MOUNT LOKI 2771m 9090′
Mt Loki is on everyone’s list. It is the most prominent peak EES across Kootenay Lake as viewed from Kaslo. Before this road access occurred, Loki was a technical climb from the east. In 2005 Portman Road was pushed a further 300 vertical metres up the west side of Mount Loki and a new trail leads expeditiously to the final west ridge route. Depending on your own personal hiking speed, reaching the summit now takes between 3 and 5 hours – quite a reasonable day trip.
Location: Part of the Leaning Towers Group, Loki is the prominent peak EES across Kootenay Lake from Kaslo.
Elevation gain: 1346m (4416′)
Key elevations: TH 1601m 5254′; Summit 2756m (9042′)
Distance: Round -trip 15.65 km 9.73mi
Time: 4-5 hours up, 2-3 hours down
Season: July to mid-September
Map: 82F/15 Kaslo
Drive: Drive north of Riondel
0.0 Turn right at the Powder Creek FSR sign
6.1km Turn right onto the Portman Creek FSR
10.9km Take the left fork
11.9km Take the right fork
15.2km Park. TH heads off to the right (uphill), it is signed “Mount Loki via Portman Notch”. 1600m. 5249′. Portman Creek Road keeps going but ends in about 300 metres.
Trail/ Route: The trail is very well built and easy to follow. Initially, the trail gains elevation and heads southwest contouring around until you arrive in the sub-alpine below Portman Notch 155-210. The climb to Portman Notch starts gently and ends steeply – 1.5 hours. From Portman Notch the trail traverses almost due east to arrive at the west ridge at about 2160 m – 1 hour.
From here, follow the ridge (staying on the west side), descending about 150 m to a well-used campsite (the only level spot around) at about 2160 m 158-212. From the campsite, follow the trail down to the pass and along the ridge leading to Loki – 1.5 hours total on ridge. Rock often slippery. 4 hours total.
AN EARLY ASCENT of MT LOKI by Earl R. Whipple
Many peaks in the Columbia Mountains were climbed in the late 1800s by prospectors well known for leaving no trace except when ore was involved. Documented ascents often had to wait, as it was for Mount Loki in the year England entered World War On July 1, 1939.
Ray Hunt, an experienced mountaineer, led a party of seven people from Nelson, BC, to Bernard Creek on Kootenay Lake. They camped on the beach without tents and started up Bernard Creek the next day. All but three people (Ray Hunt, Jeanie Paterson and Neil Russel) dropped out from this demanding approach. Jeanie Paterson (Ryley), now 84 years of age and with an excellent memory, remembers gaining the shoulder of the ridge, certainly that of the southeast ridge visible from the west shore of Kootenay Lake. Topping the southeast ridge, her first impression was of the frozen lake on the other side of Mount Loki, and then the tremendous view. Forest fires near Creston blocked the view in that direction. Hunt, Paterson and Russel placed a red flag in the cairn that they had found (said to have been built by an ACC party in the early 1900s), and descended the southeast ridge to the beach that same day, July 2, 1939.
The information comes from a letter and an interview with Mrs. Ryley, and was Initiated by her niece, Peggy LaPage of Nelson,
Loki is the Norse God of Fire, Strife & Humour