Trophy Mountain (CwemCwem Lake Loop)

elevation: 2,575 m.
height gain: 1,225 m.
area: Clearwater,BC
map 82 M/13
2022-Jul-02


Ref:- The Camping Canucks
      - Wells Gray Provincial Park

snow patches at the start


Snow patches from the get-go.
Scramble: RT 5.75; 3.0 up (for loop). This weekend we decided to go backpacking in the mountains. With slower-than-usual snowmelt, we had to choose an objective with a short approach and clear access to the trailhead; Trophy Mountain came to mind due to its easy route through meadows. Additionally, a previous trip report confirmed the trailhead was accessible. Trillions of mosquitoes and black flies greeted us at the trailhead; we got on our way at record speed. There was snow on the trail from the start; luckily, it was consolidated, granting firm footing. The bugs dwindled quickly, which was a blessing as it was too hot to cover up. We hiked the snowy meadows to the foot of West Trophy, where we set up camp for the night. It was now late afternoon; we enjoyed a nice dinner and sunset. It was special to be in the Trophy Basin with the snowbound landscape; the alpine lakes displayed their typical turquoise melt-rings. The peaks were mostly white other than the ridges; it was a privilege to witness such beauty and to have the mountain to ourselves. The following morning, we ascended West Trophy. Clouds were rolling in, but it was still warm. The traverse to Trophy Mountain appeared to be more than a hike, so we decided to split up; Milan and the kids hiked to Long Hill while I continued to the true summit. The traverse was straightforward even with snow, nothing more than easy scrambling; however, I was glad the kids hadn't followed. After an hour, I reached the top; by then, there was lightning and thunder over Dunn Peak and west of me. I called Milan and told him not to wait for me as I suddenly opted to retreat off the mountain via CwemCwem Lake. I boot-skied to the lake; it was quick and fun. Then I made my way across the frozen lake. The following part was the crux of my descent; I had to find a place where I could breach the cliffband and make it to the valley bottom, where snow bridged the raging creek. In hindsight, I should have come down at the head of the drainage. Once at the valley bottom, I hiked along the fast-flowing creek to the ascent gully. The climb was quick. Once reunited, I sat down and took my boots off; I had frozen toes. By the time I put my boots back on, everything was packed up. Our return was pleasant until we reached the forest where the mosquitoes were waiting. I was satisfied with my scramble loop. We finished this fine backcountry visit with a great dinner at the Painted Turtle restaurant.

terrain opens up

Soon after the start of the hike, the terrain opens up.

vast meadows

Vast Trophy Meadows.

pleasant hiking

Pleasant hiking and warm temperature.

upper terrain

Sheila Lake and the upper terrain is snowbound.

trophy peaks

West Trophy and Trophy Mountain to the right.


camp set up


Camp is set up at the foot of West Trophy.


sunset


Sunset.


living the life


Living the life!


replenishing water supplies


Replenishing the water supplies the following morning.


heading up trophy 2


Heading up West Trophy.


gully for loop


This major gully leads to the CwemCwem Drainage.


ambassador


Trophy Peaks' ambassador.


enjoyable ascent


Enjoyable ascent on firm snow.


looking back


Looking back.


upper mountain


Upper mountain.


almost there


Almost there.


looking back


Looking back along the ascent ridge.


western view


Western view towards Long Hill, the lowest of the Trophy Peaks.


cwemcwem lake


CwemCwem Lake.


traverse to trophy


The traverse to Trophy Mountain.


straightforward traverse


Straightforward traverse.


typical terrain


This typical terrain grants easy scrambling.


looking back


Looking back towards West Trophy.


last stretch


Last stretch.


summit cairn


Summit cairn.


raft mountain


Raft Mountain to the south.


cwemcwem lake below


CwemCwem Lake and drainage below.


boot-skiing to lake


Fast descent boot-skiing to CwemCwem Lake.


cwemcwem lake


CwemCwem Lake.


blue margin


The lake's blue margin.


trophy mountain


Trophy Mountain from across the frozen lake.


ascent gully


CwemCwem Drainage and the ascent gully (center) back to the camp at the foot of West Trophy.


glissade


Glissade to the valley bottom.


crossing raging creek


Crossing the raging creek where it's still bridged by snow.


climbing gully


Making my way to the ascent gully.


walking along creek


Walking along the melting creek.


sights and sound of raging water


Melting snowpack on the way up the steep gully.


lovely bowl


A lovely bowl preceeds the final climb out of the gully and back to camp.


heading back down


All packed and heading back down.


dunn peak


Majestic Dunn Peak south of us.


trail in the meadows


On the trail in the meadows, a lot of snow disappeared.
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