Illal Mountain

September 4, 2019


Coquihalla Pass / Tulameen FSR, BC

“Illal Mountain” is the unofficial name of the flat-topped bump immediately north of Illal Meadows in the headwaters of Illal Creek. This peak doesn’t boast much peak-bagging interest, but for those scrambling the much-bigger Coquihalla Mtn. a detour to Illal Mtn. only addes less than one additional hour. There’s a photogenic alpine lake on the southern slopes that attracts hikers and overnight campers and overall this zone is fairly popular in the summer months. Connor, Vlad and I opted for this side trip immediately after finishing a traverse of Coquihalla Mountain.

Coquihalla Traverse, Jim Kelly and Illal Mtn. scramble route. GPX DL

From the broad pass between Coquihalla Mtn. and Jim Kelly Peak we picked a game trail ascending to the next broad pass between Jim Kelly Peak and Illal Mtn., and then ditched some unnecessary gears and food. The game trail seemed to go towards the direction we wanted to we followed it, up and over at least one subsidiary bump to the small alpine lake south of Illal Mountain’s summit plateau. Beyond that lake we ascended some easy scree to the summit.

Illal Mountain from partway down from Coquihalla Mtn.

This is the game trail that ascends out of Coquihalla/Jim Kelly pass

Vlad hiking towards Illal Mtn. with Jim Kelly Peak behind

This is Illal Mountain ahead of us

Arriving at that blue tarn south of the peak

The game trail continues past the tarn onto scree

It’s that same tarn, viewing from a different angle

That tarn with Jim Kelly Peak behind

The last 50 m to the summit had unavoidable treadmill scree

Partial Summit Panorama from Illal Mountain. Click to view large size.

Partial Summit Panorama from Illal Mountain. Click to view large size.

Needle Peak with Markhor Peak on the right

Vlad approaching the summit of Illal Mountain, with Carry Peak behind

“Spiral Peak” in the foreground

The slabs of Yak Peak in foreground with Alpaca, Vicuna, Guanaco behind

Me on the summit of Illal Mountain

Connor and I lingered there for no more than 15 minutes before rushing back down to Illal/Jim Kelly col. Vlad opted for a more leisurely pace because he had already done Jim Kelly Peak. Adam and Frances were slowly descending Coquihalla Mtn. and were skipping Illal for Jim Kelly, so Connor and I must hurry up in order to bag all three peaks and meanwhile not slowing everyone else down. And the day continued with an ascent of Jim Kelly Peak.

The massif of Coquihalla Mtn. behind that photogenic tarn