American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Interior Ranges, Leaning Towers Group, Southern Selkirks

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1976

Leaning Towers Group, Southern Selkirks. Chuck Sink and I spent from July 16 to 25 near the Leaning Towers, east of Kootenay Lake. We were ferried across the lake to the outlet of Campbell Creek and the beginning of a 14-mile trek comprised mainly of brush, talus and snow slopes. Two days of tramping up Campbell Creek over and through these obstacles brought us to a pass southwest of the towers; we traversed around the headwaters of Pinnacle Creek and crossed a second pass south of the towers. From there we dropped down and traversed northeast to a dazzling blue-green lake nestled in a small cirque. We then ascended two ridges lying perpendicular to the Leaning Towers. These ridges were mainly gneiss and schist and afforded no major problems aside from the hazard of very loose talus on several of the six peaks climbed. These were Turok, Andar, P 9160, Heather, P 9500 and Mount Michael, all NCCS I, F3. Turning our efforts to the southwest, we ascended the spectacular northeast ridges of two granite peaks which required rope, chocks and free-climbing skill. (P 8600, NCCS II, F7; and P 8900, NCCS II, F9 via the east face to the crest of the northeast ridge and climbing left of a huge gendarme before again regaining the crest.) We moved camp back to the headwaters of Pinnacle Creek and climbed a third sound granite peak of 8900 feet via snow up the northwest side to the west ridge. From the false summit we made a short rappel and climbed to the true summit in one more lead. NCCS II, F5. There were no cairns or evidence of ascents on any of these nine peaks although we could make out large cairns on the summits of the Leaning Towers.

Alan J. Kearney

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.