Anstey Peak GR:783674

elevation: 2,387 m.
height gain: 700 m.
area: Craigellachie,BC
map 82 M/2

From Craigellachie, locate Lybarger Road on the north side of the highway. After 500 meters, turn right on the Craigellachie-Ansteg FSR (Gorge FSR) and stay on the main road. Just passed the 36-kilometer marker, take a right on Second Creek Road, 708680. Drive up the drainage to a spur road, 760659, and veer left. After 700 meters, keep right at a junction, 759666; another kilometer leads to a switchback, the landing is just beyond that, 757674. Hike the overgrown road to its end, then climb the cutblock before heading in a north-easterly direction through dense undergrowth; the goal is to reach the boulder fields' south-west margin, 765673. Follow the boulder fields along the mountainside to the basin, 769674. Go to the west-facing talus slopes at the back of the basin and ascend to the saddle, 780672. From there, aim for the black rockband and climb along its base; the upper slopes lead to the summit with no difficulty.
active logging road

A radio is recommended on active logging roads.

the landing

Once at the landing, hiking begins beyond this pile of wood.
Scramble: RT 6.0; 3.5 up. The Anstey Range is delightful; it boasts views of the Interior Plateau and the glaciated peaks of the Cat Group to the east. Information on the internet regarding the Anstey peaks is lacking; hence my fascination and dedication to visit the main summits and describe my routes. An extensive network of forestry roads surrounds the Anstey Range; some are active, while others are deactivated. I was hoping my planned route would grant decent access. The secondary service roads are in good shape; I drove within a kilometer of the landing. It is possible to continue there, but I chose to park at a junction as I was unsure of the road conditions ahead. The outing is worthwhile; however, an unpleasant bushwhack through an old cutblock, and a trudge in dense undergrowth is required to gain the alpine meadows of Anstey Peak's western basin. It took me about an hour to get there and 45 minutes to go down. Once I got to the boulder fields along the mountainside, the arduous bushwhacking ended, and I reached a beautiful tarn shortly after. A bit further, a larger tarn sits at the base of the bowl in the meadows. At that point, you can decide whether to ascend Anstey Peak via the straightforward west-facing talus slopes or execute a loop that starts from the ridge to the south; the latter includes climbing a sub-peak (Anstey SW1) and advanced scrambling to connect to the saddle between the two summits. The nice-looking sub-peak and its scramble added some challenge and interest. With an early start allowing some spare time, I opted to try the loop. I climbed grassy slopes to gain the south ridge of the sub-peak. As I gained height on the ridge, the true summit unraveled to the north-east. The ridge to the sub-peak offered a mix of rocky terrain and trees; the slope steepened as I neared the top, but scrambling remained straightforward. I was glad to gain the additional summit and carry on with the loop, but I was nervous about what was yet to come; I had to find a way to the saddle connecting to the true summit. From below, the north ridge of the sub-peak looks jagged; I suspected difficult scrambling. My concern was making it to the saddle safely and without backtracking. The broken ridgeline proved too problematic to negotiate, so I dropped off onto the east side. I travelled on ledges; some sections required stiff class 3 scrambling. As I proceeded, it dawned on me that backtracking to the sub-peak would be incredibly challenging; route-finding skills come in handy for this segment. Following some unnerving moments, I stepped on the saddle; instant relief was upon me. The rest of the hike to the summit was easy. I took a rest and enjoyed the view from the top; I could see Pious Peak, but Probity Peak was hiding behind it. My return was much simpler; I descended the talus slopes from the saddle. Once in the meadows below, I backtracked to the boulder fields. I followed the open terrain as far as possible before re-entering the dense forest; my GPS was a useful navigational tool. Anstey Peak grants a good challenge and great views; unfortunately, there's a price of admission, which is the bushwhack!

road is overgrown

The overgrown road precedes unpleasant bushwhacking.

dense undergrowth

The dense undergrowth in the forest forces me to hike in the drainage.

boulder fields

The boulder fields along the mountainside offer relief from bushwhacking.

the basin

The basin west of Anstey Peak hosts a couple of lovely tarns.

anstey sw1

Ahead, Anstey SW1 offers an additional challenge.

climbing grassy slopes

Climbing the grassy slopes to gain Anstey SW1's south ridge.

looking back

Looking back.

on the ridge

On the ridge.

typical terrain

Typical terrain higher up on the ridge.

connecting ridge

Anstey Peak and its connecting ridge.

whole approach

From the top of Anstey SW1, the whole approach is visible with the cutblock (left) and boulder fields.

looking back at anstey sw1

Looking back up while descending Anstey SW1's north-east ridge.

weaving a route to the saddle

Weaving my way to the saddle.

at the saddle

At the saddle, easy hiking from here.

handrailing the rockband

Handrailing the black rockband.

upper slopes

Upper slopes to the summit.

summit cairn

To the north-east, Cougar and Schrund Peaks loom behind the summit cairn.

pious peak

North of me, Pious Peak conceals the tallest of the Anstey Range, Probity Peak.

southern view

Southern view.

interior plateau

The Interior Plateau unfolds to the west.

anstey sw1's descent

Anstey SW1's complex descent requires route-finding skills.

heading down

Heading back down.

down talus slopes

At the saddle, I opted to go down easy talus slopes to the meadows.

back at the tarn

Back at the tarn.

along the boulder fields

Rambling along the boulder fields as far as I can.

backtracking in the forest

Backtracking in the forest's dense undergrowth.

overgrown cutblock

Unpleasant descent in the overgrown cutblock.

landing ahead

Landing ahead.
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