This small and rather inconsequential group of summits occupies the main watershed from Bugaboo Pass (7350) eastward to Forster Pass (7450). The highest and most interesting of these sedimentary peaks is Taurus Mt. Directly SE of this summit lies a lake at the snout of Whirlpool Glacier, the ultimate source of Forster Creek. As recently as 1952, this glacier featured an enormous spiral depression (hence the name), but recession has eliminated this curious phenomenon.
Immediately S and E of Bugaboo Pass rise the Quintet Peaks, five small though much-glaciated peaks. A point (8254, Campbell Station) on the most northerly, which forms the S buttress of the pass, was occupied by Wheeler and Kain as a survey station in 1910. Four of these peaks were ascended without difficulty in 1946 by AAC parties from a fly camp below Bugaboo Pass. Along the S fork of Bugaboo Creek can be found remains of several cabins which date from the short-lived “Bugaboo gold rush” of 1906.
ACCESS has most commonly been gained from the S fork of Bugaboo Creek, along which a passable road from Bugaboo Forks (Gmoser Lodge) extends almost to the pass. Taurus Mtn was reached in 1946 by crossing Phacelia Pass (7550), circling S and E to regain the watershed 2 mi W of the objective at an unnamed pass (7950, incorrectly labeled Phacelia Pass on 82K/10), and finally dropping NE to the headwaters of Frances Creek, where a camp was placed at the N base of the mountain.
From Phacelia Pass, the 1952 party descended to the NE branch of Howser Creek and then ascended the E branch to the Taurus-Virgin col, placing a camp at 7800′ a few hundred yards SE of the col. Both approaches require a day’s pack from the S fork of Bugaboo Creek.
The N side of Taurus Mtn can also be reached from the end of the Frances Creek road bv packing to the head of the valley (about 4 mi). Campsites near Whirlpool Glacier are accessible from the end of the ‘Forster Creek road. The 1952 party reached a campsite here from one below Taurus-Virgin col by crossing the notch in the S ridge of Taurus Mt, Forster Pass being considered unfeasible (2 hr).
A group of 5 peaks between Bugaboo and Phacelia Passes; numerically listed from NW to SE.
PEAK 1 2606m 8550′
½ mi SW of Wheeler’s Campbell Station (8254) along a wide rocky ridge; no record but likely ascended by ACC parties in 1946.
PEAK 2 2661m 8730)
Immediately S of Bugaboo Pass.
1. NW Ridge. From Bugaboo Pass, skirt first buttress to left until a talus-filled couloir gives access to the top of the NW ridge which is taken over steep but easy rock to the top. Descent was made down the E ridge to the notch between Peaks 2 and 3, completing the traverse.
FA ACC party led by J. F. Brett, 7/1946.
PEAK 3 2747m 9014′
1. East Ridge. ACC party led by J. F. Brett. Follow trail to Bugaboo Pass until above timberline, then cross glacier to col between Peaks 3 and 4.few interesting rock pitches.
PEAK 4 2758m 9050′
1. West Ridge. As for Peak 3 and 4 (above) reach saddle between Peaks 3 and 4. Four summits form the crest of the ridge which is composed of large loose blocks requiring care. The major difficulty is in crossing a slate knife-edge (60′) between the first and second summits.
FA Jul 1946, ACC party led by E. F. Little.
PEAK 5 2775m 9103′
Overlooking Phacelia Pass; no record of ascent.
THE VIRGIN (Virgo) 2886m 9470′
In Howser basin 2 mi SE of Phacelia Pass; separated by a high snow col from Taurus Mt.
1. E Ridge. From camp on S side of Taurus-Virgin col, traverse cirque to Wand then gain a shoulder on the SE ridge. Ascend this ridge (rotten slate) to its junction with the main E ridge which is subsequently followed toward the summit, avoiding awkward towers on the S. The summit block, of firm quartzite, is overcome by direct frontal attack utilizing an 80′ open chimney, beyond which an easy scramble leads to the highest point. Ascent 3 hr; descent 2¼ hr.
FA Aug 1952, J. & W. Briggs, R. Collins, P. Robinson.
TAURUS MT 2972m (9750)
A conspicuous black rock peak, barely E of the watershed which crosses W end of the summit ridge; its long E ridge separates the sources of Frances and Forster Creeks.
1. NW Face/West Ridge. From camp at N base of mountain near source of Frances Creek, ascend snow on NW side of objective to foot of subsidiary peak NW of main peak, circling it on the W to intervening col. Climb the NW face of the main peak through a wide gully in reddish slate (several short pitches on loose rock). Upon gaining the W ridge, follow it eastward over three minor points to the top. Ascent 7 hr; descent 5 hr
FA A. Faberge, E. F. Little, E. Rosenstock Huessy. NW Face/W Ridge, 7/1946
2. E Ridge. From camp below (S) Taurus-Virgin col, traverse E across cirque to notch in S ridge of Taurus Mt. Cross notch and second cirque draining to Whirlpool Lake to reach a shoulder of another S ridge of mountain. Ascend this secondary ridge to col high on E summit ridge. Climb W over two minor peaks and a gendarme to base of summit tower which appears formidable. Follow a sloping ramp diagonally up across the otherwise vertical S face to intersect the W ridge just below the summit. RT from camp, 6½ hr
W. Briggs, R. Collins, P. Robinson, 8/1952.