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Lillooet Icefield (Lillooet Crown)
Parent Area: Pacific Ranges
 

Area: 3393 sq km. Location: The area known as the "Lillooet Icefield" is much bigger than the immediate headwaters of the Lillooet River. Although is not an official name on any map, when people refer to "traversing the Lillooet Icefield" they are generally referring to the whole interconnected icy divide running all the way from Chilko Lake to Meager creek. The icefield itself actually has 6 major drainages: On the east are the Bridge and Lillooet river drainages. On the north are the Lord and Chilko River drainages. To the west is the Bishop (Southgate) and Toba River drainages. The four major triple points are listed below:

  1. Mount Henderson (Bridge, Lord, and Bishop rivers)
  2. Mount Binkert (Lord, Chilko and Bishop rivers)
  3. Stanley Peak (Bridge, Bishop, Lillooet rivers)
  4. Mount Tisiphone (Bridge, Bute, and Lillooet rivers)

Includes: Compton Icefield, Gilbert, Raleigh, Manatee Group (and Meager). Excludes Good Hope, Monmouth, Elaho Range, Clendenning Range, Tahumming Mountain. Terrain: The area staddles the divide between the wet coastal rainforest and the much dryer Chilcotin Plateau. Due to tremendous snowfall, some of the peaks in the central part of the area stick out only a few hundred meters above the glaciers. Most of the peaks have granite faces. Others mountains are volcanic such as the ones in the Meager Group located near the southern end of the area. Typical mountains here are ones such as Mount Job which are rotten piles of rock only held together by frozen ice. Toward the northern end, peaks like Monmouth are brown colored uplifted metamorphic rock, and somewhat better for climbing. However a typical climb will involve a certain amount of loose rock.

  History: The first written account of the Lillooet Icecap appeared in November 5th 1893 in the <i>Victoria Colonist</i> under the heading "Stanley Smith's Travels - How Clark and Braden Perished."

See <a href=TripPg.asp?TripId=4789>The Route of Stanley Smith in 1893</a>

After Stanley Smith's report, almost 40 years passed before what could truly be called "mountaineering" interest surfaced concerning this area.

In 1931, Neal M Carter, Tom Fyles, Alec Dalgleish and Mills Winram (of the BCMC) made a 2 week expedition up the south side of the Lillooet River. By August 10th they reached the junction of Meagre Creek and the Lillooet River, and made camp. Climbs included Capricorn Mountain, Pylon Peak, Polychrome Ridge, attempts at Mt Job and the first ascent of Mount Meager. In the words of the great map maker, Neil Carter:

"Fyles and Dalgleish went on to the final, tottering pile of rock which called itself a peak, but seemed hesitant about announcing their victory. They commenced throwing rocks at the blade like crest of the ridge and triumphant shouts finally re-echoed their success in knocking over the unattainable summit. "

As long as access had to be on foot, there wasn't much mountaineering activity. By the early 1950's both Raleigh and Gilbert (on the Compton Arm of the Icefield) were climbed with air assistance. Then in the 1970's there were a succession of air assisted traverses, usually starting with an airdrop at the north, and having several air drops along the way. In 2002, the entire traverse was done without air support, by pulling food on sleds.

 

 

Top Trips
Across the Coast Mountains: From Taseko Lake to Bute Inlet Scott Nelson
Losing Weight: From Slim to Meager (Lillooet Icefield Traverse) Scott Nelson
Adventures near Athelney Pass: Ochre Mountain and Salal Peak Lucas Earl
Blisters and Ticks - Taseko-Lillooet Traverse Fred Touche
Plinth Peak, North Face - the Beautiful Nightmare Drew Brayshaw
Bridge Headwaters Ski Traverse Robin Tivy
Ups and Downs on the Lillooet Icefield Alena Dzujkova
Bivouac on the Harrison Hut Trail Klaus Haring
Lillooet Icefield Traverse - Monmouth to Meager Creek Rick Collier
Harrison Hut via new VOC trail and climb Frozen Boot Robin Tivy
More Trips

Top Photos
Plinth Peak and Fred Touche Drew Brayshaw
Homathko Icefield and Compton Neve from Northwest Drew Brayshaw
Sirenia Mountain Don Funk
Mount Ethelweard's Image Reflected Stephen Skog
Manatee Peak from the Northwest Don Funk
Lillooet Mountain North Aspect Scott Fiddes
Mount Fulgora - East Side Fred Touche
Bridge Peak from Sessel Doug Brown
Mount Meager - East Side in August Fred Touche
Wahoo Tower Don Funk
More Photos

Books
Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis - 2nd Ed

Paper Maps