Ample Mountain

Elevation Gain: 526m
Distance: 4.24km
Total Time: 3 hours 53 minutes
Date: June 15th, 2024

Ample Mountain is one of those peaks you keep in your back pocket when the weather is terrible everywhere and you just want to get out. It’s located just outside of Lillooet in the rain shadow of the coast mountains and is therefore one of the few places likely to have good weather when the rest of the coast is shrouded in rain. This weekend happened to be just such an occasion. After spending over 2 hours sifting through various forecasts, the only real sunshine appeared to be around Lillooet. Just a few kilometers south even and the weather was going to turn by the afternoon. The thought of driving 7+ hours for about 3.5 hours of hiking pained me a bit, but I didn’t want to stay at home all weekend if I could help it. Andrea and my friend Mike were keen to get out as well and so we formed a plan to leave Vancouver at 3am in the hopes of timing the small weather window.

As we drove through the Duffey we were met with glorious sun and I began to wonder if the weatherman had skunked on us. Nonetheless, it was supposed to get rainy by noon, so we made the right call and continued all the way through to the Seton-Retask road. It was easy driving and we were able to get to the highest cut block. That put us just a short 2.5km to the summit. As we pulled up the trees cleared and we had a panoramic view of the shimmering blue Seton Lake.

Heading up the Seton-Retask Road

Now it was starting to feel worth it! With some new found stoke, we left the road and started bushwhacking through the cut block. It proved to be much denser than expected and we had to navigate several sections of deadfall and run shoulder to shoulder with the silviculture. Eventually we exited the old cut block and reached the base of a short cliff band. We scrambled up some 3+ class terrain on loose rock topping out on a narrowish ridge.

Mike and Andrea starting the hike above our parking spot
Looking up at the forest
Hmmm getting a little dense
These actually aren’t all that bad to walk through
Some interesting aggregate type of rock. It almost looked like man made asphalt
Andrea emerging from the cut block
The cliff band above
Andrea and Mike scrambling up
Looking back at the cut block

From the ridge we hiked up through some more deadfall and then eventually reached freshly cut sections of trail. Someone had spent a fair bit of time clearing the upper ridge and our pace picked up as we hiked more freely through the terrain. We bypassed a gendarme of sorts on the right and then one short section of class 2/3 rock got us back onto the ridge for a final walk up to the summit.

On the ridge with Seton Lake behind
Looking ahead at the summit
Very recently cleared deadfall
Andrea on the ridge
Looking down at Seton Lake again
Phair Creek and Phair Mountain at the head

The views were phenomenal! They way outdid my expectations and we spent a good deal of time taking it all in. I was a little frustrated to see near perfect weather over a number of bigger summits throughout the Duffey, but on the bright side at least it was sunny where we were too. Once it was time to return we followed the ridge back to the last section of cleared trail and then dipped down onto the west side of the forest. We weren’t keen on down climbing the loose cliff band so opted to find a trail to bypass it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t locate where the trail clearing had originated from and just followed goat paths down through the forest.

Mount McLean which I did with Brayden in 2023
Andrea and Mike on the summit
Saddlebag Mountain and I believe Mount Seton at centre right. Ostinato is the bright snowy one on the right side

By some luck we avoided any real bushwhacking until running into the cut block again in the last 500m. Here it was even worse than on the way in with most sections chocked full of dead fall. Both Andrea and Mike took some huge spills, but I luckily avoided the same fate. After a prolonged battle with the bush we popped out onto the road just 200m from the truck and promptly walked back.

Heading down a goat trail
Can you spot Andrea?
High above the Duffey

For such a short hike, there’s a bit of everything on this one and the views are worth the bushwhack. I’m almost certain there’s a trail somewhere in there or one in the nascent stages, but we couldn’t locate it successfully. I suspect in the very near future this will be a very straightforward hike.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *