Botanie Mountain

November 24, 2019


Lytton / Fraser Canyon, BC

Botanie Mountain is one of the peaks with over 2000 feet of prominence on the immediate east side of Fraser Canyon. The summit itself is rather dull and partially forested, but because of the prominence this peak is not unheard in the peak-bagging community. At least a few baggers from Washington state had driven that far for this bushwhack. A locally popular 4×4 fire road goes all the way to a lookout on the south summit, but the traverse to the true (north) summit requires an additional 4 km each way with significant elevation change. For a few years I thought the traverse was the way to do this peak until I noticed the Izman Creek FSR on the NE flanks. This spur road system was not marked on until recent and was certainly not marked on Gaia map neither. I noticed this road by browsing the satellite images. The Izman Creek FSR starts from near Botanie Lake at the head of Botanie Valley and switchbacks up to around 1700 m elevation leaving only less than 400 m gain to reach the summit.

Alex, Marius and I made the spontaneous decision to squeeze this ascent into this past Sunday after finishing Conte Peak (Botanie Fire Lookout) earlier in the day. It’s obvious that the true (north) summit of Botanie Mountain is the bigger prize from peak-bagging perspective, but the south summit (Conte Peak) is more well-known and offers better views, so we opted to prioritize that one. After driving down the sketchy fire lookout road I turned left up the main Botanie Valley Road and before reaching Botanie Lake I correctly located the signed Izman Creek FSR. This spur road was in a much better shape than expected with only minor water bars. The start of this road was at around 1000 m elevation and we started to encounter fresh snow at around 1200 m but the snow never became deep and the road never became too steep. My truck with only stock tires did excellently on bringing us to as high as we could drive too.

Botanie Mountain via Izman FSR. GPX DL

A quick transition later saw us starting the cut block immediately above us. The snow was continuous but firm enough to walk on without much of post-holing. We did discover a lot of holes on thin spots near fallen trees but for the most part the going was easy. The bushwhack was also not as bad as expected and actually became better towards the upper 200 m elevation gain. The terrain levelled out for a while and the hike was mostly in open forest. We arrived at the summit also earlier than expected and earned some time to soak in the evening views.

Tacoma parked at around 1700m on Izman FSR

My truck at the start of the cutblock. Photo by Alex R.

Another photo of the cutblock. Photo by Alex R.

Marius bushwhacking up the typical forest

Arriving at the summit, looking down towards the south peak (Conte Peak)

A closer look at the east face of Stein Mountain across the canyon

Mt. Roach with Nikaia Mountain behind on the left

Me on the summit of Botanie Mountain

Another photo of me on the summit with that green tower

Evening horizon over the Stein area

Another photo of the evening sky above Mt. Roach et al.

This is a northern view up the Fraser Canyon towards Lillooet area

We didn’t want to wait till the actual sunset because we were a long ways to get back home, so rushed the way back down. I managed to follow our set of tracks all the way back in the fading daylight time. When we got back to the truck it was pretty much too dark to see but the headlamps did stay in the pack. The drive down the snowy Izman Creek FSR required caution but imposed no problem to my Tacoma and in about half an hour we were back to the main Botanie Valley Road. Another half an hour or so later we were back to Lytton. The rest of the drive back home was exhausting as usual. Overall this was a very successful first trip to Lytton area and I can’t wait to come back again.

Me starting the descent. Photo by Alex R.

Alex and Marius starting down.