TRIUNE MOUNTAIN 2629m 8832′
On the northwest end of Silvercup Ridge, above Trout Lake.
Season: mid-July through September
Map: 82K/11 Trout Lake
Access: from Silvercup Ridge
1. FRA by the prospector George S. McCarter, August 14, 1898, who found the “Triune” mineral claim on the summit; route unknown. (B. C. Ministry of Energy and Mines). See Trout Mountain for Topographical Survey information. For the approach, consult the introduction (“To Lar- deau, Gainer and Triune Creeks”) and
2. Northeast Ridge. From Nelson, drive to Trout Lake City (best by way of Nakusp, consult “Access from West Side”) and camp near Ferguson. Continue up Lardeau Creek (distinct from Lardeau River); at about km 5 (mile 3) bear right, go downhill and cross the creek. Continue along the south bank and pass the CMH lodge turnoff. About 3 km past the turnoff there is a road on the right (Triune Creek). The mine is on the north face of the peak.). Hike up the Triune Creek road to the basin below Triune Mountain (2.8 km).
Continue southeast along an upper road to its end and ascend south over a remnant glacier to a col (753-079) in the northeast ridge. The northeast ridge is Class 3. (II,3,s).
A short detour leads to the Triune Mine. The peak is also accessible from the Silvercup Ridge trail. Consult the introduction (Fays Peak, Route 3).
UNNAMED 2700m 8858′
A pointed peak 2.6 km southeast of Triune Mountain. Approach by the old road up Rady Creek, or along the Silvercup Ridge trail (or camp: lakes). It is a very easy scramble by the southeast ridge. Map 82K/11 Trout Lake, 766-055.
FRA by Barbara Patterson and Fred Thiessen in 1998.
TRIUNE MT (8,625′)
Now for some Badshot adventures (all map references are to Trout Lake 82K/11 1:50,000). On Saturday, August 31st, Paul Allen and I climbed Triune in a driving snowstorm (an indicator of the winter to come?) and almost total whiteout.
Doing this as a day trip would be quite an accomplishment, but only because of the driving involved. We car camped near Ferguson, east of the metropolis of Trout Lake, and drove the Lardeau Creek road almost to its end along the south bank of the creek. Road access is as follows. From Trout Lake townsite, take the signposted Lardeau Creek road; at about km. 5.2, bear right, go downhill, and cross the creek; continue along the creek’s south bank, passing the CMH Lodge turnoff; about 5 km. past this spot, you will see a road on the right. This, the Triune Mine road, may not be driveable because of deadfalls, so you might have to walk the 3 km. to the basin at 7,000′.
Once at the basin, continue to the road’s end and ascend south on a remnant glacier to a 7,700′ col in Triune’s NE ridge (753-079). From this point, simply follow easy class 3 broken rock to the flat-topped summit and huge cairn, about four hours from the Lardeau Creek road. The northwest ridge, too, looks as if it would be a “cinchy” route, although we must admit that most of time on this trip we could see about 100′.
The Triune Mine itself, located at about 7,100′ on the north face of the peak, makes an interesting detour. Allow about 7-8 hours for the peak and mine tour if you have to walk the road. This is a totally easy climb, although you do have to use your hands.
TRIUNE MTN. (8,625′) NE ridge (I-II,3,s) Approach via Triune Mine road, following it S to its end. Continue S over snow and rock to a notch in the NE ridge and follow it to summit. 4 hours to top; 2.5 hrs. return.
TRIUNE (8625′) AUGUST 31, 1996 (full account)
Paul Allen and I drive up on Friday night in his 4wd pickup. Driving by way of Nakusp, we arrive at Ferguson about 10:30. We see people sitting by a big bonfire there. We go back to junction and take the S. bank road a short distance and find a good campsite before the bridge. Put up Paul’s Eureka tent. Sky 70% cloudy, so we decide not to bivvy. Up at 5:45. Warm night and morning. Sky still mostly cloudy. After a cold brekky, we’re away to drive the S. bank of Lardeau Creek road. We get to the junction for the CMH lodge, which is on N. bank of the creek. Taking this road, we cross the creek and turn R. .9 km. from the junction. At km 3.5 from junction, we come to a bridge under construction. This would give access to Gainer Creek, but is impassible now. Back to the S. bank road, we follow it to its end in a landing about 4.7 km from the CMH junction. Just before the road’s end, there’s a turnoff R. which we surmise is the Triune Creek road. We drive up this a short distance to a parking lot. Just beyond, loggers have recently felled trees right over the road. We think this is to prepare a new landing for logging above & on the NW side of the creek. We have been exploring, hoping to climb Poole, Redcliffe, Wagner, or Badshot, but we can’t get to any of those, so we settle for Triune. We note that already Spine and Wagner’s tops are disappearing in the clouds. We throw out all climbing gear and add rain gear and warmer clothes. At 8:15 we head out up the Triune Creek road; it’s a steady rise from about 4500′ with only two switchbacks. Good road bed but overgrown with grass; it could become driveable for 4wd after the fallen trees are cleared. When we reach the basin about 7000,’ a front comes in bringing rain mixed with snow and driving winds. Right away I have to take off my shorts and put on serious raingear, touque, mitts, etc. We decide to carry on along an upper road to the SE. When we take a break, the sun comes out and some of the mist clears. We then follow the road to its end and head S. on snow and a bit of rock to a col in Triune’s NE ridge at 7700′ (753-079). We can see nothing and will continue in this whiteout for almost all the climb. Just as soon as we start on the 900′ of the ridge, it begins to snow heavily. We continue over easy broken rock with care as the snow accumulates on the rock. The ridge is a series of steps with steeper bits (lots of broken sharp bits giving way to more solid stuff higher up). I’m in the lead and take it stage by stage; as the next tower looms out of the mist, I set it as my next goal. Higher up, the ridge flattens out and the rock becomes better quality and spotted with lichen. Always there’s a bit higher section ahead. I’m thinking that if we don’t find a cairn, we won’t know if we’ve really reached the top–when out of the fog emerges a huge cairn. It’s 12:05, 3 hrs. 50 min. up. The snow has stopped, and we find a windless spot below the cairn for lunch. After 30 min. it starts to snow again, and we head down. Soon we come to a spot where very gentle slopes lead off to the L; Paul surmises (correctly, it turns out) that this is the easy NW ridge we’ve seen from the basin. He asks if I want to descend it; I prefer the devil we know, especially when you can’t see more than about 200′ down. Later, I see from the map that the whole flat part of the ridge goes N-S; our NE ridge veered due S without us knowing it. Descending is much easier than going up since much of the snow has melted off. There are really no tricky bits at all; near the col, I diagonal down L on snow to reach this notch. The mists lift enough for us to see SE down Silvercup Ridge across the jagged ridges of N. Brown, Brown, and Ottawa Creeks to the snowy base of the impressive Fays Peak, which is shrouded in clouds. I keep thinking that Paul means that a pointy 8850′ rock peak at 766-055 is Fays. A nice Zeny landscape of green and grey with streams of mist floating up. We descend the remnant glacier, pick up the road, and walk down to the mine spur; it’s 1:50. We decide to walk the road to the mine where we explore an extra 50 min. Paul used to work at HB Mine, so he’s a store of knowledge. We explore a mineshaft with ore cart, examine a wrecked crusher, and follow polyprop ropes and cables part way up the slope. Paul reckons this mine site sustained further exploratory work in the ’50s and ’60s but never really yielded anything. We head back down the road, and it begins to rain steadily, continuing all the way to the truck. We arrive at 3:40, making a 7 hr. 25 min. day. Without the mine detour, it would be 6 hr. 35 min.
Driving back, we get a good look up Ferguson Creek, getting good views of the snowfields on the S. side of Goat Tower and Beak Pk. In the sun is unnamed 8250′, a grassy peak at 659-210 that Paul at first thinks is Hillman. I convince him it’s too insignificant.
We decide to explore the Ferguson Creek road, so we drive past the few houses of Ferguson and head up the W. bank of the creek. At 4.2 km. from Ferguson junction, we take a fainter track to the L but can only get .6 km. further before a major washout. Thus, there will be no road access to those cut blocks we’ve seen on the N. side of Mountain Goat Creek. We had thought this would give us access to Hillman and Poole.
We drive back via Nakusp, reaching the town at 6:10. At the Hut we meet by chance Andrew Port and dine with him. I learn that he really only climbed Urus on his Peruvian trip, that they got within a couple of hundred feet of the summit of Chopikalki. At that point, the trench the movie people had dug in the snow ended. Continuing would have meant wading through waist-deep snow at over 6,000 m. Andrew said the trench was shoulder high and that the footing was ice.