Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gros Morne Mountain

After leaving Dover Island we blew through northern Nova Scotia to catch another boat.

I'm sure Cape Breton is beautiful, and we did see some cool scenery on the drive through, but we had bigger fish to fry. Or, more accurately, bigger islands to visit. We arrived in Newfoundland at 6:00am, after taking the red-eye ferry, and drove directly up to Gros Morne National Park. The long term forecast wasn't looking all that great, so we needed to take advantage of the whatever decent weather we had.

There isn't a lot of established climbing on the western coast of Newfoundland, so we decided to do some more traditional touring to see the sights. First up was hiking to the top of Gros Morne Mountain, a 16km hike round trip, with 800 meters of elevation gain. Here is Kristal about 4km into the hike, approaching the base of the mountain itself.

The crux is the steep ascent up the rocky gully seen above. It wasn't really much worse than many of the approaches to remote climbs we've done over the last year though, and without heavy climbing packs on it didn't actually feel too bad. Here's the view looking back from the top of the gully.

As far as summits go, Gros Morne's isn't all that distinct, and if it wasn't for the sign at the top you might be hard pressed to point it out. It was pretty crazy to see a huge field of talus at the top of a mountain.

The backside of the mountain provided some pretty impressive views, with some amazing looking cliffs.

We were excited to see our first moose of the trip as we started down the back side. It wasn't until a few days later that we realized how many moose there actually are around here. Apparently it wasn't that big a deal.

We also saw some pretty cool flowers on the way.

The terrain around here is pretty amazing, and even though we'd rather be climbing, we're actually looking forward to hiking around to see more.