H/FC/C = Hope / Fraser Canyon / Coquihalla Skihist May 8, 2020 - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

  • 1 Post By Matt Juhasz
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 1
Default Skihist May 8, 2020

Hello, long time reader, first time poster. I am unable to post my photos. I will look for help with this and edit this post once successful with images.

I will try to keep this post succinct and factual but please excuse any tangents I may take. I have been known to do that.

(route pic)
We opted to loop the route. At the summit we were hopeful that we would have less bush and difficulties by descending the south face, passing over the Anitomony/Claimpost col, and descending past Antiomny Lake to Kha Lake and KC FSR

I've been watching for conditions to tackle SW BC's largest peak for a long time. We were about two weeks late for the absolute sweet spot this spring, but we still had it pretty good. We parked at 4:20am at 750m just before the North Kwioek Creek (NKC) FSR turnoff, where an avalanche was blocking the road. It only cost us 1km extra which was no big deal for this odyssey. Road to this point is HC 2wd.

(avvy pic)
This is the road-blocking avalanche from a recon trip I did a couple weeks prior

Immediately upon leaving Kwioek Creek (KC) FSR onto NKC FSR we encountered substantial alder. Easy to walk through but definitely not driveable. Alders to 2" diameter sprouting from middle of road, substantially tangled with each other. At 2.5km (elv 1070m), we were faced with the mandatory North Kwioek Creek ford. The river was knee to hip deep and not very powerful, an easy crossing. The road beyond the ford is completely impassable to any type of vehicle so there is no point in anyone attempting to drive even this far, let alone past the ford. For the next 9km (to km 11.5 elev 1390m), we were battling through incredibly difficult bush. Mostly alder, some devils club (not yet in bloom so easy to bash through without personal damage). When the "road" crosses back to the south side of NKC we opted to follow the spur that stayed on the north side. This spur eventually ends before the FSR rejoins it but by this point we were committed to the savage bushwacking and it didn't make much difference whether it was once a road or not. The valley also contained several very marshy areas. We were fortunate to have these frozen. Later in the spring these will pose an extra level of difficulty that we were not burdened with.

At km15.5 (elev 1550), we easily crossed NKC creek dry by hopping on rocks, logs, and snow muchsrooms. The road after this point had enough snowpack that alders were no longer a problem. We were cruising on beautiful wilderness with mostly firm snow beside a calm, beautiful creek.

(NKC snow pic)
At km 15.5 this hike becomes good

Not much to say at this point. When you set out from home to climb a mountain, this section (km 15.5 elev 1550 to km 22.3 elev 2968) is what you are imagining and hoping for. Just beautiful views in every direction and relatively easy travel on mostly firm snow. In researching the route, I had determined that we will not need to walk directly on top of either glacier. We passed below the bottom of the lower glacier and spitting distance below the seracs of the upper glacier. We were on seasonal snowpack for our whole route. The first crux was the snow ramp between the rocks and the upper glacier seracs. We were not expecting the steepness of the snow ramp, and we were expecting more "support" from the rock band below us. When I studied the route on Google Earth, it appeared that the rocks are slightly above, forming a natural back-up should the snow fail and you slide down. This was not the case. Those rocks are pure cliffs and there is exposure through this section.

(glacier pics)

At the top of the glacier there is a windlip which was completely bridged over forming a crevasse-style feature. Our bypass to climber's right was easy and firm however this feature may require more caution depending on your exact snowpack. Above the glacier is a straightforward traverse towards Skihist true summit. We were above the freezing level so the snow was powdery but supportive below knee depth. No crevasse evidence and the bergschrund visible on Google Earth was completely invisible.

(summit cruz move)

There is one more small crux a few steep steps to gain the true summit. Alltrails shows one of the southeast bumps as the true summit however in person it's obvious that the northwest end of the ridge is the true summit. There are simple 2/3-class steps joining these bumps so getting from one to the other is easy albeit a little exposed.

(summit pics)

At the summit we decided to descend the south face, pass over the Antimony/Claimpost col, descend to Antimony Lake, and exit via KC FSR. Here comes one of my famous tangents: I'm not stupid. I don't just roll out of bed and decide to go for the biggest mountain in my region and hope for the best. I have been extensively researching this entire region for weeks. I have read what I thought was *credible* beta about the region. 4x4 clubs, fishing forums, peakbagger, instagram (literally when you look at skihist as a location tag there's a hipster picture of some random mountains (not skihist) tagged as skihist, passing this airplane view off as experience), etc. Lots and lots of information. However I can guarantee there has not been a motorized vehicle at Kha Lake this millenium! People on facebook, and the internet in general, attempt to make themselves look good by pretending they have experiences that they don't. They rely on the fact that no one will cross-reference their experience and expose their lies or embellishments. As an example, someone may drive up to Kwioek Lake, do some fishing, have a campfire, then come home and say they drove up "the entire valley, checked out all the lakes, got some decent fish, seen some amazing wildlife, had a sick campout, came home." They drive 130km out of a 140km trip and just "make up" the last 10km. Ok, I'm getting grumpy so I'll wind this tangent down. Back to facts.

(Antimony Lake pic)

We climbed 300m from our lowest point up to the Antimony/Claimpost col, and descended easily (glissading) on thorough snowpack all the way to Antimony Lake. Antimony Lake was beginning to thaw at the edges and it was 5pm at this point (km 28, elev 1850m). At the south end of Antimony Lake we were hoping to find flagging or a signs of even a route, if not trail. The snow was still very deep here (over 2m of snowpack), so it was easy to bomb down along Antimony Creek. The Antimony Creek drainage is steep and there are waterfalls towards the bottom so we stayed quite hight on the descender's right bank. At km 31 (elev 1750m) we were on a south-facing slope so the snowpack had completely disappeared and we were descending in repulsive destroyed forest to km 32 (elev 1150m). Above the clearcut, the trees cannot support each other so any puff of wind knocks everything down. There has not been a fire in this valley for a long time so there was a massive blowdown throwdown including new living blowdown and aincent blowdown, all sorts of unsorted sticks and branches, loose rocks, the occasional tiny snowpatch, etc. This slope was extremely steep as well. Unless there is a built and maintaned trail that we missed, I do not believe it to be possible/practical to attempt to ascend from Kha Lake to Antimony Lake. This was wild, difficult backcountry travel and we were fortunate to only have to go down it.

At km 35 (elev 1130m) we easily crossed Kwioek Creek Between Kha and Klept lakes (we crossed approximately 30 meters east of the old removed roadline/bridge). We were at the day's last light and were eager to hit this 2wd friendly road I had definitively read about in the last 6 weeks. We hit the road line and were met with an unbelievable mess of alders and snowpack (the valley sides were completely bare up to 500m above us yet the valley held a rotten snowpack knee-hip deep with alders in all states of burial. Each of us got several alders to the face/hands/shins/groins as they sprang up unexpectedly as we disturbed the adjacent snow. We were 15 hours into our outing and ready to cruise the last few kms. We were not mentally prepared for this level of challenge at this point in the day. With failing light, we dug deep and pounded through the awful dead old road like our lives depended on it (fact). At km 36 (elev 1140m), we actually lost the road due to the severity of the bush. With a map check we quickly found and corrected our mistake. One more crossing of Kwioek Creek just east of John George Lake brought us to the furthest driveable point of Kwioek Creek FSR (though no-one would drive through as much alder as we had yet to face for such an unremarkable place). From km 36 (elev 1140m) to km 45 (elev 900m) we continued to deal with a random mix of smooth gravel road (rare), flooded muddy sections of road, light-to-heavy alder cover, and snow patches up to knee deep. At km 45 (elev 900m), we only had to deal with 5 last km of 2wd friendly clear gravel road. Back to the truck over 16 hours moving time (20:00 total) and nearly 50km later (because of fondling my phone too much, I paused the recording a couple times and lost some stats), and we were off for home.

Sorry about the no pictures and hope I can improve this post with some nice media very soon. If any mod wants to contact me and help out, I would appreciate it thanks! first name (.) last name (@) gmail (.) com

Parting thoughts, lessons learned.

Kwioek Creek Valley is dead upriver of Kwioek Lake. Do not attempt to go there. North Kwioek Creek will put you on Skihist summit with 23km (each way) and some difficulty but nothing any BC hardman / hardwoman can't deal with. The best time to climb this mountain is late winter to early spring, basically as soon as you can drive most of the way up KC FSR. The more snowpack you have the better the alder will be smashed down and the less chance of bear encounter (we saw one set of tracks in each valley, no encounters). It's a real shame how under-utilized this area of our beautiful province is. People are so protective and so un-sharing of beautiful places that entire regions get forgotten and overgrown. Hikers hate off-roaders but you know what? We need them to keep the roads to the beautiful places passable. I wish there was a group of Jeepers having a campfire at Kha Lake after they cleared the whole road in. For two days after this adventure, I truly felt this area is "dead and closed," however as the scabs heal I am coming around and wanting people to go out and experience what Iliya and I experienced. And hopefully the offroaders will also reconnect with this valley and clear the road for future parties. Good luck if you go for this mountain and prepare for a tremendous amount of work. I have done Glacier Peak in WA as a single push (55km, 3500m) and this mountain was substantially harder. It would have been comparable in difficulty to Glacier Peak if we went up and down our NKC route. Please feel free to post any questions, I'll be happy to answer. Hope I can get those pics going soon. Iliya Kolodeznyy has a gorgeous post on the Chilliwack Hiking Group on facebook going. But once the years go by it will become impossible to navigate from one to the other so I'll amend this post with pics at some point.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28bf.jpg
Views:	39
Size:	502.2 KB
ID:	275874  

Click image for larger version

Name:	00fzkKKAT5yUzHY3yDQIpA_thumb_28f2.jpg
Views:	79
Size:	253.4 KB
ID:	275876  

Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28d6.jpg
Views:	40
Size:	180.6 KB
ID:	275878  

Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28e8.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	229.6 KB
ID:	275880  

Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28d4.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	193.8 KB
ID:	275882  

Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28e3.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	278.2 KB
ID:	275884  

Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28e2.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	337.3 KB
ID:	275886  

Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28e1.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	303.5 KB
ID:	275888  

Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28e0.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	271.6 KB
ID:	275890  

Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28df.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	230.8 KB
ID:	275892  

Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28de.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	215.6 KB
ID:	275894  

Click image for larger version

Name:	UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28db.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	241.1 KB
ID:	275902  

martin likes this.

Last edited by Matt Juhasz; 05-17-2020 at 05:23 PM.
Matt Juhasz is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 05:34 PM
Summit Master
zeljkok's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: The Annapurnas, Nepal
Posts: 4,297

Great post!

Re photos: They already show up as attachments. To insert them in proper place in text, simply use paperclip icon in toolbar (when you edit existing post, click "Go Advanced" button first to have all editing options available)
Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2020-05-17 at 3.32.25 PM.png
Views:	9
Size:	43.9 KB
ID:	275904
zeljkok is online now  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2020, 12:13 PM
Summit Master
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: NorthVan
Interest: I enjoy hiking
Posts: 2,794

That was a great read, thanks for posting and welcome to the forum!
martin is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-19-2020, 11:11 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada.
Posts: 1,687

Hell of a first post Matt! This report deserves to be pinned at the top of the trip report page for awhile! Pretty sure your dog has the first single day dog ascent of Skihist especially via that route! You do alot of good stuff, you should post your trip reports. I do mine super lazy and they don't take much time to whip up. Once you figure out that paperclip attachment you can insert your images easy into your report.
Spectrum is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-20-2020, 07:20 PM
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: whistler, , .
Posts: 17

thx for this Matt.
Been curious about this for quite some time.
Always thought snowmobile access in the spring was the way to go.
Yet so few of those friends of mine want to make the extra drive out.
mayday is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-20-2020, 09:14 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Langley, B.C, Canada.
Posts: 483

Awesome trip report. I have been looking at doing this summit this year and I never would have thought to do it so early or take the route you did.

I am looking to do it late July or early August and replicating one of the trip reports here heading from Vesuvianite Lake but now you have me worried about the logging road conditions with all that alder and the ascent up the to the valley through the old growth.
MikeW is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-21-2020, 12:07 AM
Off the Beaten Path
spacemonkey's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: White Rock, BC, Canada.
Interest: photography, craft beer
Posts: 574

Welcome to CT. I follow your trips on AllTrails. How did your dog do... 46km is a massive day for anyone.
spacemonkey is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2020, 01:26 PM
High on the Mountain Top
thecamel's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Posts: 1,789

Thanks. Been on my list for awhile. Probably wouldn't do it as a day trip but you do make it sound tempting....

My hiking career: a selfish pursuit or a pursuit of self?
thecamel is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-15-2020, 04:45 AM
Hittin' the Trails
Gurbaz21's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Surrey, BC
Interest: Hiking, Mountaineering, Photography, Running
Posts: 3

Awesome trip man!
Gurbaz21 is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-26-2020, 07:32 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Posts: 229

This is bad-ass! You don't see many ascents of Skihist, let alone single-day push! Did you find the summit register? Curious how many parties have been up since we were there in summer 2018.

Most parties in recent years (myself included) have taken the approach of coming in from John George lake and up to Antimony Lake (or over from the SW via alpine ski traverse route ala Rich So and company).

It is possible to drive a vehicle to the creek crossing at John George lake, but your vehicle def takes a beating.
mj24 is offline  
post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-27-2020, 01:01 PM
Super Moderator
KARVITK's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Abbotsford, B.C., Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Photography. Enjoying the outdoors fresh air and fitness experience.
Posts: 17,739

This is huge, awesome report for first time post on CT. Fantastic pictures of your epic adventure, hope to see more from you.


Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
KARVITK is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1