Mount Delilah

July 21, 2019


Pemberton / Upper Lillooet FSR, BC

Mt. Delilah is the shortest of the three officially named summits surrounding Boomerang Glacier but don’t get me wrong. All three peaks in this area are tall by SW BC standard. There are only two published routes – the NE Ridge that’s mostly 3rd class scrambling but has a very exposed 4th class crux, and the “SW Chute” that bypasses the technical crux. Alex, Paul and I had ascended Mt. Sampson and Sessel Mountain earlier in the trip and now we were looking at Mt. Delilah. We camped at the broad pass between Mt. Delilah and Mt. Sampson so the most logical way was to take the NE Ridge, up and down. We all wanted to do some hands-on scrambling after the slog on Sessel Mtn.

Sampson Group peak-bagging. GPX DL

The NE Ridge could be broken down into several stages. The first stage was mostly class 2-3 scrambling on easy ledges and topped out on a flat section. We ditched the trekking poles at the beginning of “stage 2” where we had to be careful about route-finding. Generally speaking we stayed on climber’s left side of the ridge crest. The route-finding was easy going with many different options to make it work, and we did manage to keep the scrambling within “class 3” range without having to backtrack much. There’s also an option to ascend the snow arete but none of us was in the mood for more unnecessary gear transitions.

Me starting the NE Ridge. Photo by Alex R.

Paul ascending an odd patch of snow that we opted to step onto

Paul with Sessel Mountain behind – our previous objective

Alex on some mossy, slippery 3rd class ledges

This is the upper Hurley River valley

Route-finding is the key on this route

After a long while ascending on the shaddy climber’s left side we opted to regain the ridge

The third stage of this ridge was mostly just a flat walk on either rock slabs or snow, but involved that technical crux. It was harder than anticipated but the holds were mostly positive as otherwise it would be real rock climbing. There was a 2-meter stretch that we all had to au-cheval across, followed by a solid, you-fall-you-die kind of 4th class step to regain easier terrain. The rest of the ascent onto the false summit involved more snow travel and class 3.

Me starting the crux. Photo by Alex R.

Alex demonstrating how to au-cheval across an exposed ridge

Alex climbing up the difficult move while Paul au-cheval on the ridge

Paul finishing the crux

Paul onto some easy snow now

We stayed on the crest of this snow field. Mt. Sampson behind

The traverse to the true summit was also longer and more involved than we thought and took us quite a while. There was nothing technical at this point but we did have to lose fair amount of elevation, and on the true summit side of the saddle we couldn’t just stay on the ridge crest but rather having to do some traversing and climbing on the climber’s left side, which made for some tedious work. This peak felt like a rewarding one and we spent at least half an hour on the summit recollecting ourselves.

Me heading for the summit ridge traverse. Photo by Alex R.

True summit seen from the false summit

Alex and Paul heading down from the false summit

A full view of the west side of Mt. Sampson

The summit ridge traverse still had minor difficulties

Alex route-finding on more 3rd class terrain

Summit Panorama from Mt. Delilah. Click to view large size.

Looking over “Trapeze Peak” towards Handcar Peak et al. in Railroad Group

Mt. Sloan

This is looking over “Dagon Peak” into Gold Bridge area

Sessel Mountain and its boring south face scree slog…

Luxuria Peak and its north face looks way more exciting

Paul on the summit looking at Philistine Peak

Mt. Morrison in the foreground with Castle Towers and Mt. Garibaldi behind

This is looking at Pebble Glacier and North Creek area

The very rugged massif of Mt. Meager

Our group shot on the summit of Mt. Delilah

Another summit panorama from Mt. Delilah. Click to view large size.

On the descent we could have used the SW Chute to get off but that meant we would lose our trekking poles so we must down-climb the airy crux. Needless to say we all got down safely. Not recommended unless you are very comfortable soloing 4th class with death exposure. The rest of the descent was mostly a route-finding game which I actually liked. Picking our own way staying within 3rd class was fun. Lower down we utilized snow to speed things up and I had a fast and furious boot-ski on the last 200 ish vertical meters back to camp.

Paul on the summit ridge with true summit behind

Another photo of the true summit.

Me ready to down-climb the crux. Photo by Alex R.

Alex down-climbing the hardest move

Then, traversing the exposed ledge

After the crux, there was a ton of class 3 scrambling

Paul down-climbing another tricky step beside snow

More class 3

Back to that flat part of the ridge

Alex with Mt. Delilah’s NE Ridge behind

Lower down we used snow for as much as we could

Back to camp now.

Gorgeous evening colours. “Zorah Peak” in the background

The day turned out to be longer than expected but we still had about two hours of sunlight time to cook dinner and hang around. The plan for the 3rd day was exploring a route side-hilling around Luxuria Peak to get out.