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The Old Settler - two new routes and one new(?) approach
Timestamp Free: 2021.01.25 - 22:16:18
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Lillooet Ranges
  (2 days)
Participants: Drew Brayshaw; Doug Wilm; Shane Cook; Mike Spagnut; Steve Sheffield
This article describes three summit routes on the Old Settler (2132 m), a mountain in southwest British Columbia. The Old Settler is located between Harrison Lake and the Fraser river.
The Old Settler is one of the more interesting summits in the country between Harrison lake and the Fraser River. The following article describes two (one and a half, really) new routes on the mountain, climbed in 1997 and 98, respectively. For those desirous of doing something new of their own I'll include a few hints at the end.

In June 1997, Shane Cook, Doug Wilm and I headed into the Old Settler with the intention of climbing the standard route (S-N traverse). However, we were following the description of a trip from the 1995 VOC Journal, which contained a startling reversal of east and west in its writing; consequently, we wasted half a day bushwacking up the overgrown roads east of the Settler in upper Cogburn Creek (hideous slide alder). On our way out from this debacle we decided to snoop up the new logging roads in Settler Creek, on the north side of the peak, and found them ungated and drivable most of the way to the lake in 2wd condition - a 4x4 would have had no trouble making it to the lake. We set up camp and examined possible routes.

The next day we decided to go for it despite worsening weather. We headed up the huge snow gully bounding the west side of the Settler's immense north face. 2500 feet of thirty-five degree snow later (in Hi-Tecs and with one ice axe each) we pulled onto the NW ridge and began traversing it towards the peak, some 1.5 km away.

The NW ridge involved lots of scrambling ranging from walking up to tricky class 3, loose and with exposure. We ran into some mountain goats that were a lot braver than us with regards to what they would climb. The hardest section was the traverse of the pointy 6500 ft. sub-summit, which involved a detour onto the S. face. Further on one of us required a rope for a few moves up a steep wall....

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