Ascent of Victoria Peak on 2017-08-31
|Others in Party:||Denise Mclellan|
|Date:||Thursday, August 31, 2017|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||4x4 Vehicle|
| Location:||Canada-British Columbia|
| Elevation:||7083 ft / 2158 m|
Ascent Trip ReportVICTORIA PEAK
We ascended Victoria Peak by the standard South Face route. Our intention was to set off late afternoon and establish a camp on the south ridge positioned for an ascent and return to trail head the following day. We established a base camp without problem but unfortunately the weather the next day was mist and rain with poor visibility. We set out but finding ourselves in an unfamiliar and complex area of rocky ridges, snow gullies and with limited view we returned to the tent. The following day dawned with clear skies and now able to pick out a line we climbed the peak without difficulty making it back to the car early evening. With an early start climbing the peak in a day from the trail head would be possible though camping on the ridge is really very pleasant.
Approached the trail head from Gold River where there’s a garage but few opportunities to buy food, the supermarket closed and shelves empty when we were there. It takes us 2 hours to drive from Gold River to the trail head including a 30min stop for lunch. The route is mainly well maintained good dirt road, landmarks as follows:-
0.0 miles Depart from garage in Gold River on tarmac in the direction of Tahsis.
1.8 miles Cross river and take tuning right signed Tsaxana 1km and Woss 60km
2.3 miles Turn left off the tarmac road onto the wide well graded Gold Mine Road signed Woss and Route 19
5.7 miles Cross river and keep to the main road.
7.1 miles Fork right onto a narrow less used road but still with good graded surface. (Left fork continues to Woss and Route 19)
The road follows the valley north on the east side of the Gold River, there are a lot of steep forestry access roads off to the left but the main valley route is obvious.
14.4 miles Cross the Waring River
14.8 miles Turn left at junction (right hand option takes you down to bridge over Gold River)
16.0 miles Fork left (right fork signed Twaddle Main)
19.4 miles Turn right onto road ‘West 79’ encouragingly signed Victoria Peak. Good view of the summit of Victoria Peak framed by the roadside pines.
After ~200m cross creek and the road begins to ascend.
20.0 miles Take right hand fork signed Victoria Peak.
21.2 miles Continue ahead (not right)
23.0 miles Continue ahead (not left)
23.2 miles Siding on right has possible parking and less than ideal camping (no water)
Up to here the road has been very good, well graded and maintained and a standard 2WD saloon car would have made it this far. The road now becomes steeper and the surface looser providing opportunity to use our 4WD though probably OK in high clearance 2WD.
A Black Bear lopes across the road disappearing as if by magic into the undergrowth.
23.6 miles Fork right then across a couple of deep ditches
23.8 miles Road end and trail head. Good parking, camping possible but again hardly ideal, no water. N50.02614deg. W126.11787deg. Alt. 1163m
Trail head to base camp.
A large piece of wood carved with arrow and ‘TRAIL’ helpfully locates the unobvious start, a dusty ramp up into angular boulders and scrub. Once started the well trod trail is steep and reasonably obvious marked with cut blazes and tape. After 15minutes the angle relents and the well defined trail provides pleasant going through mature forest and thin scrub under storey. The path soon turns north and follows the wide gently undulating ridge without difficulty and offers fine views of Victoria Peak ahead. The ridge broadens and we reach a small lake of clear water amongst rocky humps and heather and it’s here we pitch the tent at alt.1529m, 90minutes walk from the trail head. Mosquitoes around, 13deg.C.
Thursday 31-08-2017 2 days later.
Base camp to summit.
After a night of rain I open the tent door fearful of seeing only mist but peer out into a world of mountain peaks tinged pink by the dawn, a sea of cloud in the vallies below. Thin clouds streak the blue sky and Victoria Peak is clear. +3deg.C. Depart 08:00 and head NE to pick up the well trod path which follows the undulating ridge N, the S face of Victoria Peak bright in sunshine ahead. Reaching alt.1750m the path makes a traverse NNE over broken rock and small patches of snow reaching small scree bowl with glacier scoured slab with cairn at its base. (09:00) Looking N up into the bowl from the cairn, to the left is a dyke of white rock and to the right a shallow angled boulder ramp. The way on is up the boulder ramp to wide terrace with snow patch. Crossing the snow patch and descending a few metres, reaches a rock terrace on the edge of a ridge with steep snow slope ahead (09:25) N50.04919deg. W126.10018deg. alt.1811m. From here the complete S face can be seen and the route picked out. We fit crampons and rope up to descend the initially steep icy snow keeping close to the nearest edge of the snow field. After 30m the angle relents and we make a descending traverse to below the wide tongue of rocks / crags losing around another 30m of height. We traverse around the base of the crags on mix of snow and boulder scree to gain the next snow field which we ascend to its upper RH corner at the base of a steep rock wall.(10:25) It’s a bit of a loose scrabble up loose rock / dust for the last few metres. We leave axes and crampons and follow the path along the base of the wall soon reaching the ‘hidden gully’ Easily up the steep gully, a little loose in places, then continue on wide heather rock ledge under the wall, up steepish ramp then again level traversing path to the SE ridge (10:45) (Basically follow the base of the steep rock wall as far as you can reasonably go.) N50.05301deg. W126.09583deg. Alt.1887m.
The way on is up the short steepish wall adorned with multicoloured slings. Pleasantly warm in sunshine it looks an inviting and easy 15m climb. The rock is solid and hand holds excellent, only really one YDS4 move the rest exposed scrambling. A medium size wedge protects the hard move. By 11:20 we are both up the wall and continue on our way unroped. Above the pitch there are several cairned routes, we take the one upwards which then makes a rising traverse to under the rock wall at edge of the upper bowl of the S face. We continue on a rising traverse over broken rock /scree to a high rock band. Follow under the rock band, easy going with some up and down to gain gully rising up onto the S ridge. Easily up the gully and along the rocky ridge to the W summit (12:10). Above the climb there’s nothing harder than YDS 2/3, we should have left the climbing gear at the top of the climbing pitch. Superb views, bright sunshine and misty clouds welling up from the S face.
The E Top is of similar height and lies at the far end of an excitingly exposed rocky ridge with teetering pinnacles. A brief venture onto the ridge quickly convinces me to be content with the W summit.
We lunch in sunshine enjoying both the extensive views and spontaneously forming and disappearing clouds before setting off down at 13:20. On reaching the climbing pitch Denise abseils down to the path on 30m of rope, I follow with the rope doubled which reaches a ledge from where it’s an easy scramble down to the path. Arrive at the tent 16:40 and car 18:30.
Somewhere we’ve picked up a mouse in the car which over the last two days has tucked into our food and scattered droppings everywhere. It keeps us company for the next few days only being persuaded to leave after a ten minute blast of the radio at full volume.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||3661 ft / 1115 m|
| Extra Gain:||197 ft / 60 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||7.6 mi / 12.2 km|
| Route:||South Face|
| Trailhead:||Gold River trail head 3816 ft / 1163 m|
| Quality:||8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb, Snow Climb|
| Gear Used:||Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Tent Camp|
| Nights Spent:||2 nights away from roads|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy|
As noted for day of ascent, previous day thick cloud, rain and cold
| Time:||1 Days 20 Hours 10 Minutes|
| Time:||5 Hours 10 Minutes|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Richard Mclellan
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