Tynemouth Mountain

December 31 – January 1, 2015-16

2195m

Pemberton / Lillooet Lake Road, BC

Tynemouth Mountain is one of the smaller summits nearby Lizzie Creek Cabin and was the last objective in our 8-day Christmas – New Year trip. After ascending and skiing the south face of the nearby Arrowhead Mountain, Ben and I immediately focused on Tynemouth. Ben had done this peak two years ago around the same time so he knew where to go. Well, there’s not too much of route-finding issue anyway as we’d simply plod up the connecting ridge from near Arrowhead/Tynemouth col.

Arrowhead Mountain and Tynemouth Mountain ski ascent route

Arrowhead Mountain and Tynemouth Mountain ski ascent route

There’s one steep roll to overcome in order to reach Arrowhead/Tynemouth col (Moraine Pass), and after that we ascended a somewhat rocky ridge all the way to the false summit. There’s some switchbacks required and some place was icy, but all very manageable. The true summit appeared fairly steep from afar.

Time to put the skins on again

Time to put the skins on again

Ben switchbacking up to the col

Ben switchbacking up to the col

Looking ahead to the ridge we were going to ascend

Looking ahead to the ridge we were going to ascend

Looking back at Arrowhead and the route we ski'd

Looking back at Arrowhead and the route we ski’d

This broad ridge was quite rocky

This broad ridge was quite rocky

Ben ascending the ridge with Long Peak behind

Ben ascending the ridge with Long Peak behind

Arriving at the plateau below the summit block

Arriving at the plateau below the summit block

And, here's the true summit

And, here’s the true summit

We ditched the skis at the base of the true summit. Two years ago Alex and Ben did a traverse to the right (still steep), but given the stability I opted to ascend the direct snow arete. There’s some post-holing and some steep stuffs, but mostly fun climbing. And in short order we reached the summit, the 11th bagged in this trip and that put my number at 143 peaks bagged in the year 2015 – something I might never gonna do again.

The summit block - we were going to attack it head-on

The summit block – we were going to attack it head-on

Ben boot-packing up the ridge

Ben boot-packing up the ridge

Summit Panorama from Tynemouth Mountain. Click to view large size.

Summit Panorama from Tynemouth Mountain. Click to view large size.

Diversion Peak

Diversion Peak

Long Peak - our first peak bagged in this trip

Long Peak – our first peak bagged in this trip

Nahatlatch Peak massive

Nahatlatch Peak massive

Peaks that I'm not too familiar with south of the Stein Divide

Peaks that I’m not too familiar with south of the Stein Divide

Mt. Skook Jim

Mt. Skook Jim

Caltha Peak

Caltha Peak

Tundra Peak

Tundra Peak

Mt. Matier rises behind the right hand shoulder of Tabletop Mountain

Mt. Matier rises behind the right hand shoulder of Tabletop Mountain

Anemone Peak

Anemone Peak

Petlushkwohap Mountain (L) and Skihist Mountain (R)

Petlushkwohap Mountain (L) and Skihist Mountain (R)

Me on the summit of Tynemouth Mountain

Me on the summit of Tynemouth Mountain

On the descent I followed Ben down the west slopes. Except for one steep roll that I didn’t quite like, everything else was fast and fun skiing. In no time we were back to Rainbow Lake. Some flats and uphills immediately after the lake but then we managed to carry some speed down the drainage all the way to Long Lake. The rest of the plod across Long Lake and back to the cabin was boring, but at least this’d be last time doing that section.

The ridge that we'd going to down-climb

The ridge that we’d going to down-climb

Ben down-climbing

Ben down-climbing

The summit block is steep!!

The summit block is steep!!

Great skiing down the pristine terrain

Great skiing down the pristine terrain

Our tracks

Our tracks

Skiing into this broad valley. Cloudraker Mountain behind

Skiing into this broad valley. Cloudraker Mountain behind

A review shot of what we just ski'd

A review shot of what we just ski’d

Looking back from the valley. The summit right of center

Looking back from the valley. The summit right of center

Onto the Long Lake

Onto the Long Lake

Another look back towards the summit

Another look back towards the summit

The slog across Long Lake

The slog across Long Lake

One last look at Long Lake and Long Peak

One last look at Long Lake and Long Peak

This was the New Year’s Eve in the cabin and we were surprised to see another group of 3 arriving and after some chatting we realized it’s Richard So and his friends. I’ve previously come across Rich So’s blog and I’m glad to meet him in person. The next morning we all woke up around 6 am. They’d go after Cloudraker following our tracks while we’d ski out (oh the alders)… Rich did inform us that the route we took on the way up wasn’t nearly the most efficient, nor the one Alex and Ben took two years ago. In fact, we should traverse underneath those cliffs way towards skier’s left from the Gate of the Shangari La and then descend a sparsely treed slope.

We did so exactly and it was indeed way better than the summer trail. Back down to near Lizzie Lake we put the skins back on, and the plodding across Lizzie Lake was long and very cold. Back into the alders none of us was looking forward to, but we had to face it. It wasn’t as bad as I remembered from 7 days earlier but that might due to the fact we had a track to follow this time. There’s no more unknown so my mental state was entirely different. I only remembered about 3 or 4 hellish thrash sections and then we were down to that creek crossing. Thank to the recent cold temperatures I even managed to keep the skis on while crossing that skinny log. The rest of the return was fairly fast until the bypass trail where we met another group. We soon realized it’s Adrien and his friend. After saying good luck to them we continued down the trail (with boots and skis on the pack this time), and that’s the end.

Skinning across Lizzie Lake

Skinning across Lizzie Lake

It was very frosty!!

It was very frosty!!

Time for some bush thrash...

Time for some bush thrash…

Let's face it...

Let’s face it…

Typical, typical...

Typical, typical…

Fun time?!

Fun time?!

The creek crossing

The creek crossing

Lower down it's getting better

Lower down it’s getting better

The bypass trail sucks with skis and ski boots on the pack

The bypass trail sucks with skis and ski boots on the pack

Almost at the end of this bypass trail

Almost at the end of this bypass trail

Back to Phacelia Creek FSR. Done!

Back to Phacelia Creek FSR. Done!

Overall this was a very successful trip and my first time ever spending more than 4 days in a single trip in the wilderness. We surely got lucky with weather and conditions otherwise there’s no way we could have knocked these peaks off given how serious the terrain was, and I’m already looking forward to the next big cabin trip in the future. After saying Goodbye to Alan (he’s going directly back to Valemount) we drove back to Vancouver. Checking the forecast the weather was still good for the next two days and avalanche condition was still L/L/L. I seriously needed a rest day but at this point Alex and I had already discussing to put down another major guy on Sunday. But for Saturday we both needed a break and to repair some of our gears, but a break for me wasn’t necessarily “staying home”. And instead, I’d take my parents out for a hike to bag another peak, although a small one…