Titkana Peak / Tatei Ridge


 

Trip Details
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Yes
Trip Date: 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Summit Elevation (m): 
2,804
Summit Elevation (ft): 
9,200
Elevation Gain (m): 
1200
Total Distance (km): 
25.00
Quick 'n Easy Rating: 
Class 2 : you fall, you sprain your wrist
Difficulty Notes: 

Pretty easy scrambling from Snowbird Pass, easy off trail hiking from Snowbird Meadows.

Map
Trip Report

In order to get to Titkana Peak (my objective for the day), I first had to hike to the Snowbird Meadows and perhaps Snowbird Pass. Considering the number of people that must do this hike each year, I was quite surprised to discover how few trip reports are out there on this relatively easy peak. I think part of the problem for most folks is how far the hike to Snowbird Pass is (over 20km return) and as it turns out - how much bloody work it is! The views from the pass and the approach are so good already that I think most people are content to turn back at the pass rather than continue up Titkana.

 

The morning dawned clear but quite cold - probably in the -5 degree area! I didn't have my watch but when it got light outside I forced myself out of the warm sleeping bag and into the crisp air outside. Robson looked spectacular over Berg Lake as I drank my morning coffee and got my gear together. I knew it would be a full day and after the long approach the day previous I also didn't want to be pressured to move quickly but rather take my time - as much as it's possible for me to do that anyway... ;)

 

I'll let my photos do most of the talking for the Snowbird Pass hike, but suffice it to say that it's one of the most spectacular hikes / approaches I've ever done, and I've done more than a few over the years. The trail is obvious and signed where it needs to be. Don't under estimate the length or difficulty - if you're not used to 20km+ days with frozen scree, loose rocks and 800 meters of elevation gain you will feel this one once it's over! But don't panic - even getting half way is well worth it, and the Snowbird Meadows are a wonderful place to spend a warm summer or fall afternoon.

 


[Frosty, fall morning.]


[Looking back at Robson from the trail past the Berg Lake CG]


[The trail goes past Rearguard Campground. I was surprised how flat the terrain was between Berg Lake, Rearguard and the Robson Pass campgrounds.]


[The route is well-signed where it needs to be.]


[It's incredible how much the Robson Glacier has retreated in 100 years! It's not even visible from here anymore!]


[I found Whitehorn Mountain to be a very striking and beautiful peak from the Berg Lake area. It's on my list.]


[The trail approaches the Robson Glacier - still a long ways off though, considering 60 years ago it covered this area!]


[The trail has an interesting scrambling section which is chained and even has a fence to keep you safe! Note the glacial lake at the toe of the Robson Glacier below.]


[Looking back along the trail towards Mumm (R) and Anne-Alice (L).]

 
[I love this shot of the Robson Glacier, showing how it curves down and around Rearguard Mountain to the terminal lake. ++]


[When the trail starts to climb up beside the Robson Glacier it eventually flattens a bit and you get an amazing walk high above the glacier on a lateral moraine before turning left up to Snowbird Meadows.]


[The trail continues up the moraine. Extinguisher Tower with Resplendent in the clouds above it on the left.]

 
[Mighty Mount Robson with the Helmet in front of its east face and the Kain Face rising above The Dome on the left. ++]


[Looking along the excellent trail.]

 
[Switchbacks up the slope, Rearguard rising on the left.]

 
[The scenery gets better and better as you hike higher and further. Resplendent NW2 is hiding the main summit of Resplendent on the left, Extinguisher Tower is almost the same height as me here and of course Robson towers over everything and everyone else! ++]

 
[The 'Snow' in 'Snowbird Pass' is clearly appropriate as I hike into the Snowbird Meadows section. ++]


[The Snowbird Meadows are a wonderful place.]

 
[Looking ahead to Snowbird Pass. Titkana is out of sight on the left and Lynx rises on the right. ++]


[Snowbird Pass lies ahead of me.]


[Looking back from the trail]


[Looking left at a false summit of Titkana Peak]


[I was following tracks from a couple who went to the pass the day before.]

 
[Looking back at the wonderful scenery behind me as I crest the pass. ++]

 
[It's for this view that you go to Snowbird Pass! ++]

 

After doing the Berg Lake approach the day before and hiking the 11km and 800 meters of elevation gain to Snowbird Pass, I now had to find the energy and will power to continue up Titkana Peak via Tatei Ridge. There is surprisingly little information on the web about Titkana but the route is very straightforward. Actually there are a few different routes. The easiest route is to by pass the false summit and ascent loose scree slopes right to the main summit directly from Snowbird Meadows before getting to the pass. The advantage with this route is less distance and easier scrambling (pretty much just a hike). The big disadvantage though, is the loose scree ascent and no good views of the Reef Icefield on the east side of the pass.

 

I chose to ascend from Snowbird Pass and experienced amazing views in every direction and even some hands-on moderate scrambling with brief exposure. It was a bit depressing to lose height from the false summit but it wasn't much. Views from the top of Titkana are worth the work - big time! Descending scree slopes to Snowbird Meadows is a no-brainer and was fast and fun on loose, small scree. With good weather and clear views this is a top "bang for your buck" peak.

 

 
[The Reef Icefield to the east of Snowbird Pass with Lynx Mountain rising on the right. ++]


[Looking up the south ridge of Titkana from just above Snowbird Pass]

 
[The views towards Robson are incredible as you get higher on the ridge to the summit. Resplendent is hidden in clouds to the left, Extinguisher Tower is much lower than Titkana just left of center at bottom. ++]


[Gorgeous view of Lynx Mountain.]


[Looking over Snowbird Meadows.]


[Lynx Mountain from near the false summit. This is NOT a scramble due to steep snow / ice slopes near the summit.]

 
[More views over the Reef Icefield with Lynx on the far right. ++]


[View ahead to the true summit from the false one - note the elevation loss. You can bypass this false summit and go directly up Titkana main peak from the meadow below.]

 
[More great Robson scenery. ++]

 
[Looking back over the false summit at Lynx Mountain. ++]

 
[Note the lake below? The Reef Icefield is pretty large and prevents an easy traverse to Chetang Ridge across from Tatei Ridge (Snowbird Peak). ++]

 
[Summit pano showing Lynx on the left with Resplendent, Extinguisher Tower, Robson, Helmet, Waffl, Rearguard, Whitehorn, Anne-Alice, Mumm and Chetang Ridge from L to R. ++]


[Looking over the Reef Icefield to Mount Fitzwilliam in the distance.]


[An unnamed summit directly across from Titkana Peak to the east]


[Looking northeast off the summit towards Calumet Peak on the right.]


[I love the colors in this landscape, looking north off Titkana.]


[Swoda Mountain]


[The large mountain in cloud is Mount Chown with Mount Bess to the left.]


[I climbed Mumm Peak the following day. Gendarme Mountain just 'peaking' over it's summit shoulder.]


[Mount Anne-Alice isn't particularly difficult but does look to have a summit ice field which should probably mean roping up with more than one person. Mount Phillips to the left of it, named after Donald "Curly" Phillips, the young methodist pastor who joined George Kinney in his obsessive attempts at being the first to climb Mount Robson.]


[Whitehorn Mountain is an impressive 11,000er in the Robson area.]

 
[I can't get enough of this impressive landscape! Resplendent is almost cloud free finally. ++]


[Vern on the summit of Titkana Peak.]


[Looking over the false summit to the impressive Lynx Mountain towering over Snowbird Pass. I think in good conditions only an ax / crampons would be required to ascend Lynx.]


[Looking up the great scree run leading to the summit of Titkana. Going up this would suck, but coming down it is great fun!]


[Linking back up with the Snowbird Pass route.]


[The trail is obvious and easy to hike on - this is descending the moraine on my way back to camp.]

 
[Views from the trail down the moraine above the Robson Glacier.]


[Rearguard is impressive from this angle.]


[The Robson Glacier.]


[Looking across the valley towards Anne-Alice (L) and Mumm Peak (R) with an unnamed summit between them. I hiked to Mumm Basin and climbed Mumm Peak the following day - a much harder ascent than Titkana was!!


[I particularly loved the chained up section of trail.]


[The Robson River starts its journey to the Pacific Ocean.]


[Hiking home in the evening.]

 
[Looking back at Titkana Peak from near the Rearguard CG. ++]


[Robson looms over Berg Lake as I approach camp for the night.]

 
[Sunset over Berg Lake. ++]

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