Monday, September 17, 2012

Ark Mountain- Reflection Ridge Topo, by David Benton

Reflection Ridge 5.10/A1, 600m so far – Ark Mountain – spire unnamed

FA – David Benton, George Kokuryo, July/Aug 2012

Gear – 2 x 60m ropes, all stations are rigged for rappel.  Gear to 4”, bring a double set


Boat down Kusawa to the north end of Ark Mtn, about 55 km, camping at a beautiful beach with granite boulder just east of Devil’s Hole Creek.  It’s the base of the drainage funneling stuff from the biggest granite spires in the neighbourhood.  Leaving the sandy beach campsite head up the drainage following the creek.  Head towards the base of the ridge that defines the top of the steep NE face.  The route begins on a short slab followed by steep diagonaling cracks where the vertical face is about 40m high, (about 45min-1hr from camp). Alternatively bushwhack through alder around the corner to begin on a grassy ledge at the base of the second pitch, (less desirable).  The route essentially follows the edge of the ridge then up a huge slab to the top of the lower spire, (not yet complete)

Pitch 1 – 5.10, 1 bolt, 45m

Look for a bolt on the right side of a small slab.  Clip that and head up and left to the bottom of the easiest crack.  Do some wide jamming, (2-4”), for the short crux.  Climb up and left following a left leaning layback corner.  Exit right with sweet steep moves when it gets grassy.

Pitch 2 – 5.6, 60m

Pad up the easy unprotected slab, (grassy landing), then up sweet slabby hand cracks. Belay at station on grassy ledge at the edge of the ridge.

Pitch 3 – 5.6, 60m

Wander up, sometimes walking, following natural features trending left at the top towards the edge of the ridge.  Belay on another comfy grassy ledge.

Pitch 4 – 5.7, 60m

Climb up a short unprotected arête then up and left following good gear placements.  Move left into a right leaning grassy dihedral and up that to a station on the right wall.

Pitch 5 – 5.8, 2 bolts, 50m 

Exit the dihedral right and up the face to a giant party ledge.  Across the ledge climb a left facing dihedral to the top.  From the bonsai carcass venture up the wall following 2 bolts to a very small belay stance.

Pitch 6 – 5.9, 3 bolts, 60m

Follow 2 bolts up the tricky slab moves above the belay.  Then climb up and left towards the edge of the ridge.  Finish on 4th class grassy terrain and belay just below a super comfy bivy ledge, (spent two rainy nights there).  An alternate anchor can be set on the ledge with 2” cams.

Pitch 7 – 5.6, 60m

Climb the short crack then up the edge of the ridge enjoying the sweeping exposure. Belay at a small grassy stance.  The belay is also the top of the Mossy Pads route.

Pitch 8 – 5.8, 6 bolts, 40m

Traverse right walking carefully up the grassy ramp clipping 3 bolts.  Then climb up and back left across the slab following 3 bolts to a small sloppy stance.

Pitch 9 – 5.10/A1, 11 bolts, 50m

Start going left then right from first bolt.  Follow the bolts, 10 more up the steepening slab past a crux mid-pitch.  Belay on the small ledge.

Pitch 10 – 5.10/A1, 6 bolts, 55m

Traverse left clipping one bolt then follow three more bolts up and left, (thin), to a sweet hand to finger crack that rises another 40m.  Enjoy the features, jamming and outrageous position on the wall.  Belay at the small ledge, station on your left.

Pitch 11 – 5.6, 1 bolt, 35m

Start going left then up and traversing quite far right following path of least resistance and gear placements.  Look for a bolt on the slab and wander up to the station where we again ran out of bolts, probably 90m, (unprotected slab as far as we could see), from the lower summit…


  1. A buddy and I hit this up labour day weekend. We headed out there on the saturday morn and came back sunday morn. We had a late start but made it to the top of pitch 4 and ran outta light. Super fun, and super adventurous!!! Thanks guys for putting this in we will be back next summer with more time to give it another shot.

    1. I have a drawn topo for the route too, if you want it. That and we'll try to finish it off, David

    2. I was wondering if I could get the drawn topo for the route as well! Cheers

  2. sure hook me up,

  3. So sick! Stoked to see that there's still lots of untouched stone in the north.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hi David, enjoyed your write up in the CAJ, looking for some more info about this peak -

  6. would love a copy of the tope. I'm expecting to be in Yukon for summer and would like to take a run at this. Would be happy to join another climber for it!

  7. I will be in the Whitehorse area in early July either solo, or with two other climbers. Is there more material available for topo of the ridge as well as the other routes on the formation? Also, if anyone was interested in a group outing, what are some of the logistics available for getting hands on a boat to shuttle down the lake? Any persons with info on the above can reach me at

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