Coliseum Mountain

September 21, 2021


North Shore Mountains, BC

Coliseum Mountain is rather just a sub-summit of Mt. Burwell massif with very low prominence but the name is official and the peak is a very popular hike either from via Norvan Falls trail from Lynn Creek or via Paton Lookout trail from Seymour Valley. On a clear day this summit offers some of the finest views in the North Shore Mountains and despite the long approach this is a recommended hike. I did this peak as part of the bigger mission to ascend Cathedral Mountain. Earlier in the day Francis and I biked up Seymour Valley Trailway before sunrise and tagged “Paton Peak” in the early morning hours. This was shaping up to be a big ass day.

Cathedral Mountain et al. via the standard route. GPX DL

The trail beyond Paton/Coliseum saddle was still well marked but the terrain started to become rougher and rougher with more and more slippery rocks showing underneath. The trail had also started to become slightly overgrown. On a dry summer day I’m sure hikers won’t notice this but on a wet September morning with heavy dew on the leaves we were drenched in no time. At around 1200 m elevation we crossed a slippery boulder field and crested the broad SE Ridge of Coliseum Mountain where we were also joined by the other trail coming up from Norvan Falls.

Me ascending the first boulder field of the day
The trail was extremely wet and slippery from the recent rain and dew
Me traversing this stretch of boulder field towards the SE Ridge
Looking back from that stretch of boulder field

The trail beyond that junction was still easy to follow and the terrain had transitioned to the rocky sub-alpine zone. We started to encounter short scrambling steps on granite with some open views. Eventually after some twists and turns on the trail we came to a massive opening on granite slabs with unobstructed views towards The Needles and the city. We veered climber’s right and easily scrambled onto the summit. We were both blown by the views from this vantage point. None of us came here expecting Coliseum Mtn. to be a memorable summit so this was a pleasant surprise.

As you can see, this trail was very rocky and rough at places
Francis tackling a steep scrambling step which was a bit off-route
A small tarn in the foreground with the typical North Shore scenery behind
Me in front of The Needles that I bagged in February 2017
The typical North Shore granite terrain under the summit.
Francis traversing the treeline terrain near the summit
Cathedral Mountain was our primary objective
Goat Mountain and the peaklets near Grouse Mountain
The east face of Crown Mountain massif including “Spindle Peak”
Partial Summit Panorama from Coliseum Mountain. Click to view large size.
Partial Summit Panorama from Coliseum Mountain. Click to view large size.
Mt. Elsay, Runner Peak and Mt. Seymour across Seymour Valley
Seymour Lake in the foreground with Five Fingers group dominating the skyline
One of the Cornett Lakes in foreground with the elusive Mt. Eldee behind
Me on the summit of Coliseum Mountain
Francis and I on the summit of Coliseum Mountain

The descent from the summit down into Coliseum/Burwell saddle was a short one but involved some up-and-downs. The tarn immediately after the summit of Coliseum Mtn. was a good spot to take a food break and to load up water bottles. After the break we carried on towards Mt. Burwell.

Francis starting the descent
Ahead is that permanent tarn with “West Burwell” behind on left
Francis posing at this tarn with Mt. Burwell behind
Another photo of this lovely tarn that we used at water sources