Justin (Just B) had checked out the new logging road on the north side of Eleven Mile Creek a couple of days before so when we headed up there he'd packed a few tools. Access is off Eight Mile Road (1km up) which branches of Highway 3 before the Hope Slide. The road has been heavily cross ditched and requires high clearance with a low range. Justin's 4Runner did fine with the tow hitch dragging numerous times. Getting to about km 3 we encountered the first obstacle - a landslip area. We jumped out, grabbed some long pry bars and got to work moving boulders (prying and rolling along with a bit of rubble digging) out of the way for 20 minutes or so to make it just barely passable (good to have a spotter).
The road gets pretty steep in places and loose but we continued on to around km 6 where a couple of trees were blocking things. Out comes the chainsaw and that's soon cleared. We can see the snow on the road a little further up and decide to continue to there. A rather shallow ditch didn't look like a problem but it did have 8 inch shear sides on the right so he stuck more to the left but we spun out on the loose bed coming out of it. Backing up he went a little too much on the uphill side of the ditch into pooling water and suddenly we were tilted at a pretty crazy angle. We got out for a look - not good. Front left wheel buried 3/4 into a quagmire (recent snow melt and running water had left the road bed in the ditch saturated) and the rear right wheel off the ground.
He did have a strap and come-along but this was a fresh cutblock and there's nothing nearby to tie off to. We tried extending things using my climbing rope but as it is dynamic, all it did was stretch out when we tied off to a bunch of logs (visible in picture above). Now what? Luckily, we did have cell service so Justin started to make some calls. It took a few but a friend in Hope just happened to own a RZR Side by Side and it was sitting on his trailer ready to go. 40 minutes later he roars up the road, takes stock of things, hooks up the tow strap and with no effort at all he yanks us out. Lone Wolf is his name on CT and we were heavily in his debt and very thankful.
Hooked up and ready to pull.
Lone Wolf and his Side by Side - cool machine.
After he takes off, we park the truck and continue up the road on foot for about half a km to a good sized creek. It's around noon by now so we probably won't have time to try for Manson but we're okay with that. We start to ascend through spindly forest which has a good portion of snow cover with minimal post-holing. We keep the sound of the creek on climbers right as the snow becomes continuous to reach a bowl and things flatten out for a while. We're trending more to the right but if you went left it would give good access to the southeast ridge of Macleod.
Another steepish section on soft snow (good for kicking in steps and not quite soft enough to require snowshoes) got us up to the upper bowl where things were opening up so we took a break here. Beyond that the views were getting good as we continued upwards to reach the southern ridge of Hatfield at a pleasant flat spot. Snowshoes and a few other items were dumped here. Once again we'd took the snowshoes but didn't end up needing them (like on Mount Coulter a few weeks before).
Upper bowl area with Macleod behind Justin.
The route ahead up the south ridge of Hatfield.
Looking down the other side of the ridge to Kippan Lakes, the Sowaqua Creek Valley along with Tulameen and Davis.
The south ridge of Hatfield is rated as class 3 and that was how it went - on snow and on rock (one steep snow section probably class 4 because if you slid it would be down the east side cliffs). A very enjoyable scramble gaining around 250m elevation. The crux is a muddy chimney guarded by a bush with snow then loose rock above but it went well.
Justin coming through that area.
After that part and a bit more scrambling we cross a large snow patch and ascend the last section up to the summit with it's wooden sign. Pretty good views from up here and we can make out Golden Ears to the west. We settle in to what would become over 1.5 hours up there enjoying the views, warm temperatures and taking a lot of pictures.
Southern view along Manson Ridge with Outram at left, Silvertip area rear right and Johnson nearer right.
Macleod Peak just west of us. Grant and the Cheam Range way back left with the Old Settler way back right.
Zooming in on Outram (trail comes up right skyline) with Mount Manson lower right. Marmot then Jack in the background with part of Hozomeen visible too.
Zoom on Brown and Silvertip all the way around to Forddred. Johnson near right. Bonus points if you can name the 2 peaks way back right.
2227m elevation summit shot.
I dug around in the summit cairn and found a pipe tube that was totally waterlogged. One bagged piece of paper was beyond recovery but a more recent one was dried out (some familiar names from the past few years) and we added our names before putting it in a new ziploc and back in the pipe. It hadn't taken us that long to reach the peak from the road but time was getting on and the beers were down there so we packed up and started down.
Justin and upper mountain.
We couldn't get enough of these views.
Snazzy, Snass, Dewdney, Ford and Outram.
Justin coming down the crux.
The crux was descended easily but we did face in and make good use of the ice axe on a couple of steep snow sections. Back to the flat rock on the ridge we dumped everything but cameras and went south up a small bump to get better view of where we'd just been.
Mount Hatfield. We basically went straight up to the upper snow patch then right.
A happy Justin with a backdrop of Outram and Manson.
The continuation of the ridge towards Manson and beyond.
Me on a diving board rock. Old Arsenal jersey worn as they partially made up for another mid-season meltdown by winning the FA Cup the day before.
Justin and I had a good trip to Tulameen Mountain 7 years ago (taken at the flat rock area).
Back down to the flat rock for another quick break then we packed up all the gear and started downwards. I had the snowshoes out and the snow was softer but it was easy enough to travel in boots so I put them back on my pack once we got lower down. Just a matter now of retracing our uptrack back to the logging road and soon we're back at the vehicle pulling a couple of cold ones out of the cross ditch creek. Total time wasn't much over 6 hours even with our extended summit stay. If you have a narrow h/c 4x4 with low range (and don't get stuck) this puts a few peaks very nearby. If not, the road is about 7km so the walk isn't that long.
Idea of the landslip area around km 3. The big boulder near left took some effort to wrestle out of the way.
Hope is nearby where we grab some McDonald's and head back to Justin's place to enjoy along with another beer to wind down a good day out.
Map of area and idea of route. Note that this new road does not show on Google Maps (except the first part). It does show on Bing Maps in satellite view.
Chainsawing with Manson and Outram in the distance.