The limits of the Carbonate Group are Bobbie Burns Creek on the northwest and north, Duncan River on the west, Hatteras and Syncline Creeks on the south, and Malachite Creek on the southeast. Malachite Pass, at the heads of Syncline and Malachite Creeks, is part of the border with the Vermont Group, to the southeast.
The high east to west ridge, the southern rim of the icefield, Carbonate Glacier and its impressive icefalls, is near the western end of the group and supports the highest summits. International Basin, at the headwaters of Bobbie Burns Creek, is a good camping spot. See also Un. 2650m for another campsite.
Maps – 82K/14 Westfall River, 82N/3 Mount Wheeler and 82N/2 McMurdo, 82K/15 Bugaboo Creek
International Basin is easy to reach from the mine (i.e., McMurdo Creek cabin, or a camp nearby) above the south fork of McMurdo Creek in the Spillimacheen Group. Backpack over the glacial pass just east of David Peak, and contour southwest on high alpine meadows. It is a moderate day’s trip. To gain upper Carbonate Glacier, and the high peaks, utilize the prominent rocky ridge leading to the northwest corner of the icefield.
An old mining road (a good trail now) goes up the north side of Bobbie Burns Creek to its head (and also an old road up Carbonate Creek branching from Bobbie Burns Creek; this road does not extend all the way up Carbonate Creek) and the lower road’s condition is unknown (see the Vermont Group).
The Duncan River road (FSR), starting from Kootenay Lake, passes on the western edge of the group, and other groups in the Northernmost Purcells. Consult the Spillimacheen and Crystalline Groups.
There is now a Ministry of Forests hut in International Basin, and a tiny hut at 948-509 (see Spillimacheen Group, Cabins). There is a cabin near the headwaters of Bobbie Burns Creek in International Basin which sleeps six people (250-342-5005; fee).
The party of 2002 flew in to International Basin from km 57 (35.4 miles) on the Spillimacheen River Forest Service Road. One and a half days were necessary to walk out to the vehicles on Spillimacheen River (camp below Spillimacheen Glacier, north of David Peak).
There is a pass from Malachite Creek to Carbonate Creek on the southwest end of Carbonate Mountain, above the Carbonate Creek road (tiny hut; mentioned above and in the Spillimacheen Group also) at 966-482, leading to Bobbie Burns Creek (good trail up).