Due to OFA duties at work I could not join Vlad, Michelle and Gordon on their recent trip but it did remind me to venture back into this area without snow.
My Zener and Torrent trip.
Without snow isn't quite accurate as some fresh stuff had fallen on the higher slopes but with a southern approach I figured things would be okay. On Highway 99 I go 4km past the Wedgemount turnoff and go left onto Soo River FSR and follow it to near end then turn right up the Torrent Spur. A little over 1.5 km I park not wanting to deal with the many cross-ditches and walk the last 2 km of the road.
Overview of the area. Soo River FSR in pink, Torrent Spur branching off near the end of it.
The plan was to do a slightly rising traverse over to a meadow area then gain the south ridge of Sisqa S3 from there. It didn't quite work that way as I went up to soon and had to drop down again to the meadow. There's a reasonable amount of bushwacking involved but nothing too strenuous and the huckle/blueberries are big, juicy and plentiful.
A steep heathered slope gets me onto the ridge at a point where there's still plenty of trees but things soon start to open up and I take my first break with some nice views. I'd worn Gortex pants and a waterproof jacket to this point to avoid getting soaked from all the wet bush. That all came off and I sat around in my underwear for a while before putting on shorts and a T-shirt.
Hidden Peak, Callaghan, Guardpost and Buddcar to the southwest.
Upper Soo River Valley with Numbers SE2 and Numbers Peak. Part of Sisqa S3's south ridge on the right.
The route ahead. Zener Peak rear right.
And a southeastern view towards Rainbow and Puma. Wedgemount area rear left with Black Tusk and Garibaldi way back right.
Carrying on I passed a tarn and continued ascending on a mixture of heather and rock with frequent pauses to take in the views. The lower section of the ridge had many birds flying around with many of them robins.
Southern view towards the Brandywine area.
With the sun, blue skies, nice views and great terrain it was a good ramble upwards. A class 2 open ridge walk for the most part. Somewhere around 2000m elevation some snow started to show up.
Not much plant life around now. I'm aiming for the skinny ridge centre of shot.
There's one steepish section past this that did have heather (and a faint goat track) and the snow deepens but travel is mostly good as there isn't enough to create tiger traps, maybe just an occasional pussycat post hole on the talus.
The summit ridge went on a bit longer than expected and some care was taken due to conditions. Reaching the peak I find a bare sun-kissed rock, dump my pack and grab some pictures as cloud was fast filling the sky to the south.
2268m summit shot with Rhododendron and Ipsoot at rear. Zener and Torrent lower down in front.
Looking back along the upper ridge with glaciers on the eastern side.
Zooming on Sisqa and Appa to the north.
And a zoom westward towards Little Ring and Exodus.
I looked at the snow covered talus route towards Sisqa S1 and decided it was not worth the effort (and slightly convoluted route). I got all the new/different views/aspects I need for the next hour.
Snow and Ice.
Ipsoot at left with Torrent Peak in the foreground. Mount Currie rear right and Joffre/Matier are visible centre horizon.
The full Currie to Wedge with Sootip to Soo in front and the southern ridge of Torrent in the foreground.
Zoom on Sisqa S1 with Longspur behind.
Cloud continued to build but views to the northeast stayed mostly blue. With a sweater and gaiters on I started the trip back down the ridge with a detour before the skinny ridge as I wanted to get into the bowl below it to see if a route presented itself down in the Torrent Creek Valley.
Hard to say how it would go as I couldn't see enough of the terrain but I did spot something glinting in the sun and I walked over to a rust stained boulder that had a lot of "gold" on it. Chipping off a piece (you never know) I then went straight up to regain the ridge and continued downwards with another detour to take heathered ramps then a slight rise to get me back to my first rest spot.
Dead wood and a view towards Buddcar and Numbers.
Rainbow and Puma (and Black Tusk).
Phone service along the ridge and on the peak is pretty good (Bell Network). After some food and drink I pack up for the last time and resume the descent.
Lower part of the ridge. I'll be dropping off it centre shot going left.
I took a different route down that was more bushy but saved some time then I headed down to the meadow area and stayed low to traverse around the hill. Saw a few pieces of flagging along the way and ate more berries. Finally I pulled out my gps to check where the end of the road was. I was past and above it so I cut left and descended to a cutblock and onto the road and was soon back at my vehicle and enjoying the post hike beer.
8 hours round trip with about 1100m elevation gain plus some cumulative. The drive out and home went smooth with no hold ups.
Map with rough idea of routes from both my trips into this area.
Regarding the chunk of "gold" - it was iron pyrite but there was one small piece I had that did leave a yellow covered smear when rubbed on porcelain. I'll sell the co-ordinates to the area for $20...
Fools Gold and a Summit Stone (from Sootip).