Antrim Peak

July 7, 2015

2918m

Invermere, BC

Antrim Peak is one of the easiest summits in Irish Peaks, a group of rugged peaks guarding Welsh Lakes on the south and east sides in the heart of Purcell Mountains. Ben, Eric and I scrambled it on the second day of our Welsh Lakes peak-bagging trip, after successfully ascended the nearby Mt. Alpha Centauri on Day 1. We chose Antrim Peak and Leitrim Peak since the weather forecast looked fairly unstable on this day. In fact, we got rained hard in the morning so slept in till almost 10 am. The rain stopped and weather cleared up, so off we went.

Antrim Peak and Leitrim Peak. (GPS Track recorded by Ben so not my ascent route)

Antrim Peak and Leitrim Peak. (GPS track recorded by Ben so not my ascent route)

The biggest challenge for this day was the endless boulder hopping. To access these two peaks from our camp we must cross a gigantic field of granite boulders, from microwave to car sized, for about 1.5-2 km distance and sometimes on side-hilling terrain. It was just awful but that’s the theme of this area so we had to get used to it… Eventually we made across and it’s time to focus on the ascent. Eric and Ben for some reasons went further up the hanging valley between Connemara and Antrim for exploration so before I realized I was already a hundred meters or so up the slope, so from here on I essentially did the ascent solo.

Panorama of the upper Welsh Lake from our camp. Click to view large size.

Panorama of the upper Welsh Lake from our camp. Click to view large size.

Eric descending steep grassy slopes just below our camp

Eric descending steep grassy slopes just below our camp

Now came the fun part.. Not so much...

Now came the fun part.. Not so much…

Good view down towards the middle Welsh Lake though

Good view down towards the middle Welsh Lake though

Oh the boulders. Roughly 2 km of this...

Oh the boulders. Roughly 2 km of this…

Looking back towards Mt. Alpha Centauri and North Star Peak

Looking back towards Mt. Alpha Centauri and North Star Peak

I pretty much picked a direct line from the base to the summit going through a few gully features on some very loose terrain. There were at least two shooting galleries to ascent through so probably a good thing we got separated at this point. Climbing solo meant I didn’t need to avoid knocking down rocks so a lot less mental concentration needed. The rocks were really loose and it’s almost impossible to avoid kicking down chunks anyway, and sometimes microwave sized. After a long foreshortened grind I eventually got closer to the summit. Judging by my GPS I knew the peak to my left was slightly lower so I didn’t waste energy here and ascended directly to true summit. The connecting ridge had some fun scrambling (Class 2 or 3 ish), but other than that technically it’s easy/moderate scrambling only.

Partway up the mountain, looking towards Alpha Centauri and North Star

Partway up the mountain, looking towards Alpha Centauri and North Star

Looking down my ascending gully. This is the typical terrain.

Looking down my ascending gully. This is the typical terrain.

And, more boulders. Yes.. Some looked very unstable

And, more boulders. Yes.. Some looked very unstable

Higher up looking towards Connemara Peak

Higher up looking towards Connemara Peak

Gorgeous Welsh Lakes looking down

Gorgeous Welsh Lakes looking down

These two big peaks behind are Mt. Sally Serera (L) and Donard Peak (R)

These two big peaks behind are Mt. Sally Serera (L) and Donard Peak (R)

The last bit to the summit

The last bit to the summit

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Leitrim Peak will be my next objective

Leitrim Peak will be my next objective

Connemara Peak looks pretty challenging.

Connemara Peak looks pretty challenging.

The big peak behind is Mt. Ethelbert

The big peak behind is Mt. Ethelbert

The gorgeous North Star Peak

The gorgeous North Star Peak

Gelway Peak

Gelway Peak

The glaciated Mt. Delphine and the rocky Mt. Farnham - 2 of the Purcell 11,000ers

The glaciated Mt. Delphine and the rocky Mt. Farnham – 2 of the Purcell 11,000ers

Me on the summit of Antrim Peak

Me on the summit of Antrim Peak

The nearby Leitrim Peak did not look very interesting to ascend, but since I was there already I had to give it a shot.

Comments
  1. Thanks for sharing, loved your photos! We’re looking forward to doing this one 🙂

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