American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Interior Ranges, First Ascents in the Southern Monashees

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1969

First Ascents in the Southern Monashees. The main difficulties in the Monashee Mountains are usually found below 5000 feet in the deep bushy river valleys. To overcome this problem, Barbara Lilley, Jess Logan, my wife Marcia and I hired a helicopter at Revelstoke to take us to a camp at the head of Bourne Creek at the northern end of the Shushwap group. From there we climbed P 9300 and Cat Peak (9600 feet) to the east and southeast respectively of the large glacier draining into Bourne Creek. Cat Peak involved steep snow and class-3 rock. We then moved south over a glaciated pass to a lake just west of the crest where a barrel of food had been placed during the helicopter lift. From this camp on successive days we made the long walk to the summit of Frenchman’s Cap, then a 9600-foot snow climb nearby camp, and to P 9100+ just west of Frenchman’s Cap, a nice class-3 rock climb. On a half-day that ended with a two-hour thunderstorm, we moved camp south again over another pass. After a day of fog and drizzle, we moved south once more, taking time out at the pass to make first ascents of two easy peaks of about 9400 and 9100 feet on either side of the pass. A new camp was made on a grassy ledge near the pass between the head of the Jordan River and Bews Creek. It would not have been difficult to reach the one remaining 9000-foot peak a mile to the north, but the next two days were rainy. We started down the Jordan valley, where in almost continuous rain for three days we encountered the worst traveling conditions that any of us had ever experienced. There are still several worthwhile summits in the area. Two peaks of about 8600 feet just south of the Jordan-Bews col look rather difficult. P 9457, west of Hat Peak and four miles south of Frenchman’s Cap has a 1500-foot north face that is almost vertical. Access by helicopter is recommended!

George Wallerstein

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