Pivotal Mountain

July 20, 2020


Clendinning Area, BC

Pivotal Mountain is a small, but impressively-looking summit in the middle of Clendinning Glacier in a very remote part of the southern Coast Mountains. The summit is a walk-up via the south ridge but all other sides are shear granite walls. This area had seen very few visitors but historically the peak had been ascended by going up Clendinning Glacier and probably easiest on skis. Alex, Vlad and I did it as part of a 10-day traverse across the range. This was the 3rd day and earlier in this day we ascended Mt. Boardman, Sergeant Mountain, Corporal Mountain and Mt. Whiting. We had set up a nice camp at the southern end of Ross Ridge and opted to ascend Pivotal Mountain for sunset.

The section from Mt. Boardman to Blumlisalp Mountain.

To access Pivotal’s south ridge we had to lose at least 50 m elevation which would be frustrating on the way back. The south ridge itself was also more involved than I thought with a few up-and-downs and some narrow stretches with cornices. We ascended the summit block on rock (class 2-3) on the climber’s right side as we were a bit tired of snow traversing at this point. We made to the summit with some great evening colours.

Hunaechin Peak from near our camp

Alex and Vlad heading for Pivotal Mountain via south ridge

Looking back towards Mt. Whiting and Ross Ridge that we just traversed

Looking back. Our camp was just above that bump at center

Sunset over Mt. Thomas and Bottiger Peak

Mt. Alexander at the head of Queens Reach of Jervis Inlet

Another photo of the sunset over Bottiger Peak

One of the steeper sections on the south ridge of Pivotal Mountain

Vlad leading the rock scramble

Alex and Vlad approaching the summit

Summit Panorama from Pivotal Mountain. Click to view large size.

Our group shot on the summit of Pivotal Mountain

After snapping enough photos we leisurely retreated. I led us down the summit block boot-skiing entirely on snow instead of going back via the rock scramble route. The rest of the plod back to camp was easy but tiring, especially after three long days’ of hard push. The first objective for the 4th day would be Blumlisalp Mountain.

Alex in front of Mt. Alexander

Alex heading back with Hunaechin Peak behind