The longest day of the year found me driving up the Fraser Canyon and about 10km past Boston Bar to North Ainslie Road then left up a major FSR (Mowhokam West Road) which I follow for about 23km to the Siska Creek Road. I wasn't sure how this road would be but I drove all the way up to the pass at 1800m elevation which was great (I did stop a few times to clear the road of rocks and small boulders). A new looking powerline going over the pass (east/west travel) may be the cause of the decent road and it's good way down into the Siska Creek Valley too as I walked a further 8km of it later on.
The next nice surprise was the discovery of a trail near the pass that follows the south ridge of Mount Lytton. After stashing my beer cooler in some fresh snow I started off on the trail which has a decent bed and blue painted blazes marking it. Due to the fresh (and old) snow there was a little bit of guess work at times as the trail disappeared (there's plenty of boggy sections at times too) and markings weren't always visible but with little difficulty I soon found myself in a small valley with a lake and camp area (horse coral and some other stuff in the area).
From there the trail became fainter and I lost it in the snow as I ascended to a near as high bump a couple of km south of Mount Lytton and got my first views of it.
Mount Lytton southern approach.
After a minor drop I traverse a little then ascend (one steep section done on snow) to the very broad summit plateau which is dotted with a fair number of tarns. I cross the plateau and gain the peak area and double check the map as there are a few other near high spots in the vicinity. Satisfied that this is the summit I gaze at more tarns to the northwest and beyond to the large mountains west of the Fraser River.
Nikiai/Skihist area at left with the Stein/Siwhe area distant right.
WSW - Kwoiek Needle prominent centre shot with Kumkan and Kwoiek Peak on the right.
Stein Mountain area to Askom with Botanie Mountain far right.
Mount Lytton is the 2nd northern most peak of the Cascade Mountain Range (which extends from here all the way down to Northern California). The most northern officially named mountain is a forested bump called Mimenuh Mountain I believe with Zakwaski Mountain the 3rd.
Here they are with Mimenuh centre left and Zakwaski on the right.
And here is a southeastern aspect with Zakwaski at left with "Suspect Peak" centre and the Stoyoma/Hewitt Bostock (and "Mowhokam Peak") area going to the right side.
2049m summit shot. It was warm, the sun was mostly out but plenty of clouds were around and some were getting dark.
Jackass Mountain and The Nipple to the south (and a touch of west). The Old Settler (with Baker behind it) and Urquhart rear left.
If things went well (and they had so far), I would be aiming to reach Jackass by way of it's eastern ridge (left side of Jackass picture) by going south from the pass I parked at. Showers were possibly in the forecast for the afternoon though. I couldn't check on any Euro 16 soccer scores as for the first hike/summit in a while I didn't have cell service.
Zoom on Stoyama (north and south peaks at left) and Hewitt Bostock area (includes some unofficially named peaks) at right.
Zooming towards Klowa and Nikaia with Roach far right. Skihist and Petlushkwohap tips just visible way back.
And a pulled out view of Jackass and The Nipple with Breakenridge and Traverse rear right. Kanaka Mountain the forested bump nearer right.
After nearly an hour up here I packed up and hiked over to a rocky subpeak to get a view of Lytton's south ridge and where I came from.
The almost as high 2036m bump I came over earlier.
And a look back at the summit area of Mount Lytton.
After that little detour I soon found my tracks in the snow and retraced my steps. Something on the ground caught my eye, a pouch that contained 5 rifle bullets. Not something that I had a need for I left it at the camp area next to the lake. A light shower fell for a few minutes too.
Jackass with the Nipple behind it from one of the small tarns near the 2036m bump.
Easy now to follow my footprints back to the trailhead where I'm all done in under 5 hours and the day is still young. After a frappuccino back at the vehicle I arrange my pack then follow the new powerline road a short while before cutting off and upwards to the ridge, not quite gaining the ridgeline I can stay on open slopes for a while and travel is good. Things started to get a little bushy dropping down to a col then it's a snow trudge up to the next minor peak (1908m).
The view up to Cowhead Pass with the Hewitt Bostock area beyond. Mowhokam Peak on the left.
It was bushiness to tag this minor peak then everything got quite bushy beyond as I dropped down again, fighting through trees on occasion to go over a small bump before starting the turn westward. Things got a little steep too at times and there was a bit of searching for a good route. As I gained the eastern ridge of Jackass the rain started to fall. Dropping down again to the low point of 1700m I bash through some more forest then start upwards. From the distance a cliffband near the summit of Jackass looked problematic and as I reached open snow covered slopes further up I decided to bypass it climber left.
Jackass approach. I'd go left just above centre of shot through trees/bush to hit open snow slopes to gain the summit.
Siska Creek Valley with the logging road. I came over the hump at right. Kanaka Mountain far left. Mount Lytton area way back centre right.
About this time with the continued rain I was also looking northward down into the Siska Creek Valley and the distant logging road thinking that would make a viable exit route as I didn't want to contend with slick/wet terrain/bush/trees going back along the ridge. I get more wet going through the stunted trees to the snow slopes then ascend snow ramps to the summit area and wander over to touch the cairn then remove my wet shirt and put on a sweater and rain jacket.
Jackass (2006m) hasty summit shot.
There was a good wind blowing up there along with the rain so I didn't stick around. After a quick walk around the summit area and a couple more photos I headed down the ramps and found a slightly better way back through the stunted trees to the ridgeline.
Jackass Mountain summit. The ridge I came in on starts around centre of shot then goes over the bump at right before curving around to the east ridge. Mount Lytton is far distant left
Looking south down the Fraser Canyon from the snow ramp.
As soon as I'm on the ridgeline I look for a good place to drop off it. Plenty of snow cover for some boot skiing then things flatten out for a while before I find a creek gully to follow. Plenty of snow to start but it starts to thin out the gully gets steeper and there's lots of water flowing so I take some care and look for an exit on the left side which I find then the terrain is okay but I'm back into the forest and plenty of bush too.
A portion of the ridge travel to approach Jackass travelling left to right.
Upper creek gully.
I trended over a little to keep the main creek in sight and after a look at my map it made sense to cross over as a spur road further down valley would be closer. But the creek was now in a gorge so I gave up on that idea and kept heading in a NNW direction. The rain had stopped but the foliage was pretty wet and I was getting into plenty of boggy areas again. My new boots (Scarpa R-Evolution Plus) were getting a great first time workout but they were doing the job (unlike the pair of Vasque Breeze GTX I used a few times which soon got waterlogged).
Having a cached satellite view of the area on my phone was good too as I could see my positioning relative to the logging road and after a while I busted out of the forest and promptly sat down to get some needed food and drink. The satellite view also gave me an idea of how far I have to walk back up this road to the pass and my vehicle. Not looking forward to it but it's mindless and bush free.
The road in the valley is mostly like this with a few rough spots and some rocks on it in places.
Late day shot towards the Klowa/Nikaia area.
Later I figured it to be 8km and by the time I got back to my vehicle I had a couple of minor hot spots on the soles of my feet but I had done over 30km. The sun was going down soon and I wanted to get down this road with some daylight. I was pretty bagged and hadn't drank enough liquids as usual and I wasn't thinking about beer but Gatorade and chips. Once I got those inside me I felt better, got changed and started driving down. About half way I thought about the Vanilla/Cherry Pepsi I also had in the cooler which I now realize I'd left up at the pass in the snow.
A tight turnaround then I zoom back up hill, grab the cooler and go down again to the main road where the beer goes down great as night fills the sky. After some more chips and a couple of slices of bread I drive out to Highway 1 and back towards Hope, crack open the Pepsi and head to my parents place to crash.
Map of area, rough idea of routes. Park @ 1200m should be 1800m