Mount Corriveau

June 26, 2017


Chilliwack / Chilliwack Lake Road, BC

Mt. Corriveau is a somewhat uninteresting, forested and infrequently-ascended summit near Chilliwack. Although it’s not exactly a “small peak” by elevation, much of the mountain is wooded and there’s no maintained trail heading up meaning some degree of bushwhacking is required. Objectives like this lack mountaineering interest of any kind but those who did find their way up did report some above-average summit views. There are quite a few routes to choose from – the east side from Radium Creek has a good trip report on ClubTread while the longer north ridge makes a full-day winter ascent. A third, also the shortest via the steep west slopes was recently “published” and is the one I took.

Even with the newly-improved logging roads in Center Creek drainage and the recent beta I still wasn’t super motivated. The only reason I went for it was because I on purposely looked for a short outing on this past Monday. The decision wasn’t made until the morning of the ascent day, but once the call was made I quickly went to Superstore to grab some food and then made my way eastwards down Highway 1, and an hour or so later I made to the Chilliwack Lake Road. The turn-off for Center Creek FSR is the same as for Rexford’s approach except for I would go left this time instead of right. There are quite a few water bars and some steep sections on the main Center Creek FSR but up until the spur road (Awesome Road) turn-off my Tacoma was doing fine. I tried pushing a little bit higher but deep cross ditches were quite troublesome so that I pulled out at the first switch-back on this spur road.

Mt. Corriveau via west slopes. GPX DL

Gearing up took little time and then I easily hiked to the end of this spur road (Awesome Road). The beta from previous parties indicated two possible route choices and I chose the more direct, albeit steeper option that starts at the far left side of the cut-block. I should have stayed right on the edge of this cut-block as I discovered on the return, but instead I went directly up the middle of it. This was a little bit less efficient as I had to work around some dead-falls but otherwise it’s still fast going. The noon heat was beating down though and reaching the mature forest felt like such a relief. The entire ascent via this west slopes was steep, but bushwhacking did not come until the last 300 m or so.

Started hiking up the road. You’ll need a Jeep Wrangler to drive over the ditches..

Arriving at the upper end (the cut block). Aiming for the left edge

This cut-block is longer than you might think.

Mt. Rexford from the top of the cutblock.

As much as the lower forest goes

It’s steep, but not much of bushwhacking.

The reason I went into bushwhacking was that I stayed too far on climber’s left. This dumped me to some steep bluffy terrain and in between the bluffs I had to bash up some ugly krummoholz fields. Lots of vege belays and some “class 3 bush scrambling” techniques were applied. It wasn’t too bad but I certainly would look around for a better descent route. At this point I was committed to the route selection so just sucked it up.

It started to get bushy with lots of underbrush

And, other types of bush too…

And then, it gets bluffy..

Lots of slabs and krummholz thank to the bad route selection..

Finally made to the S/SE Ridge. The summit isn’t far now.

Another long break was taken on the summit ridge with views already opened up. The summit didn’t look far so I was not in a rush getting there. Eventually I did have to keep moving so off I went. There’s still some snow to take advantage on the ridge traverse and surprisingly there’s very minimal post-holing despite the recent heat wave. The traverse took longer than it looked and involved some minor route-finding and scrambling near the top.

Going for the summit. I followed the ridgeline for as much as I could

A typical view from the summit ridge traverse

Traversing into a cool gap

The final push.

Summit Panorama from Mt. Corriveau. Click to view large size.

Silvertip Mountain on the horizon

This is Mt. Webb, a classic scramble in this area

MacDonald Peak looks still very snowy

Could even see Mt. Shuksan in the distance

Mt. Lindeman

The fang of Slesse Mountain rises behind Illusion Peaks

Crossover Peak and Mt. MacFarlane

Williams Peak is another classic scramble nearby

Mt. Northgraves with Isollilock Peak behind

Me on the summit of Mt. Corriveau

Mt. Rexford massif – solo’d it last year from the backside

Panorama of Mt. Rexford and Center Creek Valley. Click to view large size.

Panorama of Radium Creek Valley. Click to view large size.

From my research I knew the north summit (which looked to be the same height) is actually slightly lower so I did already make to the true summit. After some internal debating I still wanted to go check off the north summit “just to be sure”. The traverse over was pretty short but the north summit was more-or-less a forested plateau. The view from the south summit is much better so my suggestion is to not bother with. After making my way back to the south summit I took the last break of the day preparing for the descent.

Going for the (lower) north summit

Down to the saddle now, looking ahead

Looking back towards the south summit

As much as the views from the north summit

Eastern view. If you look closely you can see a fraction of Chilliwack Lake

An interesting tarn provided some photography opportunity

Plodding back towards the south summit

Staying on snow made things easier.

After easily reversing the south/south-east ridge to where I topped out I decided to traverse further to the south-east hoping it’s less bushy and bluffy that way. Indeed, my intuition was correct and with some careful work I managed to stay away from any krummholz field. Eventually I entered the mature forest and did a diagonal traverse to get back to my ascent route, and then had no further issue descending to the cut-block. Now looking down from above I could see a faint set of path/trail on the north (skier’s right) edge of the cut-block so it’s a no brainier to just follow it down. This was much more fluent than going into the cut-block. The rest of the road hike was uneventful.

Dropping down into the west slopes.

Picking the line with the least resistance

As much as the bush goes for my descent. Good route-finding from above.

Back to the cut-block now.

Partway down, looking sideways towards Middle Peak

Down to the spur road (Awesome Road) now.

Back to the truck my round trip time was over 5 hours on a leisure pace. I was not pushing anything and instead, took a few long breaks to enjoy the views as I knew this mountain would likely never see me again. Negotiating the few deep ditches on the way down felt much easier. I went more carefully with the angle this time and managed to get away with not even one scrap (scrapped 3 times on the way up). I could see that the Tacoma TRD Sport isn’t as good as a Jeep Wrangler when it comes to steep off-roading, but oh well. It has other uses that the Jeep cannot do. Before driving back home I went down to Chilliwack Lake to kill some time so to avoid the rush-hour traffic which worked perfectly. There’s very minimal traffic and I got back right in time for dinner and that concluded another great day out.