Friday Mountain

February 8, 2022


Princeton, BC

Friday Mountain is a broad and forested plateau immediately to the west of Sunday Summit on Highway 3, about halfway between Manning Park and Princeton. Asides from the near-500m prominence and the officially named status I don’t see any other reason why anyone would even consider ascending this peak. The entire area is heavily logged and the summit was entirely forested based off the satellite images. However, after ascending the north ridge I popped out on an enormous clear-cut on the summit such that the entire south side of the peak had been logged recently. I don’t know if this makes this peak slightly more attractive or less. The logging clear-cuts themselves are ugly, but thank to them one could finally see some views from this summit.

I had been looking at this peak for a number of years but I could never convince anybody to join and I wasn’t too keen to drive all the way there by myself only for a dumpster summit. On this Tuesday I finally pulled the trigger as I didn’t really have any better option. I had to drive far to the east to find pockets of better weather. I also needed an easy objective to test out my brand new TSL Symbioz Elite snowshoes. I woke up at 5:30 am in the morning, drove to Abbotsford to have a massive breakfast in the A&W and then drove another 2 hours out east past Manning Park. The start of the FSR system that I planned to use was even plowed but that only lasted for 200 meters. The active logging was on a different spur to the south, so I parked the truck and donned snowshoes. It seemed like I would have to break trail from the start to the finish. I was hoping for some snowmobile tracks on these roads but to no avail.

Friday Mountain snowshoe route. GPX DL

The weather was better than expected in the morning with “mostly sunny” skies so the stoke was high. I had previously adjusted the bindings of these new snowshoes so donning them didn’t take much time. The trail-breaking was not the easiest, but tolerable. I learnt right away that these TSL snowshoes weren’t the greatest for flotation as they bended too easily. Thankfully I had thought about that when buying these snowshoes as I bought the largest size (27 inches). The flotation felt worse than the MSR 25 inches Lightning Ascents but probably still better than the 22 inches ones. I had to check GPS regularly to make sure I picked the correct spur upon reaching one junction after another. Eventually after over 4 km and 400 m elevation gain I finally finished plodding up these logging roads. I left the road slightly earlier than planned as I was tired of the post-holing and the monotonous slog.

There were active logging in the immediate area
My Taco parked at the start of the road I wanted to take
Unfortunately no track whatsoever on the road I needed to take…
Trail-breaking from the start.
The typical view from the initial 4 km road-walk

The forested travel heading up the broad NE Ridge was pretty much as expected. The thick snowpack had covered all of the dead-falls such that bushwhacking was non-existence. However, the terrain was still monotonous and the views were next to nothing. There was one undulating stretch that was confusing and disorienting such that I almost made a circle while trying to traverse across a minor bump. Thankfully I had a habit to check GPS every few minutes so I quickly corrected that mistake. The ascent onto the broad N. Ridge was uneventful. The summit was farther than it seemed and like mentioned earlier I came out of the forest on the very summit unexpectedly. I’m sure those clear-cuts were new as the highest logging spur was even free of snow, suggesting on-going active logging. Unfortunately the weather had turned overcast and the wind was cold.

This is looking back just after leaving the road
One of the open areas in the forest
Dead falls field covered in snow. Would be a mess in summer…
Onto the broad north ridge.
Snowshoeing up through the burnt forest
Looking towards Flat Top Mountain that I ascended in Oct. 2021
The Manning Park direction was fully soaked in.
Me on the summit of Friday Mountain

I only took a few photos on the summit and immediately started the descent. I briefly thought about to just walk down on those dirt roads but I didn’t know where exactly those roads were heading, so I just retraced my own tracks. The plod was extremely boring and monotonous even on the descent, such that I almost feel asleep at times. The round trip distance was over 14 km so it wasn’t that short of a day as I thought. I eventually got back home at dinner time.

A glimpse of views from the descent
It seemed like someone hung their garbage bags 3 meters above…
It was a long slog…