Emerald Peak

elevation: 2,545 m. height gain: 1,240 m.
area: Field,BC map 82 N/7

From the south-west corner of Emerald Lake parking lot, locate the trailhead to Hamilton Lake. Follow this popular trail to 303993. The trail traverses towards the lake but the objective is to follow the south ridge of Emerald. This ridge easily leads to open terrain and the false summit. From there the summit ridge is broken, route finding may be required.
from the highway

Emerald Peak from the highway.
Snowshoe trip: RT 8.25; 5.5 up. Fortunate indeed!!! I was hoping the forecasted snow would arrive late or not at all; it held off. Fab was not convinced he could make it to treeline, suffering from a pulled muscle. The plan was to get to treeline and see... An avalanche report on the Emerald Slide Path described the snowpack as spooky; we planned to avoid most of the hazard. Evelyn decided to come along despite the warnings this may be a failure! To put the odds on our side, I set off to break trail to 2100 m. two days previous. Ev drove in at 7:30; we left the trailhead in good spirit, putting our heads down for the next couple of hours following the obvious trail. From where I had turned around two days before, less than 100 m. remained to treeline. Breaking trail was hard but not unreasonable; a buried supportive soft slab prevented going to ground. The scenery soon became enjoyable, the south ridge came into view. We followed it to the last trees, where we took a break. Fabrice decided he would accompany us to the top. We thought the summit would be reached quickly from here. Although overcast, visibility was good and there was very little wind. We proceeded to the high point and realized the summit was the furthest buttress on the broken ridge. Carefully we continued, eventually taking our snowshoes off. We stayed on the ridge crest and had to find the least exposed path; climbing short sections. The summit ridge added excitement and gave a "big mountain" feel. From the summit, we watched four skiers come down the Slide Path from high up on the east ridge; very ballsy! We retraced our way back down the ridge. This trip would be very appropriate as a ski touring outing, given good snow conditions.
near treeline

The terrain opens up and the alpine reveals itself.

ev and jo

Conditions are looking good so far...


Gaining the south ridge through Larch trees.

false summit

These slopes would be nice to ski!

above treeline

We hug the ridge to the false summit.

true summit ahead

We chose the ridge on the right instead of the snow feature ahead.

true summit

Summit cairn on the far buttress.


Yahooooo! We made it!

awesome my friends!

Fab and Ev.

slide path

Looking down the Emerald Slide Path, east side.


Emerald Lodge on the left.

heading back

Heading back down the way we came.

snow lip

Fab gaining the snow lip.

summit ridge

A little further along on the snow covered upper ridge.

short climb

Downclimbing a steep section into a sheltered pocket, very neat feeling.

nice ridge

The pocket on the left and the continuing ridge.

near the first buttress

Another snow lip.

easy climb

We climb up the buttress to avoid the snow saddle.

lower part

Almost back at our snowshoes.

looking back

Looking back towards the summit.

back on snowshoes

Back on the snowshoes.

down we go...

First time on snowshoes, Ev yells "I wish I had my skis!!!!"
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