Carmarthen Peak

July 8, 2015

2949m

Invermere, BC

Carmarthen Peak is the highest in Welsh Peaks in the Starbird Range of Purcell Mountains. Comparing to the nearby Irish Peaks and Scotch Peaks this group of peaks are generally less impressive and Carmarthen Peak isn’t an exception. The east side of this mountain does appear like a steep continuous wall but to reach its summit is nothing but a walk-up from North Star Glacier from the southwest. Eric, Ben and I ascended it as a short detour from the climb of our major objective, Gwendoline Mountain, on the 3rd day of our Welsh Lakes camp.

Carmarthen Peak ascent route

Carmarthen Peak ascent route

The glacier slog just seemed to drag on forever but with good perseverance we eventually reached the rock. There’s really nothing special about getting up this peak other than some minor route-finding. We aimed towards the south ridge and then followed it all the way to the top (very foreshortening and with a few false summits). The view was surprisingly good especially looking down towards the 3 Welsh Lakes and Aberystwyth Lake.

Our objective - Carmarthen Peak from North Star Glacier

Our objective – Carmarthen Peak from North Star Glacier

Marching across the glacier, with North Star Peak behind

Marching across the glacier, with North Star Peak behind

Eric ascending the typical terrain. Yes, more boulders...

Eric ascending the typical terrain. Yes, more boulders…

Looking upwards from the same vantage point

Looking upwards from the same vantage point

Ben on the south ridge

Ben on the south ridge

Ahead would be the true summit

Ahead would be the true summit

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Summit Panorama. Click to view large size.

Upper Welsh Lake

Upper Welsh Lake

The middle Welsh Lake

Middle Welsh Lake

Lower Welsh Lake

Lower Welsh Lake

Aberystwyth Lake

Aberystwyth Lake

Harlech and Merioneth Peaks - my objectives for the following day

Harlech and Merioneth Peaks – my objectives for the following day

Gelway Peak

Gelway Peak

Mt. Delphine and Mt. Farnham

Mt. Delphine and Mt. Farnham

Mt. Alpha Centauri

Mt. Alpha Centauri

North Star Peak

North Star Peak

Me on the summit of Carmarthen Peak

Me on the summit of Carmarthen Peak

The very old summit register

The very old summit register

Another panorama from the summit showing all 4 lakes. Click to view large size.

Another panorama from the summit showing all 4 lakes. Click to view large size.

On the descent Eric went down the SW slopes but had to re-ascend a bit on the glacier. Ben and I stuck closer to our ascent line but traversed a bit too low below the ridge crest and had to deal with some difficult scrambling. I think the best option would be just reversing the south ridge route. Descending from Alpha Centauril/Carmarthen col went by relatively uneventful and a bit easier than I thought, but still loose. After that it’s a pleasant plunge down the snow slope followed by a nice stroll back to camp (though with some tedious boulder-hopping).

Ben descending from Carmarthen Peak

Ben descending from Carmarthen Peak

And then, down-climbing from Alpha Centauri/Carmarthen col

And then, down-climbing from Alpha Centauri/Carmarthen col

Gorgeous view towards Gelway Peak and Centaurus Glacier

Gorgeous view towards Gelway Peak and Centaurus Glacier

Eric descending the upper snowfield

Eric descending the upper snowfield

And then, the loose boulders

And then, the loose boulders

Lots of boulders...

Lots of boulders…

And yes, more boulders...

And yes, more boulders…

A look towards the uppermost glacial lake and the Irish Peaks

A look towards the uppermost glacial lake and the Irish Peaks

Eric chose to glissade the lower snow slope

Eric chose to glissade the lower snow slope

Panorama of the uppermost lake. Click to view large size.

Panorama of the uppermost lake. Click to view large size.

Another look at this lake

Another look at this lake

Looking back at the E. Face of Carmarthen Peak

Looking back at the E. Face of Carmarthen Peak

Looking ahead towards upper Welsh Lake and our camp

Looking ahead towards upper Welsh Lake and our camp

A view towards Connemara Peak from our camp

A view towards Connemara Peak from our camp

Since we’d already got the two primary objectives (Mt. Alpha Centauri and Gwendoline Mountain) we decided to hike out on the 4th day. We only brought roughly 4.5 days food anyway so no point to linger any longer. But before we left this beautiful area I still wanted to take advantage of the sunny weather. While Eric and Ben sleeping in, I decided to wake up 2 hours earlier and make an ascent of Harlech Peak and Merioneth Peak solo.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s