Ascent of Mount Fosthall on 2017-08-16

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Fosthall
    Location:Canada-British Columbia
    Elevation:8812 ft / 2685 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Spectrum Creek trailhead, en route to Mt Odin: out and back from Big Peter campground.

Spectrum Creek forest road is in good condition, would be ok with 2wd. I'd driven most of way in late evening, finding a spot near the lake to park overnight. Bad idea, as logging traffic was passing regularly all night.

From the TH, the trail counter-intuitively heads downhill away from the peak, but soon swings R, crosses the creek on a bridge and heads upstream, wide and easy. At the marked fork R to Spectrum Lake, the unmarked Peter Lake trail keeps straight on and gets narrower, and in a while rougher and steeper. After a substantial ascent, Little Peter Lake is reached (small campsite, toilet, supposedly a bear cache which I don't see). Trail makes as if to cross the lake outflow but that could be tricky and the main path forks R and descends a little to cross the creek by a bridge then pleasant route to Big Peter campground: a sign indicates R for Mt Fosthall and ahead over bridge to camp and Fawn Lake. 14.7km from TH.

I explore camp for a while, having arrived just after midday (4h20 from trailhead) and it's either feed the mosquitos or bag the peak. The peak wins. I hoist my food bag up onto the bear cache, stash my overnight gear, recross the bridge and head L following the sign. Trail soon bends R: disappears briefly but is then is well marked, keeping R of creek, higher up crossing some recent avalanche debris (splintered trees) and a boulder field. Then crosses L of creek and steeply up to Caribou Pass: just before it I'm surprised to see a couple on mountain bikes: group have pedalled up from a (apparently driveable) lodge to south.

I follow the mountain bike track a short way then a line of sporadic cairns marks a traverse rising to eventually hit the south ridge of Fosthall: a fair bit of sidehilling and loose rubbly ground and old snow but nothing difficult; the south ridge itself is easy stony terrain. YDS2

Summit marked by a pole in a large cairn (N50.48034° W118.25850°), summit register with most recent entry a week ago. 2h20 to the summit, 20mins at summit then about 2h down, practising my grizzly bear songs as there seems plenty of places on the way down to surprise them. Grizzly Bears Picnic an old favourite (At 6 o'clock their mommies and daddies will take them home to bed, because they're tired little Grizzly bears); Hey Bear (Just be aware, I'm a hiker, and I have bear spray) by the Beatles also has promise (Na na na grizzly bear, grizzly bear, Hey Bear).

Debating whether to stay here and do a bigger summit day, or get to Fawn Lake, save an hour and maybe lose my food to the bears / chipmunks (I have 12m of improvised cord, not really enough for a bear cache I think). The rangers cabin is free and wins, although not quite as mosquito proof as I'd wish. A proper backpacker would pitch the tent and brave the mozzies; a more sensible summit plan would have been to take the tent to Fawn Lake or beyond.

For route to Odin and return (2 days), see Mt Odin TR.

Fosthall photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3802 ft / 1158 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3802 ft / 1158 m
    Distance:7.5 mi / 12 km
    Start Trailhead:5010 ft / 1527 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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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.

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