Ascent of Bentrim Hill on 2021-01-02

Climber: Eric Gilbertson

Date:Saturday, January 2, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Bentrim Hill
    Elevation:6078 ft / 1852 m

Ascent Trip Report

Mission Peak (6,876ft), Bentrim Hill (6,078ft), Mt Lillian South (6,191ft)

Jan 2, 2020

Eric and Fred

18 miles skiing, 23 miles snowmobiling

We loaded up the snowmobile and started up from Blewett Pass Saturday morning planning to tag a bunch of Backcourt 100 peaks. We were able to snowmobile up about 11.5 miles to the south side of Mt Lillian South, but then I started getting nervous when the road got drifted over and started requiring side hilling. I found a spot to do a five-point turn to turn the snowmobile around and parked it there.

We then put skis on and skied up the ridge to Lillian South. We skied back down through the trees and stopped at the road. Two people on snow bikes were continuing, but those are much more capable of side-hilling and I was happy to have not taken the snowmobile any farther. We continued skiing down through the trees to Howard Creek, then skinned back up to the road on the other side. After skinning east on the road we turned south and followed a ridge through the trees a mile to the summit of Bentrim Hill around 1pm.

Surprisingly there was a brief break in the clouds and we saw the sun poke out. After returning to the road we continued east along the ridge as the weather deteriorated. We followed drifted-over snowmobile tracks to a point a mile northwest of Mission Peak, then pushed into the trees and zig zagged up the ridge. As we left treeline the wind picked up and visibility dropped.

We pushed on, occasionally finding shelter in patches of trees. By 4pm in waning daylight we reached some rocky outcrops near the summit that provided a brief bit of shelter on their lee side. We ditched skis there and scrambled up to the summit in the now ferocious wind. I later discovered a nearby weather station recorded gusts up to 77mph at that time.

Luckily we managed to ski back down into the trees just before it got dark. Then we followed our tracks along the ridge back to the snowmobile a few hours later. By now the route had drifted over a lot more and I had to ride the first few hundred feet solo leaning hard into the hill to not tip over as Fred walked behind. Then the terrain eased up in the trees and we were able to ride back to the car by 9pm.

Link to full trip report and pictures.
Summary Total Data

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