Hiking around Red Dog Mine

Another trip to Red Dog Mine and a full week of rain. With winter approaching and the days getting shorter, it gets more and more difficult for an after-work hike.

Looks easy enough

It had to be done though. After two other trips to RD and two unsuccessful attempts to reach Volcano it was time to go for glory.

On the caribou trail

For the first attempt (this time with a buddy) we bee-lined it straight from camp to the mountain only to find that over the last ridge there was a huge gorge that would loose all our elevation gained and force a steep scramble up Volcano’s east slope.

June weather… not perfect for hiking

The second attempt (with a different workmate) it was June and there was a surprising amount of snow. We were starting from C+C camp which is a lot closer but we spent so much time getting through snow drifts that we had to turn back.

Red Dog Mine

3rd time’s a charm. After studying the topo maps I designed a route that looped around the south side to approach in such a way minimizing elevation change. On the last night before leaving, miraculously the rain let up and as soon as we were done for the day, I took off.

Just before entering the cloud (and snow), 3rd attempt

I had to remind myself a number of times how crazy it is to go off alone just before dark into the middle of absolutely nowhere. It’s better not to dwell on such things and press forward. I did have a mine radio and bear spray so what could go wrong?

A little foreboding as night approaches on the last stretch before Volcano

Soon it was up into the clouds and walking through snow. After navigating some questionable slopes, I made it! It wasn’t one of those hikes where you get to see anything but the final view is only ever one of the aspects of the journey.

Smiles all around for the summit selfie. Now the race back before dark…

I don’t expect this to be the last Red Dog hike. Probably not even the last summit of Volcano. I’m already scheming a route up Deadlock Mt. which looks to be even more impressive and challenging.