Corrie Creek Horsehoe

Sept 1, 2010

Robin, Mark, Andre, Steve and I did an awesome horsehoe of Corrie Creek, heading up the Helm Glacier and then back north along Corrie Peak before dropping east to Corrie Lake. The day begins with gradual switchbacks, and before long you’re up in the alpine and enjoying endless rambling for a kilometres along the ridge from Gentian to the end of Corrie. Another highly recommended daytrip!

I’ve never been in this part of the park before. We were originally planning to visit a small pond on the north shore due to a crappy weather forecast, but quickly changed plans when the forecast called for sun and clouds. There’s just something about mountains and alpine that’s alot sexier than visiting a little pond in a forested basin. The flower displays up at Helm meadows were quite spectacular for September. Definitely has something to do with the high snowpack in June and July.

The Black Tusk, I’d like to go up there with all the crowds one day, and wait in line to scramble up the chimney, but I seem to always make circles around the more popular and classic destinations. There are still some snow patches here, which might be good for those seeking October turns…

Robin and Mark contouring around the Cinder Cone. The Helm Glacier is visibly in the distance. Once a upon a time it was bigger, but now it’s hardly more than a snowfield.

Some of the terrain on this trip reminded alot of the South Chicoltins. Maybe next summer I should just spend a week or two doing a summer traverse through Garibaldi Park instead of making the long drive up to the Chilcotins.


Up on the mellow Helm Glacier. There are some crevasses here, but it would take quite a bit of effort to fall in one today.

Plod plod plod. Andre hiking up on the Helm Glacier.
With the constantly changing weather, and low clouds moving in and out, there were some spectacular lightning conditions making this scree ridge look far more interesting than it would otherwise.

With a view like this one, we had to stop for lunch. The scrambles route goes up the right hand skyline, while there’s a snow/ice climb up the north face of Castle Towers. Another trip I’d like to do would be to circumnavigate Garibaldi Lake, and climb a few peaks along the way, especially some of the more less visited ones.

An important nap time on Gentian ridge, the best cure for Onteribbl-itis and acute mountain sickness.

A very spectacular north face.

Looking back down towards a line of dead trees in Castle Creek.

After a prolonged lunch break, Robin hinted to us that we should probably keep moving if we wanted to make it back to Vancouver in time for a slideshow at his place. In the end, we rambled for too long, and didn’t make it back to Vancouver in time. From Gentian ridge, our route continued northeast for a few kilometres along a broad ridge and over Corrie Peak, with only one section of difficulty, and otherwise classic ridge rambling.

Looking towards Corrie Peak, with Singing Pass in the background. Singing Pass is another spot I’d like to go in the summer, mostly for the good rambling and easy access.

Our descent off the summit of Corrie Peak wasn’t ideal. We could have downclimbed some steep snow on either side of the ridge, but ended up going down some really loose rock to gain a snowpatch and then the ridge again. We only downclimbed for a short section, but basically if there were any holds that I didn’t like, I just picked it up and tossed it away.

After a brief interruption by the loose rock getting off Corrie Peak, the ridge rambling continued, and even got better! The turquoise lake on the right is Cheakamus Lake. Maybe one day there will be a trail up Singing Creek.

Looking back at Corrie Peak and where we came down from. Not the most obvious spot if we were going up from this direction . We came down just to the right of the gendarme on the left skyline.

An enormous ridge. Perfect rambling terrain. To quote Steve, “it’s the way a ridge should be”


There were an incredible amount of western anemone on this northeasterly slope. Just a perfectly intact slope of anemones.

Looking up the Cheakmus, and towards Veeocee Mountain. Canoe/bushwack approach anybody?


We followed open heathery terrain for as far north along the ridge as we could, until it was finally necessary to bushwack down towards the outflow of Corrie lake. There’s a flagged “route” from the outflow to the Helm Creek trail, but it’s not really a trail and whoever flagged it must have been stumbling around a lot. I get a feeling the next time I’m here, it’ll be in the winter, and looking for the perfect powder runs in the trees.

00 comments on “Corrie Creek Horsehoe

Leave a comment

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