a meal at the Wildwood.

 

The Matt Gunn scrambles book classifies Sun God as an easy day trip, and gives a difficulty rating of “moderate”. Having done the trip, I would disagree with both ratings. Not with any malice towards the author, that’s just the nature of guidebooks to complicated subjects. The climb itself just barely qualifies as a scramble – there were only 2 places where we needed to use hands, and this was just to pull ourselves up and not to keep from falling off.

 

Mission accomplished. Angus’ first “real” summit, though he has previously been up Mt. Seymour and the Chief trail.

 

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Victory pose! That's 7 O'Clock Mtn in the background.

 

 

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That is so cool!

I look forward to one day having the pleasure of taking my son or daughter to the mountains and sharing with them the places that have brought me such great pleasure in life.

Thank you for the awesome trip report and sharing such a great experience.

Cheers!

Tyson

Edited by Pilchuck71

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Great TR, I'm totally inspired! I have a 3.5 month old daughter and I can hardly wait to take her on a mountain trip (though I realize it'll be a while) Sorry the ratings seemed off, it's hard to get them all right.

Cheers,

Matt

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Thanks for all the encouraging words! Get out there with your kids...

 

Matosan:

 

No criticism of your work implied, and no "sorries" needed! I have been very impressed with your book and the work that went into it. I believe it has probably helped a lot of people get out to places they might not ordinarily have visited. It has saved me hours scrounging around on Google Earth or iMap looking for high elevation roads close to interesting peaks.

 

Rating for Sun God (imho) would be a moderate day trip (as far as pure physical effort is concerned) and an easy scramble.

 

I started out with Angus in a backpack doing some of this stuff, he came climbing to Skaha with us when he was about 5 months old. As he got a little bigger he went into the backpack on backcountry ski trips (just day trips to places like Mt Seymour). I think the important thing is the kids have to feel like an equal partner, in planning, setting the pace, etc.

 

Cheers!

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Once you get into the alpine it's hands-free to the summit on Sun God; if I remember the reviewer comments to the author and subsequent discussion correctly, this one went in as "moderate" overall mostly because of the steep bushwack at the start.

 

 

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