Star Mountain

August 16, 2020


Gold Bridge / Seton Portage, BC

Star Mountain is a rather small summit in Bendor Range about halfway between Gold Bridge and Seton Portage. The area is rather remote, but the access isn’t particularly difficult thank to the Kingdom Lakes FSR and the horse trail systems in Standard Creek and McGillivray Pass. For peak-baggers this peak is usually done together with the nearby Whitecap Mountain. It’s obvious that Whitecap Mountain is always the primary objective, and for those having extra time and energy, a detour to Star Mountain is an easy add-on. For Alex, Vlad and myself this was the 2nd day and on the first day we did bag Whitecap Mountain.

Whitecap Mountain et al. ascent routes. GPX DL

Alex had already done Star Mountain on his previous attempt to ascend Whitecap Mountain so Vlad and I woke up early and plodded eastward on our own. We managed to get going at around sunrise. We firstly had to plod over the shoulder of a small hump but we needed not have to ascend to the top of that hump. Then we easily descended to a set of alpine lakes where two groups were camping. When we passed by their tents they were still sleeping. The terrain on the plod to Star Mountain was surprisingly easy with no talus hopping nor side-hilling on steep grass, that we managed to make progress fairly quickly. The peak appeared fairly imposing from afar but Alex didn’t mention any difficulty on the ascent so we assumed the route just went up the west ridge. At the base of the scramble we ditched the backpacks. We did have to do some detouring on climber’s right side but generally stuck to the ridge crest. There were numerous false summits and the scrambling was “class 3” at most.

Prospector Peaks on alpenglow

Cadwallader Peak et al. on Cadwallader Range on alpenglow

Mt. Taillefer on alpenglow

A wider morning view of the area behind Standard Ridge

Looking south towards Mt. Marriott on alpenglow

Vlad plodding towards Star Mountain

Passing one of the two group’s tent

As you can see, the terrain was pleasant and easy

One of the lakes at this pass.

I can see why this is a prime camping spot, and with no restriction…

Passed the lakes now, looking back

A cool pinnacle on the west ridge of Star Mountain

An unnamed sub-summit to the south

Vlad scrambling up the west ridge of Star Mountain

Partial Summit Panorama from Star Mountain. Click to view large size.

Partial Summit Panorama from Star Mountain. Click to view large size.

A southern view towards Lost/Found and Haylmore Peak areas

A closer view of Prospector Peaks

Mt. Taillefer and a sea of other peaks…

Mt. Marriott rises behind that unnamed sub-summit

The north face of Birkenhead Peak

“Cadwallader Peak” is also known as “Crazy Peak”

Mt. Sloan to the NW

Me on the summit of Star Mountain

Vlad and I on the summit of Star Mountain

The views were pretty nice on the summit but we had a long day ahead so immediately turned around and plodded down. On the descent we found some easier bypasses to avoid the 3rd class sections and in no time we were back to the lakes. We loaded up the water bottles at a stream above the lakes, and then had a leisure plod back to camp. We would then break camp and move towards Mt. McGillivray.

Vlad heading down with Mt. McGillivray behind

A closer look at Vlad starting down

This is some typical terrain on the west ridge of Star Mountain

Back onto easier terrain now

We were pleased to find this flower field…

I just had to take some photos of the flowers…

Back to the lakes.

Another photo looking towards Mt. Taillefer in the distance

Traversed back over the shoulder of that hump now

Back to camp. Time to take a rest and move on…