Entirely E of the main water-parting, this group comprises a sub-range along the western border of the Rocky Mountain trench between the valleys of Bugaboo Creek to the N and Frances Creek to the S. These peaks are prominent in the view from the village of Spillimacheen, and, from Boulder Camp in the Bugaboos, they crowd the eastern sky. The Septet Peaks form the local watershed, draining W to Septet Creek, a tributary of Bugaboo Creek, and E to Templeton River and Dunbar Creek. Two mi E of the main ridge stands the highest peak, Mt Ethelbert.
In 1911 C. Kain (alone) climbed two peaks at the N end of the group from Bugaboo Creek and mentioned the poor quality of the rock. Geologically, the Ethelbert Group represents the nose of the main Purcell anticlinoria, the northernmost outcrop of the formations which compose most of the peaks in the Farnham Group to the S. The group remains only of minor interest to mountaineers.
The basin of Dunbar Lakes is known as Shangri-La. The Kootenay Mountaineering Club Hiking Camp was here in 1993. Camp location was at Map 82K/15 515-227. It was a short 4 hour hike in over Tiger Pass from the Lead Queen Mine.
Access to these peaks is usually made along either Templeton River or Dunbar Creek. Connecting with roads on the W side of the Columbia between Spillimacheen and Brisco, the BC Forest Service maintains a road passable to 4-wheel drive vehicles to within one mi of the lake at the head of Templeton River. The Forest Service also maintains a trail up Dunbar Creek. Inquire of the District Ranger at Spillimacheen. It is also possible to reach the head of Dunbar Creek by taking the Lead Queen Mine branch road (4-wheel drive only) off the Frances Creek road and then hiking in over the pass E of Septet Peak #7.
Maps: 82K/16W, 82K/15E, 82K/10E.
Seven peaks W of Mt Ethelbert forming retaining wall at heads of Templeton River and Dunbar Creek. First four best approached from lake at head of Templeton River, southern three from Dunbar Creek.
#1 UNAMED 2932m 9620′
1.5 mi NNW of Templeton Lake.
#2 KAIN 3091m 10,140′
1.5 mi NW of Templeton Lake.
FA M. A. Broman, L. Putnam, W. L. Putnam, L. R. Wallace. From lake via S basin and ridge. RT 7 hr. 7/1969,
#3 UNNAMED 2941m 9650′
W of Templeton Lake.
#4 ARMSTRONG 3081m 10108′
2 mi W ofMt Ethelbert.
FRA Jul 1969, Putnam party (see #2). E snow slopes are reached from Templeton Lake and ascended to summit. SW snow summit (10000) also climbed. RT 7 hr.
#5 UNNAMED 2993m 9820′
One mi south of#4.
#6 UNNAMED 2996m 9830)
One mi W of last lake in Dunbar Creek valley.
#7 APESHEAD 3002M 9850′
2 mi W of Horeb Mt
FA 1964, C. & T. J. Crowley. Easy ascent on poor rock via NE slopes from second lake in Dunbar valley.
MT ETHELBERT 3158m 10,361′
The most conspicuous of the Purcells across the Columbia from Spillimacheen, between Templeton River and Dunbar Creek.
1. SE Face. From camp at lowest lake (5500) at head of Dunbar Creek. The route generally follows the line of the prominent forked snow couloir on the SE face, ascending the rocks to its left (W). Near the forks of the couloir, steep rock forces a traverse right, after which the left bank of the W fork is climbed to the S ridge. Snow and slabs lead to the top. Ascent 6 hr
FA H. O. Frind, A. H. & E. L. MacCarthy, M. & E. Stone, C. Kain, 7/1915
2. S Slopes. From lakes at head of Dunbar Creek, the S slopes are ascended, gullies and/or ribs giving access to the SW ridge that is subsequently taken to the summit.
B. Berry, B. Richardson, 9/1974,
HOREB MOUNTAIN 2972m 9750′
Immediately S of Mt Ethelbert across valley of Dunbar Creek
From upper Dunbar Lakes, enter valley SW of objective and ascend broken rock diagonally to main S ridge. Follow ridge, bypassing difficulties on W, to summit. Ascent 4½ hr; descent via gullies of W face.
FA C. Kain(?), probably on SW side
FRA Jul 1975, C. Mullard, A. Larson.