Battleship Lakes to Cloudraker Spur - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Default Battleship Lakes to Cloudraker Spur

This was a pretty relaxed 4 to 5 day trip in the Lizzie Lake area. There are a bunch of peaks in the area that are easy ascents on skis, and lots - once you get into the alpine - of high country to travel through, so it's a nice area for a laid back trip.

Phacelia Creek FSR, Battleship Lakes, Bellavista Ridge

After the usual car shuttle shenanigans - for the record, Rogers Creek is in good shape with a mining company up there doing work, and the Cloudraker spur is snow free to about 1200 metres and in reasonable shape, Phacelia Creek is passable to about 5 km (just after the downhill fork) then a combination of fallen away, brushed in, bridges out, boulders on road - we started hiking up Phacelia Creek FSR at about 3.45 pm. We only managed to drive to about 800 metres, so we had a fair bit of tedious walking/bushwacking to do. Note to Rockies types - don't whine about a short hike on a snowcoach road or any such nonsense until you've done a Coast Mountain approach.


Pulling trees off the road on Phacelia Creek FSR. This was a waste of time as we only got 30 metres further.


The road walking starts innocuously enough.


But gradually deteriorates.

By about 5.45 pm, we'd thrashed up to where you leave the logging road and get to enjoy a nice cutblock bushwack. We figured we had at least two hours to reach the next possible campsite up near Battleship Lakes. The consensus was to save that thrash for the morning, so we scratched out a campsite on the alder infested road by the creek that drains Battleship Lakes.

Turns out, next morning, it took us 3 hours to gain the 500 metres to Battleship Lakes. Slow, yes, it felt slow. First is the cutblock, full of holes, stumps, replanted trees and rotten snow that you fall through to your hips.


Enjoying some cutblock skiing.

Then, you reach the old growth, where the terrain is steep, but much easier without snow to fall through and pretty open.


Whack up through the open timber and suddenly the snow pack goes from zero to about 70 to 100 cm at 1375 m. We kept step kicking for a bit as the snow conditions were a bit off for skiing, but, around 1400 m or so, we got to start skiing. Once you get skis on your feet and off your back everything feels better.


It's still a steep climb until you reach about 1700 metres where you ski west and come out at Battleship Lakes.


The lakes are all frozen enough to ski over, and the going is now easy.


After you ski acro ss the lakes, it is an easy ski up to a broad pass to the east of Bellavista Ridge. Meadow Dome behind Robin.


We dumped our packs at the pass and skied up to the top of Bellavista Ridge. Lindisfarne behind Robin.

Everything around here is an easy ascent, although at this time of year, some require hiking/scrambling in ski boots.



This is Tundra which is right by Cherry Pip Pass.

Looking roughly south is the wonderful Cloudraker Mountain.


Anyway, down to a camp near a tarn just on the south side of Bellavista. The great thing about the Coast is, you can dig a little hole in any lake and immediately get water. I've tried it in the Rockies and the Selkirks and it doesn't work. Just in the Coast Mountains. Not sure why.



I get a bit ansty hanging around camp if I'm not tired so I wandered up the ridge above camp and skied some nice corn snow. When I move to Australia, I am sure gonna miss skiing.



Warm days no overnight freeze, still a bunch of avalanches coming down and lots of cornice falls.


Cherry Pip Pass, Tabletop Mountain, Iceberg Lake

Next morning we skied down into the east fork of Lizzie Creek, all the way to 4,700 feet, then a 1,500 to 1,700 foot climb up to Cherry Pip Pass. This is easy, but threatened by big overhanging cornices. A bunch had come down and triggered some slides, but a bunch more were hanging overhead. We had a pretty decent freeze, so it didn't seem scary.





A cornice overhangs Cherry Pip Pass, so you ski up a little above the cornice. Tabletop Mountain is in view.





We had thought about contouring around to a small tarn on SE side of Tabletop, but the snow was super soft and slidy, so, instead, we skinned up the east ridge of Tabletop trying to stay off the face as much as possible.



Tabletop comes into view, and Doug and I skied up the far left side of the face to the top. Triggered a bunch of wet slides that overran our uptrack, R and B, wisely stayed out of the way.



Then we cruised down to a camp at Iceberg Lake


I went wandering about again and almost skied to the top of Arrowhead, but turned back perhaps 40 metres from the summit due to collapsing snow and the lateness of the hour.





Tynemouth, Arrowhead, Tarn, Sapphire Lake

Next day we cruise to the bottom of Moraine Pass and ski up to the broad saddle that comprises the pass.


Dump our packs on some rocks and ski up Arrowhead and Tynemouth. Icy climbs, good for ski crampons, corn snow descents.


This is SkookJim, which looks like a good ski ascent





The weather clouded up so the snow did not get too mushy and was perfect corn. After our two peaks, we picked up our packs, had a nice descent down a gully, then cruised almost all the way to Sapphire Lake for another camp.





A few of us went wandering that afternoon, up Tarn Peak - how did that thing get a name, over to Mount Shields, and to overlook Lizzie Lake. It was windy and the weather was changing so Doug built an impressive snow compound for our tent.

Exit to Cloudraker

The morning looked like this:


Skiing out was super easy. Ski through little corridors of bluffs to the west, descend easy open terrain to timber, keep going down to reach a big marsh, down a bit further with the creek to your left and you pop out at the top of an easy cutblock.



Down the cutblock to the road, down the road until the snow runs out, then walk. Only about 4 km of walking on this end and the road is clear.


If you want an easy ski traverse with lots of peak bagging options, not need to carry glacier gear, tons of good camping, water, no crowds, no sleds, this one can't be beat.

Gear Notes

All my old beaten into the ground crap gear worked fine. I took an overbag 'cos I thought it might be kinda damp, and it was a bit damp, but not too bad. Light skis that aren't crazy fat are better than big fat slackcountry boards. Some of the skinning is a bit icy and you'll be carrying your skis on your back for about 13 km. Ski crampons useful, but probably not absolutely necessary. Ice axe a waste of weight.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 02:02 PM
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I think there is a sort of trail up to Battleship Lakes. BCMC was once interested in building a cabin there and I think there was some trail work done to get into the area. The cabin proposal was eventually shot down by the local indian bands. (The next hut proposal near Watersprite Lake, Mamquam area was also shot down. Not sure who pulled the trigger on that one. Now moved to the Spearhead.) Would have thought Captain Bivouac would have known about said Battleship trail.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 03:35 PM
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There was some kind of trail, past the creek, on the far edge of the cutblock, iirc. Probably super overgrown by now, noting the condition of the road. Probably easier just to thrash your way up.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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I searched hard for a trail and found nothing. Looking at TR's on the internet before hand seemed to indicate that there was a flurry of visits when the BCMC was thinking about building a cabin, then nothing. We did find a bit of flagging in the upper timber, but, by that time, the travel is easy and you don't need a trail.

Anyway, what's a Coast Mountain ski trip without a bunch of bushwacking to start? You'd start to think you were in the Rockies.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 05:54 PM
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Nice trip Sandy! I'm surprised you'd come to the wet coast to do a ski trip, lol, being so spoiled with where you live already. Sad to hear youre moving away ! When's the big day?
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 06:45 PM
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Yes, Sandy, the Coast is a little different. That ice axe could have been useful if a diff front had come through...

Also, trails on the Coast can be quite "conceptual": a couple of years of low use and they're just as grown in as the rest of the wild coast...
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 10:29 PM
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A very nice trip! I did a similiar trip but on foot. It seemed so much easier....cause my knees make cringe when I see skiers!!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 11:26 PM
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Moving back to Australia? Say it ain't so Sandy.

You might enjoy this picture

http://www.leelau.net/2012/taylor12-...tfromtszil.jpg
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Where is that picture from? Don't worry, I think it is from Tzil? Yes?

Wanna buy a nice house on an acreage outside of Nelson? Owners motivated!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 12:38 PM
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Thanks for posting this. Nice photo array on bivouac too. You guys could of spent a week up there knocking off 20 or so peaks if the weather held up.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sandy

Where is that picture from? Don't worry, I think it is from Tzil? Yes?

Wanna buy a nice house on an acreage outside of Nelson? Owners motivated!
Sandy - i sold a bunch of RE already pending the Great North American Economic Meltdown. No thanks!

That shot is from Tszil - took the opportunity to geek out on panoramas
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sandy

Owners motivated!
By the thought of all the waterski touring in Australia?
Look out for jellyfish and saltwater crocs....
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