Pemberton Ice Cap

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Stop hand.png Out of Date
This article contains old out of date information from an early 1990s edition of the VOC Ski guide. Road conditions may have changed considerably since this article was written.
Using This Ski Guide
Topo of Area

Route at a Glance

Rating Location Key Map Refs Road Route Start Elevation High Point Technical Notes
Advanced P,R,S 92 J/3, 92 J/6, 92 J/11  ?km/?hrs 100km/5days 610m 2440m


Park at the Meager Hot Springs, and on the Callaghan Lake road; arrange to have a car at both ends.


Beginning at Meager Hot Springs parking lot, travel south on the main logging road for about 1km. Cross a bridge in a band of trees, and then upon emerging into a logging slash, turn left up a spur road. This spur road twists up to a final landing, from which a road leads straight east, uphill and into the woods. Follow this road to its end, then ascend to the SE to about 1310m. From here contour along the south side of this ridge aiming for the fork in Madhorse creek. This creek has 2 main forks, one draining the west side of Mount Overseer, and the other originating in a lake. Follow the south branch of Madhorse creek, exiting from the trees at about 1620m. Traverse up the slopes to the west, aiming to ascend the wester most of the three glaciers that drain into this creek. There is some crevasse danger on the glacier at about 2230m. From here, follow the divide south for about 9km to reach the 2440m pass SW of peak 8355. Now it is a simple matter of coasting down the mighty Squamish Glacier, skirting obvious crevasse areas. Rather than follow the glacier as it twists west, keep to its east side and exit into the inviting narrow valley ahead. The exit from the Squamish Glacier is crevassed. Beware of dropping too far down to the east and into the Soo River valley (just past the divide). Turn south and bypass Little lake, and then a prolonged subalpine bench terminating at the foot of Mount Callaghan and Big Ring peak.

There are now two choices:

  1. Go through the pass between Big Ring and Callaghan, past a large lake south of Callaghan's summit, and down to a lower lake at about 1340m. From here, contour around the base of Callaghan's SE ridge, to reach Callaghan Lake. This avoids having to cross the stream that drains the lake, and allows easy access to the Callaghan Lake road.
  2. Climb to Callaghan's NW most glacier, and head for Callaghan's summit. Descend to the east to rolling country with a cluster of small lakes. Just beyond the lake area, follow an obvious narrow valley SSW down to Callaghan Lakes northern shore. The exit road is at the SE end of the lake.


  1. Besides avalanches, crevasses, and a huge distance, deep snow and bad weather result in ~50% success rate.

Trail Conditions