BC Coast :: North of Whistler :: Vantage Peak
Lovely tarn near Keith' Hut and good camping spot. Vantage Peak ascent ridge upper left
July 27, 2013
Vantage peak is terrific Duffey objective. Day trip is feasible, but due to drive time (3.5 hrs one way) from Vancouver overnight trip is more realistic option. Cerise creek is used as approach for popular Joffre and Matier mountaineering objectives, so don't expect solitude. If you decide to spend a night Keith Hut at base of Anniversary glacier is attractive option; however it is busy year-round so tenting might be better choice. Excellent camping spot can be found at meadows near the hut. Even better option are Anniversary Tarns; in summer months fresh breeze coming down from the glacier drives the bugs away! Technically ascent is mostly hiking, but some route-finding is required above Vantage col in order to pick up the easiest line. There are several options to extend the trip, including fantastic ridge continuing over to Duke rising above Twin One lake.
Parking is at the pullout along Duffey road opposite Cerise creek couple of kilometers past Joffre Lakes trailhead (use provided GPS tracks). There are almost always several cars parked there, so it will be hard to miss! From the parking drop down trail through bush, cross the creek on a good bridge then continue for 20-30 minutes to intersection with old logging road. Follow the road to its end; this is Cerise Creek trailhead. At one point it was possible to drive to trailhead with 4x4, but access has now been barred and you must walk. From the trailhead follow well-defined trail on right side of Cerise creek gently rising in easterly direction. Within an hour you arrive to the junction: turn right for Keith Hut. Left branch is shortcut for Anniversary Tarns - so if you plan on camping there, go left (You can visit Keith Hut on return for loop of a sorts). Note that it is more rough and towards the end you must navigate tricky boulder field next to Cerise creek, which might be hard with overnight pack. It does save time though, specially on a day trip!
Keith Hut is reached in about 40-45 minutes of steady switch-backing ascent from above described Glacier junction. Few minutes past the Hut is lovely meadow with the lake (lead photo on this page). Good trail continuing towards Anniversary Tarns drops down on the other side and crosses tricky lateral moraine before reaching the tarns where lower -shortcut- route joins in. Continue on narrow but distinct trail rising next to bubbly streams towards Vantage col above. Upon reaching the col fantastic panorama unfolds; glaciated Mt. Matier to the right steals the show, but equally intriguing is the valley on the other side leading down to Twin One lake (what a fantastic overnight spot that would be!). From the col it takes about an hour to the summit. Follow trail and flags lower down, but it becomes indistinct higher up. Easiest line traverses horizontally on bench below the bushy and bluffy section, then ascends grassy ramp to the left. Below the summit short cliffs can be tackled head on, or circumvented on the right side.
If you decide to continue over to Duke, note that final bit is considerably more technical than Vantage and will require routefinding through rock-bands in order to pick easiest line (class 3-4). Duke is not feasible as day hike from the Duffey.
|Logging road approach. Vantage peak on the horizon|
|Creek crossing about 1hr before Keith Hut|
|Anniversary Tarn campsite. Joffre right, Matier left|
|Morning at Anniversary Tarn. Joffre center right|
|Anniversary Glacier showing Matier access route|
|Twin one lake from Vantage col. Snowspider behind|
|Hiker on Vantage peak summit looking back to Joffre and Matier|
|Connecting ridge to Duke; Snowspider behind|
|Overall Difficulty||D5||Trail hiking to Keith Hut. Steep lateral moraines below Anniversary glacier. Moderately steep ascent from Vantage col with route-finding. Brief rock bands near the summit are avoidable.|
|Snow Factor||S4||Keith Hut is popular winter destination for ski ascent of Matier. Vantage could be done as snowshoe trip, but snow conditions must be stable|
|Scenery||Fantastic views of Anniversary Glacier, Mt. Joffre and Matier. Twin One lake, Duke and Snowspider from the summit|
|Trail/Marking||Fair||Marked and well defined trail to Keith Hut; sporadic trail afterwards. Route-finding from Vantage col to the summit|
|Suggested Time||8-10hr||Return time from Duffey if day-hiking. Keith Hut / Anniversary Tarns are ~2-3 hrs (one way) if camping|
|Elevation||Start: 1225m Max: 2240m Total: ~1200m||Round Trip: ~20km (via Keith Hut; slightly less if taking Glacier shortcut to Anniversary Tarns)|
|Gear||Full hiking boots, poles and gaiters. Overnight gear for backpack trips|
|Water||Cerise Creek. Anniversary Tarn outlets and seasonal streams in the alpine. Carry 1-2L|
|Dog Friendly||Yes||Only if NOT spending overnight at Keith Hut|