American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, British Columbia, Selkirk Range of British Columbia

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1938

Mt. Trident. The opening of the highway along the Big Bend of the Columbia River brings nearer a large number of peaks unclimbed and unnamed. It will not, however, make them readily accessible to climbing parties unless trails are cut through the region. Mt. Trident, 10,141 ft., was seen and named from Kinbasket Lake by Dr. Charles Shaw in 1910. It would seem to be as accessible as any. Miss Kate Gardiner and the writer, with the Swiss guides, Edward Feuz and Christian Häsler, climbed it in July, 1937. Motoring from Banff to Kinbasket Lake at Middle River, we were met and rowed across the lake by Peter Bergenham of Beavermouth, an expert boatman and woodsman. The next day and the morning after, ten hours in all, we spent, fighting out way with packs to the head of the valley, through heavy undergrowth, massive windfalls, devil’s club and, worst of all, alder- slides. Much cutting was necessary to get through at all. The distance is probably only four or five miles, but up from 2203 ft., the altitude of the lake, almost to timberline. Camp was made on the moraine on the N. E. side of a lovely glacier cirque inhabited by some forty goats.

Two peaks are visible from Kinbasket Lake and as one proceeds up the valley, a third appears on the left (E.). The middle one is the highest; the right resolves itself into a mere shoulder of Trident and the left proved to be several hundred feet lower. The ridge of Trident from the col between it and the unnamed lesser peak to the E. is a series of jagged rocks, and ascent to the summit cut off by a perpendicular slab of rock. Ascent by our party was made by crossing the col (four hours from high camp) and descending to the W. slope (two hours including route finding), where slabby rocks gave access to a high bench running around the mountain. Following this, we came to the final ridge with some good climbing to the summit (three hours) ; return to camp in six hours.

The view is extensive. The Columbia Icefield, thirty to forty miles away, is distinguishable best with field-glasses. Mt. Adamant, Sir Sandford, Iconoclast, and the Sorcerer could be recognized easily. The depression of the Big Bend could be traced but Mt. Chapman, unknown to our party, was not noticed probably due to a thunderstorm which struck us as we approached the summit and passed off to the W. The lesser peak E. of Trident presents slanting, slabby rocks to the climber from the col, and a better approach might be from the ridge at the head of the valley. The most spectacular peak nearby is on the crest of the Windy Range to the S. W. It is considerably higher than Trident, offered no apparent route of ascent, and will not be easily accessible to climbers. Those who wish to climb there must be prepared to battle their way

through the forests to reach any peak.

Lillian Gest.

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