The Lizzie Lake Area has long been a trip I'd not tried due to the large road washout that happened back in late 2003. For a few years after there was talk of fixing things but that seems to have faded out and the 11km of logging road walking didn't really appeal to me with better access to many more mountains beyond Pemberton.
It is in 103 Hikes and Scrambles of SW BC books and it would be nice to cross off one of the few remaining in 103 I've not done. Recent detailed reports from Ryan and trailrunner showed me the beauty of the alpine in the area (Ryan) and gave a good idea of time (trailrunner) to at least check out a couple of peaks.
Overview of area.
Ryan's 3 day TR.
trailrunner's detailed approach TR.
Unlike trailrunner I'm not running but do plan on hiking fast. From Lillooet Lake Road I drive up the Lizzie Lake Main for less than a km and turn left on to Phacelia Creek Road (just before the huge washout on Lizzie Main), go up that a bit and park next to where the bypass trail starts.
See the other's reports for more descriptive descriptions and pictures of the route from here. I followed the bypass trail, got down to Lizzie Main past the washout and then started up the quite grown in but still very obvious road. I've got about 11km of this and the bush is quite wet from dew/rain overnight and in very short order I'm very wet.
I'd decided to go with waterproof trail shoes and gaiters which held up quite well for the first 7km or so and then they were overwhelmed. East Lizzie Creek was crossed and then the grade increased a little bit after that as I wound my way up to finally hit Lizzie Lake. The trail from there through the forest was nice with pink flagging to help get through the decent amount of large windfall.
Beyond that I cross the boulder field (Gates of Shangri La) which was a little slick with wet lichen and shortly after I get to The Lizzie Creek Cabin. There I exchange all my wet clothing for dry and hang the wet up on the cabin porch. I still had the wet shoes and socks (and kept my gaiters on in a wink and a nod to DBlair[}
]). A few blackflies around but no mosquitoes. I had a quick look inside the cabin too. The thermostat (and sign) is a nice touch
Consulting the Scrambles book I follow it's directions to get to Arrowhead Lake. After crossing a creek I stay mostly left at junctions, following a trail up past a cascade and there's the lake along with a view of the 2 peaks I want to ascend.
Arrowhead Lake with Anemone and Tabletop beyond.
Passing the lake I ascend a bit more and soon get to Heart Lake. From there I follow the trail as it winds above the lake and then take a left at a split. Marmots are whistling like crazy and I see 3 of them as I make my way up to the col between the 2 peaks. Before reaching the col the trail peters out and I make my way to it on talus, snow and heather.
The route up Tabletop.
Class 2 with 3 if you go looking for it and in no time I'm on top and hoping the cloud clears off some of the peaks. Other mountains though are looking good and near all of them are new to me. According to my GPS, the nearest peaks I've done before are Gideon (16km away) and Snowspider - both not visble from here.
1. 2235m summit shot (complete with semi old school cycling shorts). Reflection and Contemplation the 2 peaks centre behind me. Asherah and Meditation far left and right respectively in cloud.
2. Looking down (southeast) towards Iceberg Lake. Nahatlatch area at rear.
3. NNW view towards Priory, Meadow Dome and Bellavista Ridge. The east fork of Lizzie Creek in the valley below (that spur road looked very overgrown from up here).
4. Caltha Lake and Peak to the east. Also the entrance area to The Stein Valley Traverse Trail. Petlushkwohap and Skihist visible back left to centre. Caltha Lake is also one of the headwaters of Rogers Creek.
5. And a look at where I'm headed: Anemone Mountain. I think Lizzie Peak and Siamese Twins are the 2 peaks on it's left shoulder.
The bowl where I came from - Heart and Arrowhead Lakes.
After about 50 minutes and some improvement with the clouds I descended and had a pleasant scramble up Anemone which is 30m higher than Tabletop. Once here I had some food and spent a further 45 minutes or so taking pictures with 2 cameras. By now a few more mountains were cloud free.
Zooming in (to the ESE) on the intrigingly named Mount Skook Jim. A peak I've wanted to get a good look at for a long time. Iceberg Lake lower right.
North to northwest view showing Asherah, Reflection, Contemplation, Meditation (with fresh snow), Lindisfarne and Aurora.
Anemone summit block at left. Priory and Meadow Dome middle distance. The Place Glacier area (in some cloud) and Cayoosh visible way back right side.
Northern zoom and a nice south aspect of some of The Joffre Group: Tszil just visible far left followed by Slalok, Spetch, Hartzell, Matier, Joffre and Howard. Twin Two is the double peak in front of them with Bellavista in the foreground.
Looking back towards Tabletop with Caltha behind it. Tundra is to the left and Skook Jim area the right.
2265m summit shot. Meditation, Lindisfarne, Aurora and Tundra at rear.
A couple of mountain names like Reflection and Contemplation are unofficial names but so called due to Meditation being nearby.
One last look at Iceberg Lake with Arrowhead Mountain rising above right of it and The Nahatlatch Massif at rear.
With time getting on and thoughts of the long road back in my head I eventually descended the peak and retraced my steps back down to the lakes. The marmots were running around and shrilling like crazy as I picked up the trail down to Heart Lake.
A marmot with his mouth wide open in mid whistle (wicked looking teeth).
Really nice area (and plenty more of it nearby).
After the above shot I soon get back into the valley, lose the views and reach the cabin. Most of my clothing has dried out and I switch back over to just a T-shirt for the rest of the walk out as it's pretty warm out.
1 minute chill out at the cabin.
Not much to say about the rest of the trip. It took a bit of time but having the ipod for the logging road walk took my mind off the long trudge. Key tunes were "Last Parade" by Matthew Good and "Fire" by Kasabian (sung loudly very off key).
The sun had just set by the time I reached the bypass trail but no need for the headlamp and I get back to my vehicle and find a beer (Stanley Park Noble Pilsner) that goes down very well. Round trip was about 35km with a cumulative elevation gain of around 2200m and a time of just under 10.5 hours.
This was a good end to the seemingly abreviated summer hiking season for 2011 but I'm hoping that things can hold on a little longer as there are a couple more places I'd like to see before the heavy snow flies.