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Athelney Pass - Frost Fiend Ski Traverse
Timestamp Free: 2020.03.31 - 00:06:40
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Bridge-Lillooet Divide
  (8 days)
Participants: Susan Anstett; Betsy Fletcher; Denise Hart; Brian Waddington
Difficulty: 3: Glacier travel
Ski trip up Salal Creek to Athelney Pass, then around the north side of Mount Thiassi, and exited to the Hurley River valley near Mount Sloan.
[photo]AthelneyMap.jpg[caption]Map of Athelney Traverse[/photo].

The attraction of the country bounded by the Lillooet River, Hurley River, and Bridge River is the fact that it is so close, yet relatively untravelled. The area receives only sketchy coverage in Fairley's guidebook, and many of the peaks in the area are still unnamed. John Baldwin wrote in his 1983 book "Exploring the Coast Mountains on Skis"; "Little is known about skiing NE of Mt. Thiassi, though it is infrequently used by helicopter skiers." And yet the area is getting more and more traffic as access improves. For example Mt. Thiassi has been climbed in a two-day weekend, and the club has cleared a trail to the cabin in North Creek. It seems inevitable that this trend will continue as roads are extended farther up the valleys. Hence the attraction of traversing the area while its still in a wilderness state. And, of course, it promises lots of peaks and good skiing.

The plan for our trip was to start from the Lillooet valley, ski up Salal Creek to Athelney Pass, travel south and east, around the north side of Mt. Thiassi, to exit down to the Hurley River valley near Mt. Sloan. Since the trip was only eight days, no food cache was required. We hoped to climb a number of peaks, including Icemaker Mtn. and The Frost Fiend. Mt. Thiassi, which is the highest mountain in the area, was not on the list as it requires climbing gear which we were unwilling to carry.

The trip lived up to its promise. The weather was good; there were a couple of stormy days, but none so bad that we couldn't move. The peaks proved as accessible as we hoped (with one exception). And the skiing proved to be excellent, exceeding all expectations.

The trip began, somewhat inauspiciously, with a long drive in the rain to...

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