Ascent of Mount Tod on 2016-08-25

Climber: Denise Mclellan

Others in Party:Richard Mclellan -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Thursday, August 25, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Tod
    Location:Canada-British Columbia
    Elevation:7070 ft / 2154 m

Ascent Trip Report


Mount Tod is north west of Shuswap lake and north east of Kamloops and located within Sun Peaks Resort, a Ski area. There is a good website. For example, a summer hiking map can be downloaded here:

There is a delightful alpine- flower filled grassy plateau above the trees. This can either be accessed by ski lift or on a marked trail from a free carpark at 1250m. The summit is on a marked trail at the north west end of the plateau. If you ignore the ski lifts and commercialisation it is all very pleasant and straightforward. It is about 10-12km round trip on the plateau with 300m of ascent or 20k round trip if you walk up from the car park with 900m of ascent.

There is an RV park in Sun Peak village where camping is permitted on gravel for $20 per pitch per night with access to showers at the sports centre opposite. It is a bit austere. There appeared to be a range of hotel and self catering accommodation at Sun Peaks Resort.

If you are accessing Sun Peaks resort from the east in Summer, there is a good quality gravel road from Chase off route 1 which enters Sun Peaks resort to the East on McGillivray Lake Forest Service road. The tourist office at the west end of Chase gave us a detailed photocopied map. This saves a lot of time compared to going to Kamloops on the 1 then 97 and then turning north on the 5. The resort mountain bike map (see website) and also google maps shows how you get onto this road from the resort. It appears this road is closed in winter and used by snowmobiles and in bad weather at any time of year it can become difficult, but in in August 16 a 2wd vehicle would have been suitable. We had a small SUV.

Mt Tod is a world ultra.

Summer Trailhead Access on gravel road from Chase to the South East:

Leave the 1 at Chase and from the ‘high street’ turn north west (signposted) across the Thompson River onto the South Thompson road . Follow this (becomes gravel) south west along the north side of the Thompson river, ignoring a right turn to Loaking Bear Creek and Niskonlith Lake. 7.7 miles after the Thompson River bridge, turn right (north) on to McGillivray Lake Road (sign). Fork left after a further 1.3 miles, staying on McGillivray Lake Road. Continue north on this ‘main’ road, ignoring all side turnings and following occasional reassuring signs for Sun Peak Resort until you have passed the McGillivray and Morrisey lakes turnings. The road then turns sharp left ( 23 miles from the Thompson bridge). You should ignore all right turns on this bend. The road soon becomes tarmac and you are amongst resort accommodation. At the junction of McGillivray lake Road, Bella Vista Drive and Sun Peaks Road ( see Village map) , go straight on down ( south west) , then right onto Village Way, then left onto Creekside Way ( signposted) to reach a carpark at the bottom of the ski lifts at 1255m.

Detailed route description:

From the free car park at the bottom of the lifts at 1255mm, you can walk up (see summer hiking map) or get the Sunburst Express chairlift to 1850m (Ca$21 each return) or hire a mountain bike ( see mountain bike trail map on website). The chairlift operates 10am -7pm in summer.

As we had spent quite a bit of time messing around getting tyres sorted in Chase, we took the chairlift up from 1255 m to 1850m. The walking route to the plateau, which we did not do, appears from the map to be about 5km.The shortest route to Mount Tod then appears to be about a further 5km via Tod lake, but we took a very pleasant less direct c6km route via ‘Top of the World peak (2080m), then north west along route 10 and 12, before finally ascending route 11 from the east to reach the summit. The paths are obvious and well signposted, and through flower filled alpine meadows with great views. Flowers identified (we think!) included Fireweed, Alpine Pussytoes, Arctic Lupine, Canadian Thistle, Indian Paintbrush, Mountain Aster plus Juniper.

The summit is a grassy dome with some small rock outcrops and a large wooden post saying Mount Tod. We could see the snow-capped Rockies and Mt Pukeashun. We met others on top who said they had seen a bear in the meadows the previous week.

We returned on the more direct eastern route ( c 5km) via the picturesque Lake Tod and got the chairlift back down.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:984 ft / 299 m
    Total Elevation Loss:984 ft / 299 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.8 mi / 11 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:984 ft / 299 m
    Distance:3.7 mi / 6 km
    Start Trailhead:6086 ft / 1855 m
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:984 ft / 299 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    End Trailhead:6086 ft / 1855 m
    Time:1 Hours 

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