Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hike up King George Mountain

I climbed King George mountain a week ago, but I took so many photos it took me a while to go through them.

This was my second attempt at climbing it.  My first was back in August 2006, when I took the wrong route and had to stop short of the summit.  This time I got better advice and made it the whole way last Sunday, July 25.

So, here's a view of the route from the bottom.  You follow that valley up, and then bear left towards the mountain on the left.  King George however is that mountain in the right background.  It's a little counter-intuitive, no wonder I got lost in 2006.

Looking back from part way up.  The hike in the valley is pretty wet, mushy and spongy in places, due to the stream running down it.

This is the mountain just north of King George, it's the one you have to hike towards to make it to where you can climb King George.

A friend mentioned that the top of King George from this view looks like a fortress.  It does, doesn't it?  I think this is probably the incorrect route I took back in 2006.  It looks insurmountable at the top from here, so I don't know what I was thinking.

Looking back again...

Getting closer to the top, this is a gravel hill on the route.  On the way back I was on the other side of the stream, which was spongier but an easier walk overall.  This gravel was steeper to hike sideways on than it looks here.

Isn't this cool, these fallen rocks from the hard "cap" of the mountain?  They're huge, you can't tell the scale here, but take my word for it.

Looking back again... this part of the hike is about to get into some thick moss that is very spongy - and nice and cushioned on the way down- the sort of thing that would be absolutely forbidden to walk on in a national park, but hey, there are no trails here, there's no choice!

So, as you come over the "saddle" between the two mountains, you get this view off to the northeast, with another stream heading down the other way:

Another view of it from a little further up.  It's such a bright sunny day, no shadows at all on the landscape!

This is what a lot of the climb looks like from here up, loose gravel hills:

Looking east.  Still some snow up here:

Looking northwest at the mountain that's just north of King George.  Still not at the top yet...

There's a rocky outcrop which made a perfect stop to take a picture of the route just taken, and of the isthmus that the community is located on, you can see it in the bay on the left.  The bay on the left is Arctic Bay, the one on the right is Victor Bay.

Isn't this cool?  This is looking at part of the "fortress" rock from the back, it's a lot more spectacular looking from this angle!

Looking east again- there's a mountain-cap glacier waaaaay off in the distance where the land meets the sky, see it?

OK, this is what the top of the mountain looks like, still looking east.  The tops of the mountains around here are flat plateaus.

Once you get out to the western edge (which is still at least 20 minutes of hiking once you get more or less to the top of the mountain, the gradual incline continues the whole way though), there is this cairn.  It's big, taller than hikers:

Below the cairn on a ledge, is this inukshuk:

Hike a few minutes south, (with the mountain top so large and flat, you have to hike around to see the views), and this is the view to the southeast:

Near the cairn, this is a look from above at the hard rock capping King George mountain, the "fortress" as my friend put it:

View to the west.  This is Arctic Bay, which is off Adams Sound (left part of the photo), which is off of Admiralty Inlet (background of the photo).  It's very clear, you can see the cliffs of the far side of Admiralty inlet in the background.  You could see them a lot more clearly in real life up there.

I like this photo, it shows the isthmus really well between the two bays, and a great view of the peninsula west of Arctic Bay.  That switchback road in the middle ground is the new road to the new sewage lagoon, that they are working on possibly 24 hours a day (they do take breaks, but I often see them working in the middle of the "night").  You could hear a lot of noise from the big trucks and machinery working on this hike, it wasn't the usual wilderness hike in the auditory sense.

One more view of the cap-rock formations on the way back.  Those colours on the background hills just grab me!

... and the way down would be the same as the way up, so I'll spare you, although I did take some more photos on the way down!


  1. Thanks again for sharing your story.. I've always wondered what King George looked like. I heard of that mountain before, but never recall seeing it. Some of the pics. seem to look like your Grand Canyon pics.
    Great pictures Nancy!

    Amon Akeeagok
    The Anonymous:-)

  2. Wow!Looks like an ambitious hike Nancy! Good going, and great pics.

  3. Anne W. in TorontoAugust 23, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    (Hi, Liz!) Well, I did that hike too, on August 18th, except I "chose" a different route down. I went straight down over treacherous boulders, you know, just for the extra workout. In the rain, too. I know I know -- I should just get my own blog, right, Nancy?

    Hey blog viewers, notice the lush green grass just downhill from the current sewage lagoon, in pictures #20 (after "...inukshuk") and #24 (after "...auditory sense"). Mmmmm - sewage.