Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 49.55097°N / 125.42035°W
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 6185 ft / 1885 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Tzela Mountain sits above the north side of Tzela Lake. To the north of it, Shepherd Creek runs from Milla Lake north-west to Buttle Lake. It is an isolated summit requiring at least 2 days by most parties to reach.

Getting There

Because of its isolation in the centre of the Comox Range access to Tzela Mountain is almost equally challenging to reach from any side. The most direct route is via logging roads in the Cruickshank and Kweishun Creek valleys and from there past Mt Harmston. The main issue here is getting through the often locked gate at the north end of the Comox Lake Main logging road. First stop for planning  trip to Tzela Mountain via this route is to TimberWest's public access blog. How long this route remains viable is questionable as there is very little timber left in the Kweishun Creek and the road is prone to flood damage so it is likely this road will deteriorate quickly. The next closest route is via the Glacier trail over the Comox Glacier, this route as the same logging road access issues but with eh advantage that the road to the trailhead is likely to remain drivable.


Tzela Mountain may be approached from the south or west to reach the south ridge by which the mountain may be climbed. From Tzela Lake to the south, hike directly into the pass between Mt. Harmston and Tzela Mountain. 

Above the pass the route head left to a rising ledge system that leads through a lower rock band to easier ground. Hike up heather slopes and around little bluffs to about 1700m and the base of a prominent cliff. To the right is a very steep and exposed snow gully. Traverse to the left toward the south side of the mountain under the base of the cliff band. Go round a ridge at the south east corner of the peak and traverse band of scree to the base of a very prominent, green, vegetated gully. Scramble up this gully.

Steep easy heather leads to a wall of mountain hemlock crumholz. Squeeze against the righthand rock wall of the gully to easy ground up the top of the gully onto a flat ridge crest. The ridge doglegs to the left around the top of the huge steep snow gully seen further down. Easy walking up and right, above the cirque leads to another bluff. Steep low 5th class moves. 5.6, maybe just 5.5, onto some black basalt. A bit of 4th class above leads to the top and a surprisingly impressive summit cairn. Descend the same route.


Backcountry camping within Strathcona Park must be more than 1km from a road. Otherwise the considerations are as for all backcountry overnights: practice strict leave-no-trace, don't flag or otherwise mark any hiking routes and remember that no fires are permitted in Strathcona Park backcountry at any time of year regardless of the Provincial Fire Ban status.

Guidebooks & Other Links

Local guidebook Island Alpine Select.
Avalanche Conditions: Island Avalanche Bulletin
TimberWest's public access blog.



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Vancouver Island AlpsMountains & Rocks