Icemaker Mountain

June 25, 2021


Salal Creek / Upper Lillooet FSR, BC

Icemaker Mountain is a very aptly-named summit in the vicinity of Athelney Pass with massive glaciers on all sides. This peak apparently sees some heli-skiing action but is not often heard in the scrambling and peak-bagging community. This peak is also somewhat overshadowed by the nearby “Ribu/P1000m” – Mt. Ethelweard such that it has simply become an add-on objective. The most logical way to tag the three peaks here is by making a loop traverse. Either direction is fine. Brayden and I decided to head into this fabled Athelney Pass area in “late spring” time frame and we chose to climb Mt. Ethelweard before making a clockwise traverse towards Icemaker Mtn. and Mt. Guthrum.

Athelney Pass Group of peaks slam – GPX DL

From the base of the SW Gully of Mt. Ethelweard we made a simply dash across/ascend the glacier towards an obvious col to the east of “Ethelweard S1”. We had little interest in bagging that unnamed sub-summit so immediately dropped down the south side of the col losing over 100 m of preciously-earned elevation. Our objective now was to gain the broad NE Ridge of Icemaker Mtn. and we had a few choices. I was aiming for a low-level snow bypass but then we made a spontaneous decision to use a snow couloir/face to gain the ridge earlier. The terrain looked literally shit in this stretch in Alex’s trip report but in June with snow coverage this was actually a pleasant short climb to hop onto the ridge. Once there we were also greeted by some cool breeze and we took a longish food break.

Walking away from the base of Mt. Ethelweard
Plodding up the broad glacier towards the col beside “Ethelweard S1”
Brayden reaching the col
Brayden with Icemaker Mountain behind
The NE Ridge of Icemaker Mountain directly ahead
Unnamed peaks and unnamed glaciers to the east of Icemaker Mtn.
We found a neat snow passage to gain the NE Ridge
The roll ahead would be the first steep section on the ridge

From here to the summit of Icemaker Mtn. was a pure slog on snow for 300 m elevation and the views were extremely foreshortened. Firstly we had to post-hole up a steep wall and the steeper the terrain, the worst the post-holing became. Thankfully the terrain petered out for a while after this steep grunt, and now looking back we could finally spot the Midnight Crew on that seracs section bypass slogging towards the base of Mt. Ethelweard. From here onward we could constantly spy their progress on the main objective while I was sure they could see us as well. The summit block of Icemaker Mtn. was actually quite steep and required a short stretch of 40+ degree snow climbing although in the soft conditions all we needed was crampons.

Higher up at the base of that steep roll now. The summit wasn’t visible
Brayden on the ridge with Mt. Ethelweard behind
Partial Summit Panorama from Icemaker Mountain. Click to view large size.
Partial Summit Panorama from Icemaker Mountain. Click to view large size.
A closer look at Mt. Ethelweard and the SW Gulley
Ochre Mountain in the foreground with the Chilcotin peaks behind
Looking south towards Mt. Athelstan and the immense glaciers in between
This is looking down the untouched Boulder Creek valley
A closer look at the north face of Mt. Athelstan
Mt. Dalgleish, Lillooet Mtn. and Mt. Tisiphone on Lillooet Icefield
Brayden and I on the summit of Icemaker Mountain

We did not stay too long on the summit because the views were somewhat similar to what we had already seen and we still had Mt. Guthrum to ascend. Instead, after snapping some photos we quickly made our way down the west ridge onto a series of snow ramps that we opted to glissade on. I did a total of 3 or 4 long glissade and we soon post-holed down to the broad Guthrum/Icemaker col, which was much lower than I thought.

Brayden glissading one of the few rolls on Icemaker’s W. Ridge
Another look at Mt. Ethelweard’s SW Face and Gulley
It was a fast plunge down the soft snow.