Cloudburst Mountain - North Route via Chance Creek FSR, May 2021
Cloudburst Mountain joins a handful of other prominent peaks plainly visible from the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Squamish and Whistler. Spend enough time commuting up and down this corridor and the peak will inevitably find itself on your tick list. At least that's how it happened with me. That, and I was looking to capitalize on the great weather without much driving or suffering for that matter. Timing is everything, and done right Cloudburst makes for an ideal Springtime venue with mostly snow-free FSR access but still plenty of snow down low to bury all the annoying brush. This "window" usually occurs in late April to early May, depending on how far up Chance Creek FSR one can drive. In my case, I was stopped by snow no more than a kilometer from an obvious fork and from where the trailhead more or less begins.
Turning left off the lower fork, I followed tracks along a lesser and very overgrown road before proceeding up an old cutblock aiming for a line of trees above. Made a tricky stream crossing and continued up to enter the forest, finding much easier travel from here on out. The forest soon gave way to a gladed area below the peak's northern flank. Still following tracks, I continued up and right to gain a wide bench with rolling snow slopes ahead. Into the alpine shortly after and where the angle pitched up to reach a shoulder with corniced summit ridge visible above. Gained this ridge and turned right for the final plod to summit proper. As the southernmost peak on the Squamish-Cheakamus Divide, Cloudburst offers an outstanding perspective on the confluence of these rivers with Sky Pilot Mountain towering just beyond. This view is complemented by the stunning Tantalus Range at right and the peaks surrounding Garibaldi Lake at left. Looking due north, there are the spires of Tricouni, Fee and Cayley with the glaciated summits of the Ashlu-Squamish Divide at left and the more familiar Whistler area peaks at right. Such a great view for so little effort! Returned the way I came for a very agreeable round-trip time of about 5.5 hours. Highly recommended!
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