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China Head Mountain  British Columbia   #6827
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Chilcotin Ranges

Height: 2124 m -> 6969 feet
Prominence?: 209 m  
Line Parent?: Roderick Peak (9.3 km away, at bearing 132 degrees)
Greater Parent: Roderick Peak (9.3 km away)

Location:   51.16528,-122.39750     51:09:55, -122:23:51   10U 542127 5668377 (50 km N of Shalalth). NTS Mapsheet: 092.O.01   AreaCode: FM12/BD69
China Head Mountain
More of a ridge than a peak, China Head runs between French Bar Creek and South French Bar Creek, and is one of the main northern "vertebrae" off the "spine" of the Camelsfoot Range (which tends to have a series of eastward ridges running off it towards the Fraser). The named summit at 2125m is just adjacent to the road which traverses the ridge between the Poison Mtn area and the West Pavilion Road (up the west side of the Fraser from Lillooet). There is a higher summit at 2197m towards the western end of the upland which is also known simply as "China Head". In fact there are several higher summits on this ridge - China Head is the most visible one from the east, which is why it was named. This comes from frontier times when the gazetted prominence was a visible alpine spot from the then-active Fraser packtrail route between Lillooet and the Cariboo; some think it's because of a resemblance to a Chinese hat, but in actuality it seems to have more to do with the presence of Chinese settlers in this area in those times.

China Head and its surrounding upland are known, like Nine Mile Ridge just to the south, for beautiful alpine meadows and rangeland-and-mountain views. It is in part traversed by one of the main backroads in the aream which leads east from the Poison Mountain area and connects with the Big Bar Ferry and the northward extension of the West Pavilion Road.

Prominence Saddle of 1915m to Nine Mile Ridge is at the head of South French Bar Creek, towards the western end and northernmost bit of Nine Mile Ridge; there is an "almost" prominence saddle of 1905 at the headwaters of the Yalakom R, which is the saddle for Nine Mile Ridge-Red Mountain.

Name Notes: There were many Chinese ranchers in the Fraser Canyon in the 19th Century, and this name would appear to come from association with a local homesteader. Lillooet merchant Wo Hing's ranch was a bit farther south around Leon Creek but I think the name refers to one of his neighbours. The word "Head" in the name refers to the mountain as such - as in headland, with a meaning something like mesa or butte, rather than any reference to anatomy. Environmental groups have redubbed a conical summit here as "China Hat" but this is without historic basis.

Trip Reports within 1 km
51 2003.09.22 China Head Mountain Bike Traverse Sept 2003 Kirby Kinnon


Subject Photos   View Thumbnails
7 China Head Mountain James Macnab

Placename Photos
3 Top of China Head Mountain Geoff Playfair
3 Northern Camelsfoot Range Panorama (Labelled) Mike Cleven