Mount Seton

- by John Stolk

Elevation: 9367 feet
Prominence: 5184 feet
Location: 50:37.4 N 122:15.6 W
Backroads Mapbook: Vancouver, Coast and Mountains (1st edition), Map 43:E1
Climb Duration: Either one very long day but preferably done as an overnight.
Elevation gain: 5000 feet
Difficulty: Class 2+, some brush to contend with.

Others in Party: Andrew Strand. Climbed September 4, 2011.

Additional Resources:

A couple of very good reports with photos -

Since these reports are quite complete, only a few additional observations are included.

Decent campsites are available at the junction of the Duffey Lake Rd. and the Downton Creek Road (where Downton Cr. enters Cayoosh Cr.). The Downton Creek Rd is generally pretty good although something with moderate clearance-like a Subaru Outback- is a good idea here.

The crux of the route in my opinion comes at the start. After gaining about 600 vertical feet in the cutblock left of the creek we dove into the forest and quickly encountered a lot of nasty “jackstraw” - small downed trees hampering travel. After ascending a bit more we eventually traversed and dropped into the creek bottom where the slope and trees/bushes allowed. We found the trail alongside the creek about 700-800 vertical feet above the parking spot.

On the return trip we were able to follow the trail further down to a spot much nearer where we left the cutblock. However, the trail traverses steep slopes in this area so given the difficulty of locating the track initially, it makes sense to aim a little high and end up at the creek where we did on the way in.

We needed about 4-5 hours to ascend from the road to the lake basin and about half as much time to return. From the lakes it is a short half day to ascend to the summit and return. Camping in the basin is sublime and represents the highlight of this climb in my opinion. Although the route could be done in a long day it would be a pity to miss out on a night at the lake.


6243: Looking down the lower portion of the route towards Downton Creek.

6250: Nice semi-open slopes in the upper portion of the approach to the lakes.

6251: Looking down from upper right hand creek fork...

6252: ...and looking up. The lake basin begins just beyond the knoll above.

6256: Idyllic camping by the lake.

6259: The route up Seton from camp.

6265: Tundra close-up in the basin.

6274: View back down from the slopes of Seton to the lake basin.

6276: Typical scrambling amongst the rubble.

6278: Stroll up easy terrain from the saddle to the summit.

6279: Whitecap Mtn. from just above the broad gentle saddle on Seton summit ridge.

6286: Summit views to the west.

6287: Summit photo zoom, Whitecap Mtn. on the left and Mount Truax in the middle distance on the right.

Nice semi-open slopes in the lake approach's upper portion.