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Lil'wat Mountain from Spetch Creek
Timestamp Free: 2020.07.09 - 16:47:17
Ranges: Place Glacier Group
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 920m
Difficulty: 2: Minor route finding, minor bushwacking, minor scrambling.
Open forest no-trail hiking to reach the north ridge and on to the summit.
It had been nearly 12 years since I last drove up Spetch Creek. With new cutblocks on the upper reaches the road was in good shape with a few rough sections but no waterbars. I had planned for some snow walking on the upper parts but the snow level in this area was above 1400m at the very least so I could follow a new spur that parallels the start of the Spetch Creek (Valentine Lake) Trail. Parking at the end it's only about 30 yards of slash to reach mature forest. The new cutblock is substantial and the amount of slash throughout would make for very slow and tedious travel.

[photo]EndofRoad.jpg[caption]End of road with mature forest and the Spetch Creek Trail just beyond.[/photo]

From where I was parked I was a bit further east from where I'd planned to start, aiming for the north ridge of Lil'wat but to miss the young forest (old cutblock) and this recent one, this would do fine (elevation about 1150m).

I crossed over the slash to reach the mature forest where there's some blowdown to deal with in the transition zone then cut the Spetch Creek Trail and follow for a few minutes before trending off to the right. I ascend to outflank the cutblock with the forest travel pretty good - the ground is very mossy and loamy for a while. Once above the cutblock the travel stays good with a few minor creeks to cross as I generally head in a SSW direction to intersect the north ridge of Lil'wat where it becomes more prominent and open.

Snow didn't make much of an appearance until 1500m or so. By then the forest was becoming a little more bushy but travel was still fine. More snow, more open areas, some talus, minor postholing on the snow as I get on to the north ridge proper, scrambling up some good sized blocky boulders/rock. Finding a good open spot a little further...

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