Mount McGillivray (BC)

August 16, 2020


Gold Bridge / Seton Portage, BC

Mt. McGillivray is the namesake summit that rises above McGillivray Pass in the “heart” of Bendor Range. Not to be confused with Mt. McGillivray in the Bow Valley of Canadian Rockies, this one is in the inland zone of Coast Mountains. This peak itself can be a decent day-hike objective for those living in the vicinity of Gold Bridge, but for peak-baggers travelling all the way from Vancouver the primary objective of this area is always Whitecap Mountain. Earlier in this trip Alex, Vlad and I had ascended Whitecap Mountain on Day 1, and then Star Mountain in the morning of Day 2. The plan of the second day was to bag as many peaks as possible in this area and the next one on the agenda was Mt. McGillivray.

Whitecap Mountain et al. ascent routes. GPX DL

We carried our heavy packs for a short ways up the SE Ridge of Mt. McGillivray before ditching the unnecessary gears. We repacked as we expected to return to this exact same position after scrambling Mt. McGillivray and Mt. Piebiter. The scramble on the SE Ridge had some nice position and views, but felt like a slog. The ridge was foreshortened and the peak was much taller than I thought. It’s actually the second highest summit in the close vicinity, towered only by the majestic Whitecap Mountain.

Vlad heading for the SE Ridge of Mt. McGillivray

Looking back down towards McGillivray Pass and Standard Ridge

Higher up on the SE Ridge of Mt. McGillivray

Partial Summit Panorama from Mt. McGillivray. Click to view large size.

Partial Summit Panorama from Mt. McGillivray. Click to view large size.

Cadwallader Peak aka. Crazy Peak at center shot

A wider view towards the far distant Pemberton icefield on the horizon

Looking south down McGiliivray Creek drainage towards D’Arcy

Whitecap Mountain

Mt. Marriott rises behind Prospector Peaks

Mt. Truax looms to the north

Mt. Weinhold in the very foreground; Ipsoot Mountain dominates the backdrop

The north face of Mt. Taillefer in the foreground

Looking past Royal Peak towards the very tip of Downton Lake at Gold Bridge

Alex and Vlad on the summit of Mt. McGillivray

Me on the summit of Mt. McGillivray

We got some cell services again on the summit so spent at least half an hour reconnecting to the society but eventually we had to carry on towards Mt. Piebiter. This next objective was the technical crux of our trip and also involved fair amount of exploring as the “beta” was very much non-existing on the internet. The general idea was to stay on the connecting ridge as that appeared reasonable from our observations. Descending the NE Ridge of Mt. McGillivray we faced a series of cliff bands that required some brief detouring on the south side.

Starting down the NE Ridge of Mt. McGillivray

The typical terrain to negotiate down towards McGillivray/Piebiter col