Spidery Peak

August 22, 2017


Harrison Hut / Lillooet South FSR, BC

Spidery Peak is overlooked for simple reason that it’s directly adjacent to the main prize in its vicinity – Overseer Mountain. Few people would even bother to think about this peak although itself is one of the tallest on the Pemberton Icecap. The scramble up its south ridge is a fine trip in its own but less so for the approach. It takes most party a full day to reach Harrison Hut and from there, one must traverse a stretch of Madhorse Glacier and then ascend a big pile of loose, moraine-type of boulders to get into the valley between Uriah’s Heap and Spidery Peak. For Adam (Gimplator) and myself an ascent of Spidery Peak was a mere add-on after summitting Overseer Mountain.

Ascents of peaks around Overseer Mountain. GPX DL

From the aforementioned valley our first business was getting to Spidery/Overseer col. This involved kicking-step up a snow-covered glacier. There’s one section of dry ice but at that point the grade had already eased such that we didn’t have to don crampons. Once at the base of the south ridge we simply picked our way zig-zagging among ledges. The lower 1/3 of the route was loose and tedious but the rock quality improved higher up.

This is Spidery Peak from our approach valley

The next stage was ascending this stretch of glacier

Sections were on dry ice although we didn’t bother with crampons

Almost at Spidery/Overseer col now

The lower south face was horribly loose.

At least the views were getting better

About 2/3 of the way up we encountered a band of steep granite. After briefly searching around we decided to just scramble straight up which turned out to be some enjoyable 3rd class, on solid rocks of course. After that the terrain eased off again and it’s mostly just a class-2 walk to the summit, although the summit was farther than appeared. The best view was looking back at the north face of Overseer Mtn. That giant peak surely looked entirely different than from the south side. Adam found a cool piece of register paper from the 1990s but we didn’t linger too long.

There goes the middle wall of granite

The upper mountain. The summit was farther than looked

Looking back at the north face of Overseer Mtn.

Summit Panorama from Spidery Peak. Click to view large size.

Mt. Athelstan just across Lillooet River Valley

This dome-shaped peak is Ipsoot Mountain

More about the views into Lillooet River Valley aka. Pemberton Valley

The vast amount of peaks on Pemberton Icefield

Me on the summit of Spidery Peak

On the descent we simply reversed our exact route with that band of granite being the most fun. Descending the lower loose ground was also easier as we could just surf down scree wherever possible. In no time we got back to the glacier and then easily plunged down into the valley. Instead of losing more elevation we opted for a side-hill traverse to the broad Spidery/Uriah’s Heap col. This involved one stretch of balancing on a dry, rock-covered glacier. A few spots were pretty treacherous as we were too lazy to take the crampons out.

This is looking into the upper headwaters of Lillooet River.

If you love glaciers then you have to come here

Adam down-climbing the fun, steep band of granite

Another view of the north side of Overseer Mtn.

Now, traversing towards the broad col between Spidery Peak and Uriah’s Heap

There’s minimal time to kill so we had to hurry up. And then there goes the next ascent – Uriah’s Heap.