Mount Snider

July 28-29, 2019


Hope / Sowaqua FSR, BC

Mt. Snider is not a tall summit by any measure and in fact, it’s largely overshadowed by the much-bigger Tulameen Mountain to the south-east, but Mt. Snider is not often ascended at least on the internet and has reputation to be one of the more obscured summits in its broad vicinity. There are a few good trip reports on ClubTread and that’s pretty much it. One cannot find more useful beta. The plan among Alex, Paul, Marius and myself was to ascend both Tulameen Mountain and Mt. Snider in two days so that we didn’t have to do the approach two separate times. The first day went really well that earlier in the afternoon we had already tagged Tulameen Mountain.

Tulameen Mtn. and Mt. Snider from Sowaqua FSR. GPX DL

There were still at least 3-4 hours till sunset and not wanting to just camp on the shoulder of Tulameen Mtn. we decided to carry on over at least two subsidiary summits towards Mt. Snider to camp. Alex had put in hours studying Google Earth and said there might have some tarns on one particular summit although none of us wanted to put much fate on that. We all carried all of the water we brought and were prepared for no water whatsoever. The immediate descent off the west shoulder of Tulameen Mtn. had some nasty bushwhack but we then picked up a trail traversing over bumps towards Mt. Snider. This trail was mentioned in Simon’s trip report so we weren’t surprised, but the quality of it did impress us. Unfortunately the trail faded away towards a major dip on the ridge (over 150 m elevation loss). The ascent out of the notch with almost 300 m elevation gain on steep brushes was terrible with a heavy pack and in the heat. We did find more than just one tarns near the summit of that bump with one particular tarn quite large. The water was still too stagnant to drink but I figured it should be fine after boiling, so we loaded up at least an additional 2 L each and carried on to the summit where we had some neat views. The camping on this spot was worth the haul with 360-degree panoramic views. The north face of Tulameen Mountain stole the show.

Dense bushwhacking to drop off the west shoulder of Tulameen Mtn.

We then picked up a good trail on the ridge

Ridge and meadows in the sky. Photo by Alex R.

The bump ahead was where we camped.

Marius and the west bump of Tulameen Mtn. behind

The full show of North Face of Tulameen Mountain

We found a tarn for water source!

Yep there’s another tarn near the summit of this bump

A zoomed-in view of Tulameen’s north face

Mt. Hatfield

The north face of Mt. Outram looks very differently than the south side

Home sweet home!

The Old Settler on the horizon

This view is as typical as SW BC gets

Cheam Range in the distant horizon.

It’s dinner time. The views were worth the haul to get here

Mt. Judge Howay

Evening glow on the north face of Tulameen Mountain

It’s sunset time.

The next morning we woke up at sunrise for more photos and carried on towards Mt. Snider. The theme of this peak was up-and-downs and it sure didn’t disappoint us even on the summit day. We had to ascend over at least 4 or 5 local maximums before reaching the true summit on the far NW end of the ridge. The summit was partially forested but did have some nice views. I recognized some big names from Washington state and judging by the register this peak gets no more than 1 ascent per year on average.

Morning glow on the southern horizon from camp

Marius’s tent

Alex leading the way. Ahead is just one of the many false summits

Paul following on the ridge.

This is the typical plodding on the ridge

One last dip before the true summit

This is looking over Jorgenson Peak and Squeah Mtn. towards The Old Settler

Foley Peak, Welch Peak, The Still, Stewart Peak from L to R along Cheam Range

Mt. Hatfield in foreground; Silvertip Mountain in background

The forested Mt. Jarvis in foreground

The north face of Mt. Grant by Silver-Skagit Valley

Coins in the summit register that I remembered from other trip reports

Our group shot on the summit of Mt. Snider

Me on the summit of Mt. Snider

Another photo of me on the summit of Mt. Snider

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

The reverse of the summit ridge back to camp was tedious because of the elevation regain but we had to face it. There was more elevation regain with a heavier pack because we had to plod all the way back to the west shoulder of Tulameen Mtn. We did think about possibly bailing down the south slopes directly to Sowaqua FSR but that meant an additional 8 km of road walk with more than 200 m gain at the end. I did not bring a pair of trail-runners and certainly wasn’t looking forward to that in my mountaineering boots. We also tried hard to find the trail in that deep vegetated notch but with no luck. That zone still had some bushwhacking.

Looking back towards the summit of Mt. Snider

Re-ascending out of the deep vegetated notch

Picking up the trail on the ridge

Almost back to Tulameen’s west shoulder now

Side-hilling to minimize elevation regain

The descent down from Tulameen’s west shoulder was brutal as expected. The day was toasty and our feet were sore. We made some not-so-fast but steady progress down the 1000 m south slopes in several stages. Before committing to the down I said we should sit down eating as much food as we could, because I wasn’t expecting much of a “long break” once we started down. We managed to lose the trail several times in the forest but with GPS device we regained the trail soon afterwards. The cut block at the end wasn’t fun just as on the way up.

Me heading down from the high shoulder. Photo by Alex R.

Alex descending the long and steep scree section

Staying close to the edge to avoid unnecessary bushwhacking

Into the forest. The key was to find, and stay on the trail

Paul coming out of the cutblock near the end

This turned out to be an efficient 2-day trip exploring in the BC Cascades and we succeeded in tagging our objectives, but definitely a Type II fun kind of outing. If you don’t “have to ” ascend Mt. Snider then it’d be much more enjoyable to just do Tulameen Mtn. as a day-trip. There aren’t much recommended for Mt. Snider.