Susan Peak Lookout GR:734142

elevation: 1,719 m. height gain: 780 m.
area: Donald,BC map 82 N/11
2015-Jan-04


From Golden, drive west on highway 1 and exit at Donald. Head north on the Bush River FSR (gravel). Continue in a north-westerly direction staying on the main road, keeping track of the yellow kilometer markers along the side. The intersection to Susan Lake is well indicated, past the 11-kilometer marker. Follow the road to the Susan/Jeb Lakes junction, 9.9 kilometers and continue towards Jeb Lake. The trail that leads to the lookout is 1 kilometer from the junction, 734136, (indicated on the topo. map).
road to susan lake


The road to Sunsan Lake is not plowed in the winter.
Snowshoe trip: RT 9.75; 5.0 up. This trip was the result of a spontaneous plan B. We planned an ascent on the Bush River FSR assuming the service road was plowed for Chatter Creek's skiing operation. We drove to Donald and quickly realized the road hadn't been plowed in a while. We carried on, following truck tracks. It snowed a lot more than expected overnight, the depth of snow quickly augmented past the Susan Lake turn-off; Fab and I started to weigh out the situation. It became obvious the trucks ahead had chains, we didn't. Snowmobiling the added mileage to reach our approach road on only one machine, in -20 Celsius seemed ludicrous for a number of reasons; we decided to turn around. I started thinking about something to do to save the day, Susan Lookout came to mind. Funny, I had never considered Susan Lookout before because both Fabrice and I have been up there on sleds! Funnier is that I suggested walking the road to the lookout. Funniest is that Fab agreed to walk 25 kilometers on a snowmobile trail with a sled in the back of the pickup. We hiked without snowshoes and continued beyond Susan Lake towards Jeb Lake. We located the trail that leads to the lookout, nobody had been there so we strapped on the snowshoes and proceeded to make our way. The embankments and steep open pockets revealed glide cracks; this is how avalanches propagate in steeper, unsupported terrain... Our stay at the lookout was long considering the wind and cold temperature. After replenishing ourselves, we started heading home in good spirits, joking about what people said when they saw us: "is this for real... idiots!"

compacted snow

The snow on the road is compacted by snowmobilers.

lookout in the distance

The lookout is visible (right center).

sunsan and jeb junction


10 kilometers later, we're at the junction; Susan Lake on the left and Jeb Lake to the right.


lookout trail


Starting on the lookout trail, time for snowshoes.


easy to follow


The wide trail is easy to follow.


lookout ahead


The old lookout ahead.


eerie


Looks eerie...


susan lake below


Susan Lake below, we can hear snowmobilers.


shelter against the wall


Semi sheltered right up against the wall.


in the lookout


The lookout is gutted.


returning


Back down the trail.


back on the main trail


Joining the firm snowmobile trail.
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