Ascent of Mount Odin on 2017-08-18

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Friday, August 18, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Odin
    Location:Canada-British Columbia
    Elevation:2970 m / 9747 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Tactics: the Tivy/Stolk approach allows 5-6 days. A hillrunner might do it in a long day (some of the Fastest Known Times are amazing). The focused peak bagger might go for 3 days, with a camp at Big Peter Lake as I did (15, 44, 15km - very long summit day), or to divide the days a little more equally, at Fawn Lake or perhaps better, the dry pond below Gates Lookout, or Lower Gates Pond (23, 26, 23km) (with need to improvise a bear cache). Best plan might be Lower Gates Pond 2 nights with allowance for 3rd night on way out if needed. I reckoned my summit day should be 40km, about 1500m ascent (Day 1 was 27km/1700m/9hrs) hence should be doable, (but was actually 41km, 2700m with a 3km shortcut which added 300m - and took 21hrs15 !)

I used a different gully to descend to Gates Ledge, 160m N of the one described by Tivy/Stolk. Theirs sounds a little easier but may be similar.
I didn't use the glacier, as it had extensive lying snow (mid Aug) and I was solo. Instead I used the SE ridge direct from Odin Saddle: this has a 20m pitch of YDS3 scrambling on good rock, exposed; also 1 or 2 other bits of YDS3 and some exposed but easy arete.

For Day 1/ approach hike, see Mt Fosthall TR, as I did that peak on the first afternoon.

Day 2: away at 0525. Good signed trail then turn off L for Fawn Lake, which is pretty well marked with tape and, higher up, cairns. Crossing Moon Pass and Valley I make an ascending traverse ENE, a few crags to avoid, then descend to find Gates Lookout (names as per Robin Tivy report on However I find a different gully 160m N of the expected one, which looks like it should go - indeed it does; pretty steep in places with some tree assisted scrambling, but nothing particularly alarming, although from the descriptions, the "official" gully sounds a little easier.

I make a level traverse L (N) to join Parallel Creek, passing the dry lake, descending past an austere snowy moraine lake and the tiny Gates Ponds (here or at the dry lake above, should make a good Base Camp location for a 3 day bid- just before the start of the bushwhacking). From here I descended to Woodbound Lake and via a ridge (moderate bushwhack) to Rockslide Pond.

The ascent to Silvertip Lake is a little brushy and pretty steep. Staying below the main cliffs, a large boulderfield comes into view on R. At this point a route of grass and easy slabs is evident directly above (ignore a steep brushy gully - doable but more awkward). This crosses a saddle and I drop down the other side, pass N end of lake and make a tree assisted scramble up a slab.

From here, the route to Odin Saddle is a long arcing traverse across an open slope with lots of attractive grey stripy rock, making slabs, a number of scrambly scoops carrying meltwater, and higher up, a large boulder field punctuated by a few patches of soft snow, leading via a short scree slope to Odin Saddle at the edge of the glacier. The glacier route used by Tivy/Stolk evidently reaches the E ridge leading to the False summit, all easy angled but with a lot of snow cover with no visibility of crevasses - not a place for me to go solo. I decide to investigate the SE ridge ie directly from the saddle. If it doesn't go, it's turnaround time (sensibly it was a hour ago - I'll be finishing in the dark). I soon reach a steep slabby face: fortunately the rock is good and I'm happy to scramble it, with no hard moves to reverse. This gets me to a saddle on an arete. The ridge continues with a few scrambly sections, making YDS3 once or twice more; sometimes climbing close to the edge of the snow. The False summit is reached, with its small aerial; then the Tivy route is joined for the final ridge ascent to summit cairn (N50.55176° W118.12937°). I'm up in 9h45 from Big Peter camp, 1510, 5-6hrs to darkness! Impressive views of challenging nearby peaks looking only a little lower than this one.

Class 3 downclimb goes OK, the GPS track is precise enough for me to follow down. Below Silvertip Lake I decide to try a shortcut I spotted earlier, direct to the Gates Lookout: stable boulderfield leads easily down to cross creek some way downstream of Rockslide Pool; easy climb onto ridge; 180m descent steep but straightforward, minimal brush; OK crossing of Ledge Creek. Ascent starts brushy (mature slide alder, not dense), work R into open flowery area (signs of recentish bear activity); above this I now see cliffs, the flaw in my route! To R I could try scrambling up beside Ledge waterfall, unclear if this would work. The cliffs ahead look to be broken, with trees all the way up: I reckon there will be a way. Indeed there is, although very steep in parts with vertical tree assisted scrambling. This route saves 3km and adds around 300m of climb: I feel it saved some time, but can't say I recommend it!

I head L along Parallel Creek and just make it to the foot of my ascent gully before I need the head torch: I follow my GPS trail upward, with more tree assisted scrambling. The descent to Moon Pass is slow in the dark but fairly safe ground and I have my outward GPS trail to follow, but there are a few large slabby outcrops to avoid. After Fawn Lake my GPS track from this morning runs out: somehow the first part hadn't recorded. It's easy terrain but I end up too far east, wasting time before refinding the path back to Peter Lake. Down in 11h30, the darkness having added at least 2hrs to the duration. I retrieve my supper from the bear cache and am fed and abed by 2am. 21hrs15, my biggest day out in a decade, and a superb peak in the bag.

Day 3: After a good sleep I'm away just before 9, hiking down in a weary footsore 4hrs. I meet a group of youngsters heading for Mt Fosthall, one with a bear bell; a girl singing and yelling in fine bear scaring style. Then another group heading for Spectrum Lake.

After a couple of hours at the trailhead catching up on food and drink, I make the short drive to Gold Panner Campground for mid-trip laundry, shower, more food and to prepare for tomorrow's Pinnacles ascent.

Odin photo album
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:928 m / 3047 ft
    Distance:72 km / 44.7 mi
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Aid Climb
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:928 m / 3047 ft
    Distance:72 km / 44.7 mi
    Trailhead:2042 m / 6700 ft
Descent Statistics
    Distance:0 km / 0 mi
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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