Elevation Gain: 3,652'
Max Difficulty: mostly class 2+, some class 3 on ridge proper, with options for class 4
With Bob "missing", it was up to us ladies to tackle some 13ers without our token male. Ah, poor Kate, Bob-less for the weekend. Kate had originally suggested Hunts, but with the recent Ox-Cart fire, I wasn't sure we would escape that hike not covered in soot. So onto the next plan. Kate wanted short but sweet, so I dug into the list, and found Ervin and Blaurock. These would do!
So Friday evening we all drive up to our campsite/trailhead for the night. Special note - the outdated quad maps and TOPO! software show the end of the road at our trail start, but in fact the road continues. So don't be lulled into that. We started from where a mining road goes up Winfield's east slope.
We start before the ass-crack of dawn. The forecast is for 50% storms, so we're not going to take any chances. It's a bushwack from the start, but eventually the trees thin and the rocky ridge ascent starts. Steep from the very beginning, and continues until the upper summit ridge.
A pink sky behind Winfield Peak
Looks like a nice ridge up Ervin
Staying ridge proper leads to some class 2+
Upper ridge gets rockier
I vaguely remembered from previous TR's that the ridge is a bit scrambly, but I was surprised to see how much there actually was. Lots of practice route finding and having fun on the rocks. With the early start, there was no rush, and we all had fun. Where's Bob during all this excitement?!
The start of the scramble to Ervin on summit ridge
Looking at the remaining ridge to Ervin
Choose your scramble. Class 3 notch on right, or up the gut class 4
The backside scramble
We arrive on the summit of Ervin after a very satisfactory ridge scramble. I guess you could avoid much of it and have class 2+, but why? The work-arounds looked much less pleasant and more scree loose like.
Kate and "Bob" on summit of Ervin
Looking back at the summit ridge to Ervin Peak
The Huron massif
We spent some time on the summit chatting, but soon it was time to head back along the ridge over to Blaurock. Maybe Bob is over there? So back down the scrambly ridge we go!
Valerie following me down the class 4 option from pic #8 (Kate: I think I see Bob over there!)
The majority of the ridge over to Blaurock (once past the Ervin side) is easy tundra walking. That is, until you get up to the false summit. Then it's a blocky rocky undulating ridgeline to follow or skirt. Is Bob hiding in the rocks? At times we stuck ridge proper, when the slope below looked less than pleasant. While at other times, a skirt of a ridge prominence was an easier choice.
Ahh, looks like a simple ridge over to Blaurock.
Hmmm, looking towards the summit of Blaurock from the false summit along the ridge.
On the summit of Blaurock, the puffy clouds started forming, but nothing threatening at all. Nor did they develop into anything all day long. So we were able to hang out for a little while before heading back down to the cars, and heading our separate ways. Kate would eventually find Bob at the airport, so don't worry!
Kate and "Bob" on Blaurock
Huron and 2 Apostles peaking out
scrambling down the ridge from Blaurock
Last bit of rockiness down ridge, before tundra and trees