15 April 2019
I parked just after the first of three slide areas along the cantelon creek road. I get really nervous about parking after slide areas and potentially being trapped up the road if the slide gives way. A couple years ago I was trapped up the Squamish fsr when it was washed out. My truck was trapped up there for a week. Luckily the squamish is a well used road and I didn’t have to worry about it being repaired. Ever since then I’ve been much more cautious about what I drive past, particularly when it’s a deactivated road.
I biked the next 3.4km of road to snow and walked from there to where I wanted to cross cantelon creek. I had started at about 835am and reached the spot I wanted to cross about an hour later. From the road I could see a wide gully area on Jeffery’s North side which led up to the NW ridge. There was a break that looked like it would allow me to gain the ridge.
The creek crossing was too deep to hop across on rocks so I had to take my boots off and wade thru, it was never deeper than knee deep.
On the opposite bank I dried my feet and headed into the forest. I found orange flagging and wasn’t sure if it was another hiker’s route or if it was from foresters. After hiking a while it seemed it must have been someone else’s hiking route. But was this someone else’s failed route? Or a successful way to get to the summit?
hiking up thru open forest
From the creek it took me just under an hour to hike up thru forest and enter the wide gully where I put on snowshoes. The forest had been super easy. It was very open with few obstacles and the ground was soft and made for good traction. I followed the orange flagging all the way up to where the trees thinned out. Thanks! To whoever flagged the route.
I made my way up thru the wide gully. The snow was loose and my travel was pretty slow, but it was going to get even slower. As I climbed higher up the gully it got steeper and the powder storm snow that the mountains had received recently got deeper.
I was surprised to find the break in the ridge was nowhere near as steep as I thought it would be, I had brought my ice axe to ascend and it was not necessary, I had also brought rope to assist descending and I wouldn’t need that either. At about 1130am I reached the NW ridge and was happy that the route had worked. I had a quick break to eat and then started up the ridge.
looking back down thru the break in the ridge
The powder snow on the ridge made for slow, strenuous travel. I reached a steep section of the ridge where I had to take off my snowshoes and use my ice axe to ascend. I was sinking in places to my waist and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get up the steep snow. Eventually I topped out and the ridge mellowed again, snowshoes back on. Further along, the ridgeline became rougher and I was able to get around it by descending to the right and then ascending back up to the ridge. I came to a third obstacle along the ridge, a section that looked like it would be an easy scramble in summer. I attempted to scramble it but the down sloping, powder covered holds made me nervous and I figured it wasn’t worth injuring myself if there was an easier way. Again I descended to the right and easily got around the rough section of ridge. After this it was a plod up to the summit.
the scrambly bit
It was about 210pm when I got to the top of Jeffery, and it gave great views all around!
looking towards northgraves
looking over to Ling
I wanted to do Ling today as well but it wasn't happening in these snow conditions. I descended around the rough section and then decided to descend a different route rather than following the ridge back to my ascent route. I descended a steep slope into a bowl area directly below Jeffery’s NW face and then continued down another wide gully.
The powder snow was balling up on my snowshoes pretty bad, I had to stop frequently to clear them. I found a narrow gully leading down to my ascent route and took this to meet up with my tracks.
my descent route on the left
From there I followed my route back down to the creek. I walked the creek a little ways to see if I could find a better crossing but nothing really seemed any better. I think this would be a good summer route as well if the creek is crossable.
Car to car was about 8 hrs 15 min
Cumulative gain was about 1690 m
About 21 km