Travois Peak GR:024299

elevation: 2,661 m. height gain: 1,775 m.
area: Skookumchuck,BC map 82 G/13
2011-May-17


Drive to Premier Lake Provincial Park just north of Skookumchuck on highway 93/95. Continue along the lake to its south end, park near the trail maps at the entrance of the campground. Walk down the road towards the campsites and find the trailhead, about 200 meters. Follow the well-defined trail to Yankee Lake and the Saddle Back Trail junction. Take the Saddle Back Trail; it leads to the saddle south of Travois Peak, 019291. From there, some scrambling is required to travel on the south-west summit ridge. Most obstacles are avoided by dropping on the east side.
trail maps


Trail maps at the campground's entrance.
Scramble: RT 12.0; 7.0 up. Travois Peak is not well known. There was no information available describing an ascent route. However, I came across a trail map of Premier Lake Provincial Park; it indicated a trail switchbacking its way up to a saddle south of the summit. Located near Canal Flats, we were hoping for a high snowline to take advantage of the trail. With a hefty height gain, we needed all the help we could get! Starting early, we hiked to Yankee Lake on a very wide trail. Before reaching the lakeshore, we turned (right) on the indicated Saddle Back Trail. This nice trail climbs the south-west aspect of a treed rib with a consistent moderate grade. The trail was free of snow for a good 700 meters of height gain. Eventually, snow patches turned to snowcover so we put on the snowshoes. As the snowpack deepened, the trail became harder to follow until we decided to just make our own way. Snowshoeing conditions were favorable, mostly firm snow. That was a key factor granting us the opportunity to gain the saddle. After 5 hours, we reached the saddle still unsure of the feasibility of our goal. The broken summit ridge looked difficult but after all the effort to get here, we had to give it a try. We scrambled up the initial rock buttress to get a look. The summit is hidden and more buttresses interrupt the ridge ahead. We carefully continued on the ridge crest, sometimes dropping on the snowy east side. Avalanche hazard should be considered. The absence of soft slabs is necessary and minimal solar radiation is a bonus. We followed the challenging ridge towards a highpoint we thought might be the top. Maybe we will make it after all! Upon reaching the highpoint, Fab yelled in disappointment "It's further ahead"... Luckily, the remainder of the ridge was easier and the top was near. The weather deteriorated; too bad... Still, we were very pleased to have made it to the top; that objective seemed quite far-fetched this morning. We huddled behind a cornice just below the top. Following a quick break in the winter wonderland of Travois, we started to head down. At the saddle, we put the snowshoes back on. The snow had softened a lot, we wanted off the steep treed terrain. Soon we were on the trail again; we took a very long, needed break. The rest of the hike was uneventful but very pleasant. This is a good accomplishment, a summer hike combined with a winter scramble!
trail junction

The Saddle Back Trail junction near Yankee Lake.

yankee lake

Yankee Lake.

along the trail

Along the nice dry trail.

avoiding snow


Avoiding snow on a rock rib.


snowshoes to continue


Now on snowshoes.


steep terrain


The terrain is steep.


saddle ahead


Nearing the saddle.


on the saddle


Fab coming up to the saddle.


summit ridge


From the saddle, the summit ridge is obstructed.


looking back


Looking back, a ways after the initial rock buttress (right center).


along the ridge


Along the summit ridge.


is this the top?


Hightpoint ahead, is it the summit?


looking back again


Looking back again.


so, is it the top?


We climbed to the ridge crest, avoiding the loaded slope. The highpoint is not the top.


true summit ahead


Finally, the true summit in sight!


at the top


Sweeeeeeeet, we made it!


quick break


Taking shelter in the lee of a cornice just below the top.


north-west ridge


Travois Peak's north-west ridge.


ascent ridge


The ascent ridge and a sub peak to the south.


leaving the top


Leaving the summit.


reduced visibility


The visibility is sometimes greatly reduced.


skirting the rocks


Skirting the rocks wherever possible.


looking back up the ridge


Looking back up the ridge.


on the east side


Traversing on the east side.


last glimpse at the ridge


The visible hightpoint hides the true summit.


the saddle ahead


The saddle just ahead.


mount wirth


The eastern view towards Mount Wirth.


some scrambling


Scrambling down the initial rock buttress.


ptarmigans


Ptarmigans welcome us back at the saddle.


back on snowshoes


Back on the snowshoes.


premier lake below


Premier Lake below.


travois peak


Travois Peak and the ascent rib. Picture taken from Premier Lake's access road.
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