Snass Mountain

October 5, 2015

2309m

Manning Provincial Park, BC

Snass Mountain is one of the bigger objectives in Manning Park, an area in the BC Cascades dominated by rolling terrain, giant hills and non-technical mountains. I hadn’t done any peak around here before so making at least one visit was surely in the order before winter comes. I have to say I wasn’t quite in the mood of getting out immediately after the 2-day Phelix Creek peak-bagging trip, but weather was too nice to stay home… This objective wasn’t supposed to be a long one thank to the well-built trail system, but did involve 1500+ meters of elevation gain…

Snass Mountain ascent route

Snass Mountain ascent route. GPX DL

After a very non-alpine start (7:30 am from home) I drove out eastwards along Highway 1 then Highway 3. About 2.5 hours later I was already on my way up the Dewdney Trail. This was a relatively flat trail travelling on the valley floor and 2.5 km onwards I’d take the narrower and steeper branch – Whatcom Trail to the right. There’s not much to document about this trail other than a few bushy traverses through avalanche slide paths and the fact it seemed to keep going on and on forever. I could feel the distance and height gain I just covered in the previous two days. My legs weren’t happy and my mind was tired but at this point I had already committed to this ascent…

This trail traverses through quite a few Devil's Club field...

This trail traverses through quite a few Devil’s Club field…

Lots of alders around. Good thing I don't have to bushwhack...

Lots of alders around. Good thing I don’t have to bushwhack…

One of the many opening areas

One of the many opening areas

A glimpse of my objective. Still far away...

A glimpse of my objective. Still far away…

Almost at the col now.

Almost at the col now.

A few hours later I arrived at the col NW of my objective. Ahead the trail continued dropping down to Punch Bowl but that’s not where I was going. Instead I took a sharp turn to the right, changed my footwear to mountaineering boots then up the vegetated NW Ridge. There’s a bit of steep grass and scree to overcome at the start, a bit of light bushwhacking and then a bit of scrambling along a narrow ridge and soon I was standing on the first highpoint. The ascent to the false summit looked like Rockies’ styled scree bashing and I was right. The texture of the rocks felt more sedimentary than what I would expect from the BC Coastal mountain ranges.

From the col looking towards a sub-peak of Snass Mountain

From the col looking towards a sub-peak of Snass Mountain

Looking down into Punch Bowl

Looking down into Punch Bowl

Upwards and onwards..

Upwards and onwards..

A scrambling section

A scrambling section

From the first highpoint, looking upwards

From the first highpoint, looking upwards

Another look down into Punch Bowl

Another look down into Punch Bowl

Scree slog...

Scree slog…

From the false summit I got to see the pointy Snazzy Peak to the left. This was my first time seeing this interesting pinnacle and I think I’ll have to come back for it at some point. The true summit appeared fairly impressive along the ridge but it also showed the amount of ground I still had to cover. I was very beat (both physically and mentally) but at this point I really had no other choice other than sucking it up, and half an hour later I was on the top, soaking in the 360-degree views. I took a lengthy break regathering my strength before committing to the descent.

From the false summit, looking ahead

From the false summit, looking ahead

The pointy Snazzy Peak stole the show

The pointy Snazzy Peak stole the show

The true summit ahead

The true summit ahead

Looking over the S. Ridge shoulder

Looking over the S. Ridge shoulder

Looking back towards the ridge I just came from

Looking back towards the ridge I just came from

Almost there. Note the mythic BC summit green tower...

Almost there. Note the mythic BC summit green tower…

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Snazzy Peak

Snazzy Peak

Coquihalla Mountain et al. by Coquihalla Pass

Coquihalla Mountain et al. by Coquihalla Pass

The Old Settler

The Old Settler

Mt. Outram is the highest peak by Manning Park

Mt. Outram is the highest peak by Manning Park

Silvertip Mountain is another big one

Silvertip Mountain is another big one

An obligatory shot of Mt. Baker

An obligatory shot of Mt. Baker

Mt. Spickard (L) and Mt. Redoubt (R) just across the border

Mt. Spickard (L) and Mt. Redoubt (R) just across the border

Hozomeen Mountain

Hozomeen Mountain

Looking North-east the scenery is more Interior Plateau than Coastal..

Looking North-east the scenery is more Interior Plateau than Coastal..

Me on the summit of Snass Mountain

Me on the summit of Snass Mountain

Another panorama from the summit. Click to view large size.

Another panorama from the summit. Click to view large size.

One more panorama. Click to view large size.

One more panorama. Click to view large size.

The descent was much faster than expected. Within 1 hour I was already back at the col. Boots off and sneakers on I was ready to game for the long hike-out. It’s also more pleasant than what I remembered from on the way in, although still fairly mind-numbing. Two hours later I arrived back at the parking lot and this concluded a fairly good day up a relatively mediocre objective.

Looking back at the summit block

Looking back at the summit block

One last view of Snazzy Peak

One last view of Snazzy Peak

Typical scenery from this region I assume

Typical scenery from this region I assume

The false summit

The false summit

The lake in Punch Bowl

The lake in Punch Bowl

Back to the trail

Back to the trail

Quite a few deadfalls on this trail

Quite a few deadfalls on this trail

Overall I can’t say I’d highly recommend Snass Mountain as a scramble objective. It’s a fairly long day out (roughly 25 km distance and 1500 m elevation gain), and the ascent is nothing but a long plod. The majority part is monotonous and there’s very minimal hands-on section. However, I have to say it’s a great viewpoint in Manning Park with most of the bigger peaks from Coquihalla Pass down to the North Cascades visible on a clear day, and nonetheless it’s a good peak to bag and a fairly big day for a work-out. And now with some rainy weather it’s time to rest up…

Advertisements