Maps: 82K/14 Westfall River, 82K/11 Trout Lake, 82K/14 Westfall River, south border
TO LARDEAU, GAINER and TRIUNE CREEKS
From Trout Lake City at the store, zero odometer.
0.0 Turn north onto the Lardeau Creek road (distinct from Lardeau River).
5 km (3 miles) Go right and downhill and cross to the south side of Lardeau Creek.
14.5 km (9 miles) A branch crosses to the CMH lodge on the north side of Lardeau Creek under Spine Mountain.
15.3 km (9.5 miles) Go down and left, and cross to the north side and the Gainer Creek road (running NE-SW on the northwest side of Gainer Creek). Gainer Creek is in one of the most spectacular spots in the Badshots, an old mining district ringed with summits: Spine Mountain, Lade Peak, the Badshot Peaks, the Piton Peaks, Mohican Mountain and Redcliff Peak are accessible.
Upper Gainer Creek is high clearance, 4WD, LR. A bridge about 6 km (3.7 miles) from the crossing goes to the southeast side. The road is being extended on the northwest bank.
16.8 km (10.4 miles) Triune Creek is at the valley bottom, but the road climbs the hillside and the northwest bank for 5 km (3 miles) from the CMH turnoff, when it is not barred. When open, it is for high clearance, four wheel drive, low range vehicles (see Triune Mtn.) and arrives at 2160 meters (7100 feet).
UNNAMED 2695m 8843′ Located above the head of Galena Creek (head of Ferguson Creek). The FA was possibly by a Topographical Survey party, date and route unknown. See Trout Mountain for probable date.
MOUNT JOWETT 2880m 9449′
Situated north of Lardeau Creek, 1.6 km north of Mount Homer. In 1915 it was known as Nettie L Mountain.
1. Southeast Ridge. Mount Homer was traversed, the southeast ridge of Mount Jowett ascended, and a cairn was built on the summit. No details. On the return, the southeast slopes of Mount Homer were traversed. Glacier (II,4,s). 10/8/1915. The rock of the ridge is Class 3. The description in AAJ 1:40 does not fit Nettie L Mountain, but Mts. Homer and Jowett. In particular, the lower photo opposite page 42 could not have been taken from the Nettie L Mountain of the 1978 map.
MOUNT HOMER 2640m 8661′
Mount Homer is above the old mining town of ‘Five Mile’ in Lardeau Creek, which is now abandoned. On the map (1978), Nettie L Mountain (surveyed at 8017 feet, 2444m) is just southwest of Mount Homer, above Lardeau Creek. Prospectors or miners had probably climbed it before Garrett and Palmer.
1. Southwest Ridge, Garrett and Palmer started from a mining cabin above Lardeau Creek. Bushwhack to the southwest ridge and ascend easily to the blunt summit. Descent was down steep ledges and a short drop-off to the glacier, and the glacial col below. The party continued to Mount Jowett. Glacier (II,4,s). 10/8/1915.
Traverse in the reverse direction, up the northeast ridge and down the southwest ridge, James T. Fyles and Wm. D. Groves on 23/7/1957. The rock is Class 3.
2. Northeast Ridge. Consult Route 1
SPINE MOUNTAIN (THTIFF) 2820m 9252′
Spine Mountain is north of the fork of Lardeau and Gainer Creeks. It is perhaps the best observation point in the area.
1. East-Southeast Ridge. The route is not on the north ridge (previous guidebook). At camp near the end of the Gainer Creek road, next to Bunker Hill Creek (Lade Peak, Route 4; introduction, “To Lardeau, Gainer and Triune Creeks”) at 791-165, bushwhack west-southwest up a ridge to the east-southeast. Ascend talus to the ridge (fine scrambling on good limestone, Class 3, exposed), and then the glacier to the south ridge and the top (6-7 hours). Glacier (III,4,s). FRA 1950. The Class 4 is for rope on the glacier. On descent, one can avoid the upper part of the ridge by a traverse on the southwest slopes of the ridge, or the glacier.
Prospectors had certainly climbed it long before.
2. South Ridge. From a camp high on the slopes east of Finkle Creek, climb the south ridge, a scramble. (II,3,s). James Fyles, Wm. D. Groves, 21/7/1957.
SPINE MT, 2851 m., 9354’, August 17 (Map Trout Lake 82K/11)
Having received no calls for the club trip to Charybdis, I changed the destination to Spine Mtn. Paul Allen and I climbed this major Badshots peak from a car camp on Gainer Creek. Details follow.
From Trout Lake city, we drove the Lardeau Creek and Gainer roads to the very end just south of Bunker Hill Creek (2WD).
After camping in a cutblock on the east side of Gainer, we got away at 6:25 am, starting from the road on the west bank (GR 791-165, 4300’) and bushwhacking up a long, southwest-tending ridge on the south side of Bunker Hill. After two hours of thrashing (not bad by Badshot standards), we emerged onto talus slopes. These we followed as the ridge bent west. Soon the ridge became more defined and offered fine scrambling on good limestone. It was narrow with impressive exposure in places and the way ahead looked daunting, but the route kept unfolding in front of us. By 12:00, we had reached the ridge end and walked off talus slopes onto the Spine Glacier. We then plodded across the snow and up to the peak’s south ridge, which we followed easily to the summit by 12:45 (6 hrs. 20 min. up).
During our 50 min. on top, we admired the stunning views (it’s perhaps the best observation point in the area), read the original summit record by Ian Kay’s party of 1950 (same route as ours), put in a new KMC summit record tube, and monitored the worsening weather (it had been sunny all the way up).
On descent, we re-traced our steps to the ridge and then bypassed the upper, craggy part by descending the glacier on the north (or left, on descent). We re-joined the ridge at the talus section just as the sprinkles began and continued through the moderately-wet bush to the truck by 5:35 (4 hours down; 11 hr. 10 min. day).
As far as we know, this is the third ascent of the peak and the first as a week day-trip. We took a 7 mm rope (which was not used), bivvy gear (ditto), and left the crampons in the truck. Most important was the porcupine wire that Hamish Mutch suggested. We saw three of the critters on the road the night we drove in. At trip’s end (the rain having stopped after only 25 min.), we had a chat with three CMH employees who cycled up the road on mountain bikes.
Overall, a wonderful day on a peak we’d both been dreaming about for 10-15 years. Best of all, we didn’t have to spend the night out, as we had expected.
UNNAMED 2640m 8661′
Map 82K/11 Trout Lake, 745-181. Two km north-northeast of Spine Mountain, above Marsh Adams and Gainer Creeks.
1. Southeast Ridge. From the south ridge of Lade Peak, contour west across the head of Bunker Hill Creek below the northeast ridge (east ridge; ridge curves). The southeast ridge is Class 3 at most. FRA Hamish Mutch, 26/8/2001. Northeast Ridge. Descended by Hamish Mutch, 26/8/2001. The traverse to the west ridge of Lade Peak has one Class 3
LADE PEAK 2580m 8465′
Located 3.5 km east-northeast of Un. 2640m and 1.2 km southwest of Badshot Mountain. There is a huge cairn on top with no record.
1. FRA by the prospector O. B. N. Wilkie, 22/8/1900, who found the “Two and a Half” mineral claim on the summit, route unknown. He, as agent, claimed it for a mining company, probably for the Ophir-Lade Mining Syndicate, Ltd. (the owner in 1903).
Also climbed by the Topographical Survey, date and route unknown.
2. South Ridge, Climbed from a helicopter set-out. Ascend on the west side of the south ridge on talus and scree. FRA David and Jennifer Crompton, John O. Wheeler, July 1981.
3. West Descended by the party of Route 2, 7/1981.
4. Southeast Ridge. From near the end of the Gainer Creek road (at 792-165, where it crosses to the east bank), follow an old mining road along the west bank toward Badshot Mountain. Ford Bunker Hill Creek (could be difficult) to 790-177 (4800 feet; 1460m). Take the snow tongue on the creek on the southeast side of the mountain (heavy snow year; detours on scree) and continue on snow to the upper cirque and the southeast ridge (easy rock). There is an impressive view of Badshot Mountain. (II,3,s). FRA Ross Breakwell, Eric Burton, Kim Kratky, 14/7/1999.
PITON PEAKS 2673m 8770′
The Piton Peaks are located north of the northwestern Badshot Mountain.
1. Southwest Face, For the approach, see the introduction, access (and Mohican Mtn. and Redcliff Peak). Cross the footbridge over Bunker Hill Creek (west side of Gainer Creek) to a point past Culkeen Creek (best not to take spur road up). Cross Perry Lode Creek to low on the Badshot Mine road (brush) and camp at 786-197 under Badshot Mountain (SE).
Pass over the nearby high col between the Badshot Mountains (Peaks), descend tricky ledges and 20 meters of snow and traverse up to the north-south trending ridge between Piton and northwest Badshot, which is of rotten schist.
Use the southwest face, then go into a wide couloir to a notch between the summits. The three highest points were climbed in 1951. Descent was by a steep snow couloir, that was avoided on the ascent, to the connecting ridge. (II,4,s). 2/7/1951.
The durations of the Piton Peaks and northwest Badshot trips are for each alone. They were done on the same day in 1951.
BADSHOT MOUNTAIN, NORTHWEST SUMMIT 2510m 8235′
1. Northeast Face. From the connecting ridge between northwest Badshot and the Piton Peaks (see Piton Peaks), climb very steep rock, with no lack of holds, which is much more solid than on the southeast peak.
The party of 1951 climbed down almost all the upper pitches with a handline, then rappelled several times, once over an overhang. Cut through the cornice on the connecting ridge and glissade roped to regain the high col between the peaks of Badshot Mountain.
Total time for the Pitons-northwest Badshot trip, 11 hours. (II,5.6,s). 2/7/1951.
BADSHOT MOUNTAIN, SOUTHEAST SUMMIT 2550m 8366′
This very steep summit rises above the head of Perry Lode (and Gainer) Creeks. Unfortunately, its limestone is very loose.
1. Northwest Ridge. Drive up Lardeau Creek from the northwest end of Trout Lake to before Ferguson (abandoned), and then continue up Lardeau Creek to the road on Gainer Creek, and camp. (Introduction, “To Lardeau, Gainer and Triune Creeks”). Gainer Creek runs northeast to southwest, the road being on the northwest
From the high col above Perry Lode Creek, between the Badshot Peaks, the first pitches are easy but tricky because of loose rock. Climb a 12 meter wall with considerable difficulty, or use a low ledge rising up under an overhang.
Above, come out of a shallow chimney to the base of the steep knife- edged northwest ridge. Climb the knife edge with poor belays on very loose rock. It steepens at the top.
Steep climbing leads to the base of the final tower. With a court echelle (aid, Al), gain a ledge cutting up to the right at a sharp angle. The ledge, poorly protected without cracks or holds, disappears into a vertical 5 meter crack running up the tower. Climb the crack with pressure and jam holds; a sound belay is at the top. Scramble to the summit.
Descend by rappels, bypassing rotten pitches. Climb down the knife edge. Ascent 3 hours, descent 2 hours. Pitons were used for protection and rappels. (II,5.6,A1). July 1, 1951.
UNNAMED 2600m 8530′
Map 82K/11 Trout Lake, 823-210. North of Mohican Mountain, at the extreme head of Gainer Creek.
1. South Ridge. From the summit of Un. 2580m, descend back to the col (careful), then descend the west face of the sub-peak (moderately desperate in places) to a bench almost level with the highest, narrow tongue of the Work one’s way up to the ridge north of the sub- peak on snow and along a moat.
Traverse the serpentine ridge of limestone and dirt (pleasant Class 4) to the south ridge of Un. 2600m (4.5 hours from camp) and go to the flat summit on solid quartzite slabs (20 minutes); no cairn found in 2002. (II, 4,s). FRA Paul Allen, Kim Kratky, September 12, 2002.
Return to the col, and descend the long couloir to the west (loose rock) to return to camp (see Un. 2580m). If this peak were ascended directly from camp by the couloir, it would be rated (I,3,s).
2. West See Route 1.