The weather was sending us some nasty signals as we started the trudge over to Mount McArthur from Pollinger. The perspective also threw us off a bit because it really looked like we had a long way to go. After crossing a freshly coated snowfield we arrived at the ridge and picked our way up to the summit. It was cool to look down on Isolated Peak, knowing that we didn't have to do that one again! We arrived at the summit much quicker than anticipated with dark, grey clouds swirling all around us. Just as on Kiwetinok, the clouds dissipated as soon as we stood on the summit for a few moments, leaving us with another breathless summit view.
Fields of ice and snow, combined with small ponds of glacial runoff glittering in random spots of sunlight refreshed our spirits and reminded us once again why we choose such a demanding sport for leisure. We took some photos and began the descent to the Pollinger / Kiwetinok col.
[Bob coming up Mount McArthur with Kiwetinok Peak looming behind him and dark clouds looming over everything.]
[Bob at the summit Mount McArthur, Kiwetinok Peak in the background.]
[Vern on the summit of Mount McArthur.]
[Bob on the summit of Mount McArthur, looking at the Presidents.]
[Bob tries to make a rude gesture at Isolated Peak - because we've both done it and don't have to repeat it!]
[A spectacular scene of clouds and ice as seen from the descent ridge of McArthur, looking towards the Presidents.]
[The Presidents and their glacier with Vice President on the left and the President on the right..]
Once we got back to the crux climb to regain Pollinger, Bob headed out on the 'possible traverse' on the east side to bypass the crux. This traverse was very exposed ( i.e. you start to slide you're toast) but the scree was pretty solid and overall the traverse is less dangerous than the down climb. To do the traverse, simply go back about 10 meters from the down climb and peer down the east side of Pollinger. It looks nastier than it is but pick your footholds carefully... ;-)
[The crux on Pollinger as seen coming back. We went down to the right (climbers) and up on the left (climbers).]
[Bob traverses around the crux on climber's left. This is very exposed but the scree was consolidated and it worked.]
[This image shows the summit of Mount Pollinger, the summit of Mount McArthur and the bypass to the crux.]
[Another fabulous view awaits us as we descend to Kiwetinok Pass.]
From Pollinger we spent some time side-sloping down from the col to Kiwetinok Pass. We had a fun time going through the various cliff bands but the large scree proved tedious after a while. Finally we made it down to the pass, feeling quite tired and very impressed with Andrew's recent accomplishment of all four summits AND a trek to and from the Takkakkaw Falls parking lot! We didn't really feel like taking on Kerr but we knew that it was a better option than waiting till Sunday morning before the trek out to do it.
[Bob down climbs a cliff on the way back from Pollinger to Kiwetinok Pass.]