Ascent of Spipiyus Peak on 2020-09-13

Climber: Seán Caulfield

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, September 13, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Spipiyus Peak
    Location:Canada-British Columbia
    Elevation:4134 ft / 1260 m

Ascent Trip Report

After spending the previous 3 days kayaking around Desolation Sound decided to hit Spipiyus on the way home to Vancouver, despite the fact that it was super smoky from forest fires in the US.

Drove my Nissan NV 2500 RWD van around 12km from the highway to approx. elevation 820m along Trout Lake Road & then Halfmoon-Carlson FSR. Parked at a small pullout just before the road was getting rough - it's in easy 2WD condition to this point thanks to active logging. It was 8pm on a Saturday night, so there was no traffic on the road.

Could definitely have driven further, but it was late & dark & I was happy enough to have left myself a <6km hike for the morning - the plan was to get a good night's sleep then run up for sunrise, hopefully there would be a view above the smoke...

I woke up just before 5:30am & set off down the logging road in the smoky darkness before 5:45am after a yoghurt & mouthful of Gatorade for breakfast. I tried jogging but the smoke was so thick it was hard to see far enough ahead with my headtorch, & anyway I had over an hour to get to the summit for sunrise, which was 6:49am.

The logging road was driveable with 2WD low-clearance to around 2km before the turn off in my estimation, from here on there were some waterbars & a steep section. 4x4 (or maybe even an AWD or RWD truck in the right hands) with decent clearance required to get all the way. The route then left the main Half Moon Bay FSR up a spur road for a short distance before a trail branched left & up for the last 500m or so.

This trail was a little overgrown & difficult to follow in places, but there was some old flagging at least, I had a .gpx file & it closely matched trails on the maps.ME & wikiloc apps on my phone. Soon I was on the flat summit plateau, I walked around a bit searching for the highest ground, it wasn't really obvious where this might be in the smoke, I think it could have been a little past the antenna where there was a small cairn. Unsure if there would have been much of a view from the top even on a clear day, although there would probably be partial views in some directions through gaps in the trees I think.

I didn't spend long on top, then retraced my steps back to the van. Not wanting to overexert myself with all the smoke I part-ran, part-walked down, I would run until my breathing became too heavy then slow to a walk until I had a breather, then run again.

I was finished in 1hr 49mins round trip, just over 12km with 436m gain/loss, much less if you drive higher - probably the easiest physically and technically of the SWBC prominent peaks.

On the drive down I caught up to a fully loaded logging truck & followed it for a few km - this was at 7:45am on a Sunday morning. Also met a couple of pickups & another big truck headed up. Radio advised for this FSR.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1447 ft / 441 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.5 mi / 12 km
    Route:Halfmoon-Carlson FSR
    Trailhead:Pullout on Halfmoon-Carlson FSR  2687 ft / 818 m
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, White-out
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 9 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:40 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Seán Caulfield
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

This page has been served 40 times since 2005-01-15.

Copyright © 1987-2021 by All Rights Reserved. Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page Terms of Service