Uriah’s Heap

August 22, 2017


Harrison Hut / Lillooet South FSR, BC

“Uriah’s Heap” is just another small summit that got its name unofficially assigned during the construction of Harrison Hut in the 1980s. This peak does not look “sexy” from Harrison Hut area hence few people, other than the stubborn peak-baggers would bother to consider an ascent. It appears like a pile of scree and to get there requires crossing Madhorse Glacier as well as ascending a steep pile of moraine type of loose boulders. For Adam (Gimplator) and myself this was done as part of a loop traverse and the route we took was the (relatively) aesthetic E/NE Ridge.

Ascents of peaks around Overseer Mountain. GPX DL

Earlier in the day we had already ascended Overseer Mountain and Spidery Peak. From the broad pass between Spidery Peak and Uriah’s Heap it appeared we still had to gain fair amount of height. This section was not very pleasant because we made our lives harder by staying too far out on climber’s right. The route was my choice as I wanted a more direct attack but higher up the scrambling got trickier and then we entered a maze of car-sized boulders. We were then forced to traverse left out of the boulder field as otherwise the progress would have been painfully slow. Once we merged onto the scree slope it was just a simple, albeit tiring plod to hit the long east ridge.

The north side of Spidery Peak seen from partway up Uriah’s Heap

Looking back towards the broad Spidery/Uriah’s Heap col

Adam scrambling on the typical blocky terrain

Merging left out of the boulder field

The wind picked up so we shortened the pre-planned snack break and then carried on the ridge traverse. Initially we stayed entirely on the ridge crest on snow. The hope was to traverse the entire crest but it’s not connected and we were looking at a straight drop from a false summit. The detour was on the south side and thankfully did not involve too much of a drop. The final attack of the true summit was done on the edge of a glacier (as we could tell from the opening bergschrund). We then merged onto rock and than scrambled a short, but fun 3rd class section to top out.

Another view of Spidery Peak

The north face of Overseer Mountain

This is the true summit of Uriah’s Heap seen from the false peak

A full view of Madhorse Glacier

Adam reaching the summit of Uriah’s Heap

Partial Summit Panorama from Uriah’s Heap. Click to view large size.

Partial Summit Panorama from Uriah’s Heap. Click to view large size.

Frozen Boot and Zygo Peak in the foreground.

The Three Stooges and others on Pemby Icecap

Pika Peak is that lowly bump in the foreground

Due to the time of a day we didn’t do much lingering other than snapping the obligatory photos. After carefully down-climbing from the true summit I led a way traversing a section of steep snow to bypass the false summit all together. This surely avoided some elevation regain but the work from kicking those steps probably just balanced it out.

As much as the east ridge descent went

Once back to where we dropped the packs we turned out focus to the last objective – Pika Peak.