American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Portal Creek Region

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1955

Portal Creek Region, Canadian Rockies. Near the head of Portal Creek and east of the Ramparts lies a mountain group, including the Trident Range, which has received little attention. In 1930 N. D. Waffl climbed Mt. Estrella, which he described as one of his best rock climbs in Canada. Mt. Majestic has been climbed several times. The other peaks of the group have apparently been neglected.

From a camp on Portal Creek Mike Smith and I climbed, August 9, 1954, to the pass west of the Vertex Peak and ascended an unnamed and hitherto unclimbed peak south of Vertex which for our own purposes of identification we referred to as “Vertex Jr.” (ca. 9,300 ft.). Two days later we made a first ascent of Vertex Peak (9,600 ft.), the approach being from Maccarib

Pass. The route leads from the west to the summit ridge which bends around the beautiful cirque enclosing the Circus Valley. From the summit the view of the Ramparts, Edith Cavel, the mountains of the Whirlpool, and, in the far distance, Columbia is a fine one.

Two days later we climbed Franchere Peak (9,225 ft.), which lies between the Astoria River and the head of Portal Creek. The approach from Portal Creek up the valley between Aquila and Chak is a delightful one. The route on the north face, a combination of snow and rock, is interesting. On this summit we found a cairn but no record. The view of Vertex and the Trident Range was rewarding.

Archibald MacIntosh

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