North Vancouver, BC
Posted - 07/09/2012 : 8:35 PM
| Hudson Bay Mountain is an impressive mountain just outside of the town of Smithers. The ridge that contains the peak forms a cirque that holds a glacier. To cap off the symmetry, there are twin waterfalls that run off the glacier.
View from our campground:
View from Babine Mountains:
View from Smithers:
Views from Google Earth with tracks:
The mountain is also a popular hiking destination. A ski resort provides easy access to the alpine and a scenic lake (Crater Lake,) is an easy day hike. It is our understanding that later in the year hikers can continue past Crater Lake to gain the ridge and can then scramble up to one of the sub peaks (which is not the highest.)
We started late in the morning. From the parking lot, we could see that our intended destination (one of the sub peaks) would not be achievable. It was covered in snow, with a large cornice and the temperatures were warm. We decided we would go as far as we could.
The first part of the route leads you up a road and past numerous cabins. From there, a trail leads to the left. The trees decrease and soon you are on the "Prairie” and following an old road or ATV track. There were numerous snow fields to cross. Marmots could be seen scurrying across the meadow.
At the end of the Prairie, there is a good view of Crater Lake. The lake is still largely frozen.
From there, we made our way up to a ridge. An island of rocks provided a safe place to go to the edge of the ridge. It provided a view into a valley. The slopes are colourful and there was evidence of some slab avalanches.
From this point, we continued on rocks and snowfields up the ridge, being sure to give the corniced edge a wide berth. One snowfield was very large but penetration was only part-way up our boots and the angle wasn’t too steep. The smaller snowfields were minefields and it was easy to fall into holes between rocks.
As we neared the true ridge (the one that would give us a view of the glacier if we could see over it,) the slope increased. The snow here was garbage. There was a bit of a sun crust on top and then it was very unconsolidated below. At times, I found it easier to crawl instead of postholing with every step. We moved from island of rocks to island of rocks. We wouldn’t go to the left or right of our path because the slope was steeper and/or the runout more dangerous. Finally, we reached the last section of rocks. A look at the GPS showed that we had also reached the highest contour line. With no more visible rocks and no additional countour lines on the GPS, it would be more difficult to determine when we were standing on the cornice. We took some pictures and turned around.
The trip back went well and the bugs were only a problem when we stopped to change into shoes at the car.
Edited by - Steventy on 07/09/2012 8:36 PM