Mount Brew (Lillooet) - Northeast Ridge, July 2021
Following in the footsteps of the "Great Ones" of the SWBC Peakbaggers FB group I've been following lately, I made my way over towards Lillooet for a climb of Brew's NE Ridge. At just under 9500 feet, Brew is considered the 5th highest in SWBC and as such commands an impressive panorama overlooking the confluence of lower Cayoosh Creek, Seton River and the mighty Fraser River. It lies in a rain shadow of the endless valleys and peaks to the west and is predominantly comprised of fractured shale, reminiscent of what one might find in the Rockies.
Considering the long drive from North Vancouver, I car camped the night before next to what appears to be an old quarry over in Cayoosh Canyon, a few clicks from Lillooet. Drove Enterprise Creek FSR some 11 km to the parking area the next morning, fully expecting to be devoured by mosquitos the moment I stepped out of the truck. Lo and behold, NO MOZZIES! Left the head net behind and made my way up (down) the trail. As others have noted, a good amount of chainsaw woodworking went into the making of this trail. Trail is generally well flagged but does become indistinct when crossing through waist-high veggie patches higher up. Keep your eyes peeled for flagging and all will be good. Marked trail ends in a small meadow carpeted in mountain lupine below a headwall. Turned up and left and contoured along the base to eventually gain the broad ridge above the saddle at head of Enterprise Creek Valley.
Now in the alpine, I proceeded up and over various sub summits before finding myself at a notch contemplating the steep rock climb back up the other side. It does indeed look worse than it is but take care here as the first couple footholds crumbled beneath my feet as I started up. Cruiser up from there along the ridge, which becomes progressively narrower and more exposed the higher you go. Bailed on the rotten ridge near its end and cut left across the obvious ledge that spans the upper East Face. Much looseness albeit without too much exposure ensued. Turned up after crossing the ledge and endured an exhausting crawl up the scree treadmill for the final pitch to the summit plateau. 4.5 hours to summit. Bit cool and breezy up top with rain evident further off to the SW. Smoke from Lillooet and Lytton fires visible but remained confined to their immediate areas and/or were being blown eastwards. Returned the way I came and back at the truck for a 9.5-hour day including breaks. All in all, a worthwhile outing with unique scenery and fun scrambling, albeit quite loose at times. Oh, and did I mention NO MOZZIES?
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