Mount Lapworth

June 28, 2020


Squamish, BC

Mt. Lapworth is one of the few dome-shaped summits directly to the west of Squamish on the west side of Squamish River. This peak offers zero mountaineering interest but the access is tricky as one needs to find a way to cross Squamish River. There’s a trail leading up to Echo Lake and from there it’s supposed to be a nice scramble to the summit with good views of the southern Tantalus Range. For me, this trip report will be short as I flew to the summit with Alex, Vlad, Marius. The plan was of course not just bagging Mt. Lapworth by taking a helicopter to the summit, but rather doing an ambitious traverse linking up all the way past Mt. Sedgwick to Mt. Roderick and we wanted to bag all five peaks in one day as that’s as much time as everyone could manage in this past weekend.

The traverse from Lapworth to Roderick. GPX DL

While I have no ethical issues with taking a helicopter to access remote areas and in fact, I would prefer to take whatever short-cut that’s available to make the approach easier and that includes helicopters, float planes, boats, gondolas/tramways, 4×4 or tourism bus services, mules, porters or even guides, I cannot say that flying to the summit is my preferred method of peak-bagging. I would prefer to at least do a bit of work… But a peak is a peak… For me it’s more about having been to the summit rather than to climb it in what’s so-called the “style”. You’ll see me climbing the unaesthetic climber’s descent route to the summit of Slesse Mountain, taking a helicopter cutting the bulk part of the work to Mt. Tantalus, taking a tourism train to the summit of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, or taking a aerial tramway directly to the summit of Ranger Peak in Texas. In this case I would have preferred to fly to the col between Mt. Lapworth and Mt. Murchison but we wanted to speed things up, and the fastest was flying directly to the summit.

A helicopter is definitely the fastest way to cross Squamish River…

The southern Tantalus Range peaks from Mt. Lapworth

The morning sun was still low on the horizon when we got here.

The Red Tusk looms impressively

The south aspects of Alpha Mountain

Sky Pilot Mountain with Mt. Habrich on the far left

The Howe Sound and Brunswick Mountain on left

Alex and Marius studying our route towards Mt. Murchison

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

A wider view of Mt. Murchison, our next objective

Our group shot on the summit of Mt. Lapworth

A cool tarn on the summit. The summit would be a great place to bivy

Alex on the summit of Mt. Lapworth

Me on the summit of Mt. Lapworth

After snapping the “victory shots” we started the descent towards the bump between Mt. Lapworth and Mt. Murchison. We encountered steep and bluffy terrain that forced us to do some back-tracking. We bypassed on steep bluff by dropping onto snow on the north side and then easily plunged down to the col. We opted to bypass the bump by short-cutting on the south side. It appeared that we could have stayed on snow and indeed, other than a bit of bushwhacking and annoying side-hilling we did manage to stay mostly on snow. We ascended a nice gully feature full on snow to the north ridge of Mt. Murchison.

Me down-scrambling some 3rd class granite. Photo by Alex R.

We were bypassing this steep bluff and thankfully there’s still snow

The other guys finishing the snow bypass

Marius plodding up…

Me posing in front of the west ridge of Mt. Lapworth

Vlad scrambling on some fun rocks

Vlad on the broad west ridge of Mt. Lapworth. Not as fast we we thought.

Vlad and Mt. Murchison

After a while we were gaining the north ridge of Mt. Murchison

We were aiming at this col

Mt. Sedgwick looks sassy from the north ridge of Mt. Murchison

The next peak on our agenda would be Mt. Murchison which I expected to be the crux, but turned out to be pretty easy. The following peaks were Mt. Conybeare, Mt. Sedgwick and Mt. Roderick.