Brohm Ridge to Elfin Lakes

This trip began with an idea to traverse from Cheakamus Lake to Elfin Lakes over the course of 7 days, bagging as many peaks as we could. My buddy was coming in from Ontario and said he wanted a challenge (and having never climbed a peak before I figured this would be challenge enough). However, he arrived a few days late and then we ended up waiting out some weather, so shorted the trip to Brohm to Cheakamus. Ultimately, as the title may suggest, plans would change again.Day 1 – May 4: Road Camping

At 830 we left Mags and I found myself driving up Brohm FSR for the 3rd time in almost as many weeks. We were able to drive until near 1100 meters, where continuous snow stopped us.

From there we hiked for 40 min in the dark to the highpoint of the road, where we set camp. Just 2 meters outside our tent, I punched a hole through to a creek roaring 3 meters down; a little unnerving, but we surrounded it with snowshoes and went to sleep.

Brad’s fear of BC bears was beginning to take hold but we managed a decent night – the coldest by far.

Day 2 – May 5: Brohm Ridge to “Pike Pass”

We were moving by 730 and had uneventful travel up and along Brohm Ridge, passing well below the Pinnacle to avoid sidehilling.

Brohm Ridge.

We easily gained the flats on Warren Glacier and crossed to where it begins to roll up towards Garibaldi’s NE Face. The views of The Table and Garibaldi’s North Face were spectacular as always. This was Brad’s first time on a glacier, which is always fun!

From here, we turned and dropped down to the west side of The Sharkfin and headed north to the pass between Glacier Pikes and the bump to the west (“West Pike”).

Approaching “Pike Pass”.

The Sharkfin from camp.

We set camp here early and Brad rested while I headed up West Pike, only 15 min up from the pass, and took in some ridiculous views of Garibaldi’s NE Face. (Im glad we got it done a few weeks back as the bergshrund appears slightly more problematic now.)

Summit panorama looking Northwest.

I lazed at the top and then looped down to the north to take in some views of The Table and Garibaldi Lake.

Back at the tent, Brad and I lazed and brewed up some water. Glancing up I noticed a wolverine heading straight at us from the slopes of West Pike, unfortunately it heard my gasp of surprise and diverted over the peak and continued on its way to the Pitt River Valley (we came across tracks the following day). An awesome animal to behold!

After this we both headed up to Glacier Pikes.

West Pike and our camp in the background.

Brad came up and checked out the massive columnar basalt’s covering the slopes of the peak.

I continued up rock and snow to the final summit. Again, great views of peaks near and far along the Sea-to-Sky.

The view north to the lake and Black Tusk.

The view towards Garibaldi’s NE Face.

I descended down the eastern slopes onto the Sentinal Glacier to have a look at tomorrows route to Sphinx Pass and then looped back to the tent.

The camp, Garibaldi, and West Pike from the slopes of Glacier Pikes.

By this point, Brad’s knee had begun to act up, and we decided that instead of continuing on to Sphinx Pass and Castle Towers, we would turn south, cross the Neve and exit out at Elfin Lakes – a shorter and less remote trip. A little disappointing, but I had never crossed the Neve (would have been better on skis!) so there was lots of new terrain.

We enjoyed an awesome sunset at Pike Pass that night.

Day 3 – May 6: “Pike Pass” to Lava Lake

We headed back south down from the pass to the base of The Sharkfin. Content to climb all the named peaks on our new, shorter route, I figured I’d give it a go.

We headed up the south spine, reaching the first high-point. Here Brad turned back, I traversed along the spine of the ridge, first on the west side, then the east, trying to find a way up a loose, 3-4m vertical section. A little sketched out, I returned down to the base. Having another look, there are two ramp features that ascend from near the base up the east side to north of the peak. One ends at a gnarled tree. I ascended this to the tree. There were a few reachy sections and one or two class 5 moves to reach the tree, but less exposed than the south ridge. From the tree there is exposed class 4 to the final peak. The views are not worth it. I felt a little rattled and descended as fast and safely as I could. The rock is extremely loose – if more people climb this peak I don’t think it will exist in a few years.

On top of The Fin.

After this little side adventure, we continued on the standard route up the Neve. The glacier still has awesome coverage and we were never roped up (nor did we bring a rope). We dropped down into the South Pitt Glacier and gained the flats of Bishop Glacier about 2KM SW of Viking Ridge.

We ate lunch and tried to find shade in vain. We saw our first lone goat of the trip on the South Pitt Glacier.

From here we hiked up easy snow to the base of the ridge (Muskeeto’s tracks were still visible) and I went on to the Apex Peak while Brad nerded out on rocks (he is a recently graduated geologist).

Sketchy cornices along the ridge but great views down into the Pitt River and across to Mamquam. The full extent of The Neve and Garibaldi Massif is truly seen from here.

The Garibaldi Massif from the highpoint.

From here we returned to our bags and crossed Bishop Glacier to Ring Creek with no issues.

Sky Pilot, The Gargoyles, and Columnar Peak from the Neve.

We found two solid bridges to cross and then began the slow climb up to Lava Lake.

Atwell and Garibaldi from Ring Creek.

We were both tired, mostly from the relentless sun, but the climb only took 45 min to the col behind the lake, and we were setting up camp and making calls for a ride tomorrow before 6 PM.

The Gargoyle’s from camp.

Brad’s “instagram” tent shot.

Another glorious sunset over Howe Sound and the Tantalus range.

We attempted some nighttime photography with small successes.

Day 4 – May 7: Lava Lake to Paul Ridge

We woke early and headed up Diamond Head. Great views of Atwell and down to Howe Sound.

On the summit.

Views down to Howe Sound.

Goats doing crazy things on the north slopes of Columnar Peak.

After breaking camp, I thought it was take us longer to reach the parking lot, so I elected to only head up The Gargoyles and not the more interesting looking Columnar Peak (although near appear that interesting). Decent views of our route through the Neve and Viking Ridge as well as Lava Lake and the route home.

Summit panorama looking back across our route.

We met our first person in 4 days at the cabin. He would be the first of 100+ we would pass that day…

We also met this guy at the end of the trip.

Overall a great trip with a buddy I haven’t seen in a while – awesome scenery and views the entire ways and insanely nice weather. I don’t use a GPS but I think with the peaks, the total km is 60ish and 3000m +/- a bit, so not the most strenuous of trips. We also ate like kings as we had more than 3 days extra food with us!

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