December 29, 2015
Pemberton / Lillooet Lake Road, BC
Haven Peak and Beacon Mountain are just two of the small summits nearby the much-bigger Cloudraker Mountain and can be easily accessed from Lizzie Creek Cabin on skis. After a few days in a roll of questionable weather the first bluebird day came on Day 5 of our trip and we were all excited to get the views that we’d been missing in the previous few days. We could have done something bigger but decided to follow our schedule. The rest of the trip was going to be sunny anyway so there’s no need to rush.
These two together would be a longer day than Shields Peak so we did an alpine start by head-lamp. After plodding up and across Long Lake following our skin tracks we were rewarded by some alpenglow views. The next section was to traverse up and over the undulating ridge around Tarn Peak and towards Tarn/Shields col, and thank to our previous day’s exploration we could just simply follow our skin tracks and it’s all easy going.
The only experimental section was the descent from Tarn/Shields pass down to Haven Lake. We didn’t get a clear view of that section from our previous few days’ ascents but upon examining closely it’s pretty straightforward. Alan and Ben dropped a steep line while Alex and I opted for an gentler option, but nonetheless the skiing was super short and once hitting the (very cold) Haven Lake it’s time to put the skins back on again. We then followed the creek up to Shields Lake and from there on it seemed like we’d have numerous options. We opted for the climber’s right hand side ridge so gained elevation steadily up the sparsely treed forest.
The views gradually opened up as we gained height and around the corner we got to see the final ascend up the broad NE Ridge. It’s super easy going and we made to the summit in good time. I went a bit down along the south ridge to check out the possibility to connect Famine Mountain from here and got no good news. That meant the next day we’d still have to traverse around Shields Peak on its south side but that’s fine.
We spent some time admiring the views before traversing towards our next objective – Beacon Mountain.