PINNACLE GROUP – WHATSHAN RANGE
This isolated group of lower peaks rises well above its surroundings and stands out from Highway 23, north of Nakusp. It is 30 km south of Mount Fosthall. By the easiest routes, the climbs are scrambles and there may be potential for technical climbing on the faces. There is no data concerning the first ascents in this area. Smaller peaks extend along the watershed north of Mount Severide.
Geology: This is the eastern edge of a metamorphic complex south of the Thor Odin Dome with the oldest rocks in Western Canada. A distinct band of white marble shows up in places for 50 kms and is 300m thick in some sections.
To the west of the Pinnacles lies the Columbia River Fault Zone, a major division in the crust of the NA continent – it crosses Severide Creek and runs up the east side of the Pinnacles area at Needles. The Pinnacles represent an upward fold in the earth’s crust.
To the north, major folds are seen at Mount Fosthall and Mount Begbie with huge crust movement over millions of years.
Maps: 82L/1 Eureka Mountain, and 82L/8 Mount Fosthall, 82K/4 Nakusp, 82L/2
B. C. Provincial map, Sugar Lake.
Drive: From the west: Kelowna 3.5 hour drive. From Vernon, on Highway 6 – 22.5 km (14 miles) east of Lumby (and 0.8 km east of Heckman Creek, marked, turn left (north) on a logging road marked “Pinnacle Hiking Area” and “Monashee Lake, Pinnacle Lake, Vista Pass”.
From the east (Lower Arrow Lake) via the Needles-Fauquier Ferry south of Nakusp, this road is 2.7 km (1.7 miles) west of Monashee Creek (marked) west of Monashee Pass.
For Monashee Lake (at head of Monashee Creek, just south of Mount Severide)
0.0 Start on logging road.
2.5km 1.6mi Stay right. 2.7km 1.7 Stay left. 6.4km 4.0 Stay right. 13.0km 8.1 Stay left. 15.0km 9.3 Stay left. Do not cross Monashee Creek. (Turn right and cross Monashee Ck for Pinnacle Lake).
16.7km 10.4 Straight ahead.
24km 14.9miles Park.
For Pinnacle Lake (via Railroad Creek, high clearance vehicles), at 15 kilometres keep right and cross Monashee Creek.
16.0km 9.9 Stay left.
18.5km 11.5 Cross bridge.
19.0km 11.8 Stay left, turn onto northeast fork of Railroad Creek. (Right goes to Vista Pass: drive 2.5km)
22.5km 14.0miles Park in log landing area. Hiking trails lead from the parking areas.
From Arrow Park ferry: 25 km (16 miles) SSW of Nakusp crosses the narrows. Drive west up Stevens Pass to North Whatshan Road, and cross the bridge (not on map) on Whatshan River. Follow Fife Creek Road (sign) and arrive at the 34 km mark from the ferry. Take branch 34, which goes in 1.6 km (1 mile), then Winter Road. This approaches the southeast corner of the Pinnacles.
North Fork FSR to Twin Lakes – Access four peaks to 2450m (8040′) north of the Pinnacle Group.
‘Mark Berger Traverse’ in the guidebook listed below, a hiking traverse.
Maps: 82L/8 Mount Fosthall and 82L/1 Eureka Mountain.)
Map 82L/1 Eureka Mountain, north border. Located at 144649, east of the watershed.
MOUNT SEVERIDE 2571 8435′
Map 82L/1 Eureka Mountain. On the watershed at 108-638.
Ascended by a Topographical Survey party, date and route unknown.
Goat Col is just east of Mount Severide. The large Goat Lake is southeast of Mount Severide and east of the divide. Mount Severide is north of Monashee Lake (west of the divide, at the head of Monashee Creek) and the headwall below.
Two of the three pinnacles are roughly east of Pinnacle Lake (at the head of the northeast fork of Railroad Creek, west of the divide and south of Monashee Lake), and South Pinnacle southeast of it.
Sunny Peak (not listed) is directly east of Monashee Lake, just east of the divide. Five other summits are north of Mount Severide.
NORTH PINNACLE 2570m East of the watershed at 124-608.
It is possible that this summit is the highest of the group. From its position, it might best be called “East Pinnacle”. Approach from Monashee Lake.
MIDDLE PINNACLE 2510m 8235′ On the watershed at 116-611.
Approach from Monashee Lake.
SOUTH PINNACLE 2550m 8366′ On the watershed, 112-606.
Map 82L/1 Eureka Mountain.
One best approaches from Pinnacle Lake.
The three Pinnacle Peaks are scrambles from the north side.
Monashee Lake (111-624) and Pinnacle Lake (104-610) are both west of the watershed. Vista Pass (103-586) is on the watershed in the south.
The headwall below Monashee Lake is steep. Two tent sites have been excavated in the hillside (2009) just before the trail crosses the stream to the north side and the rockslide. They are the only sites in this rocky and alder-filled valley, and are about 150 meters upslope from the trail, on the south side of the stream (red shoelace on small tree.
The trail to Pinnacle Lake (south of Monashee Lake, at the head of the northeast fork of Railroad Creek) has been destroyed by an avalanche (2009) just below the steep section. The steep upper trail leads to the very beautiful Pinnacle Lake. There is camping and water at road’s end.