Mount Piebiter

August 16, 2020


Gold Bridge / Seton Portage, BC

Mt. Piebiter is a rugged summit in the vicinity of Whitecap Mountain in Bendor Range. This peak does not appear straightforward from any side and the route information is next to non-existent but I also didn’t think “roped climbing” was required. Alex, Vlad and I did it on the 2nd day of our Bendor Range trip after summitting Whitecap Mountain, Star Mountain and Mt. McGillivray. We decided to try the traverse from Mt. McGillivray as that route had the only brief information on the internet. I’m sure this peak had been ascended more often by the locals but for peak-baggers based in large cities the status of this peak was unknown that one basically had to explore it out.

Whitecap Mountain et al. ascent routes. GPX DL

The descent off NE Ridge of Mt. McGillivray was easier than expected with only occasional 3rd class scrambling and route-finding although the rock was mostly choss. Upon nearing the low point between Mt. McGillivray and Mt. Piebiter we faced a steep notch that required a 4th class down-climb to get into. The climb out of the notch was either class 3 or class 4 depends on the route choice. Beyond that we had no further problem reaching the south slopes of Mt. Piebiter. It’s clear that we couldn’t attack the direct line but the terrain on climber’s left side (west) appeared relatively broken and easy. We scrambled up a series of gullies on some loose rocks to the upper west ridge, which was then followed a short ways to the summit (class 3).

Vlad descending into the notch near McGillivray/Piebiter col

The SW aspect of Mt. Piebiter ahead

Alex leading down an easy section on the ridge traverse

Vlad heading for Mt. Piebiter

The typical terrain on the SW Face of Mt. Piebiter

Vlad scrambling up the uppermost West Ridge of Mt. Piebiter

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

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

Mt. Bobb and Mt. Williams behind an unnamed peak

Looking back at Mt. McGillivray where we traversed from

Whitecap Mountain – our first objective in this trip

Prospector Peaks in the foreground

Cadwallader Peak (Crazy Peak), the highest in Cadwallader Range

Shulaps Range in the background

Me on the summit of Mt. Piebiter

Vlad and Alex on the summit of Mt. Piebiter

This was definitely the hardest summit in the close vicinity but still, wasn’t as bad as I thought. We then retraced our route back to McGillivray/Piebiter col and then back through the 4th class notch. We discussed a few route options to avoid re-ascending Mt. McGillivray and picked one that’d kind of in the middle of the lines. There was one steep descent on choss followed by what seemed like a never-ending side-hill across talus, scree, boulders and even snow back to where we ditched the backpacks under the SE Ridge of Mt. McGillivray. We took a long break re-packing and then the trip continued with a traverse towards Royal Peak.

Heading down the upper west ridge

Vlad with the chossy SW Face behind

Looking down into the upper Connel Creek drainage

Alex getting down into the notch

Steep climbing back out of the notch

Alex leading down this scree chute

Vlad descending the typical chossy terrain

We had to traverse across endless slopes like this

Vlad’s definitely a sandwich artist..

Back to the SE Ridge of Mt. McGillivray and press on towards Royal Peak