Kapristo Mountain

elevation: 2,710 m. height gain: 1,330 m.
area: Golden,BC map 82 N/2

From the Trans-Canada highway, turn south on the Beaverfoot Road and cross the Kicking Horse River. Soon after going over the bridge, turn right on Kicking Horse Road towards Chancellor Peak Chalets. Continue on this road for 5.5 kilometers and turn left on Kapristo Spur Road, drive to the landing and park, 195763; the road is in decent shape but that's always subject to change... From the landing, skirt the cutblock to the forest's edge. We travelled on the steep hillside in the forest for a short distance before descending to the unnamed creek; we followed the creekbed all the way to the basin east of Kapristo's summit block, 186737. In order to avoid impasses, we had to climb the western bank and bushwhack through tight shrubs twice (only short detours). Although travelling the creekbed is tedious, it's far better than the alternative and it grants interesting hiking. Choose the right time to go; early season, the creek might be a "no go"! Once in the basin, gain the saddle south-east of the summit block and scramble the ridge towards the objective. At the summit block, we climbed until finding an obvious ledge system that crosses the northern face to easier terrain; the scrambling wasn't too difficult and exposure was manageable. We resumed the ascent to the southernmost peak and traversed the summit ridge to the true summit which has a survey marker.
at the landing

At the landing, we went to the forest's edge at the bottom of the cutblock.

steep sidehill in the forest

Steep sidehilling in the forest, we're heading down to the creekbed...
Scramble: RT 13.0; 6.25 up. Kapristo Mountain is the highest peak along the Beaverfoot Range, it has been a destination I've wanted to explore for a long time. There was no information on the internet other than Rick Collier's ascent from the south on a traverse of that range. Our planned route up an unnamed creek was a gamble, we weren't sure if the creek would land us in the basin where we could ascend to the saddle south of the summit block. The best way to find out was to go investigate and "take one for the team"! We drove up on a decent road to the landing we had seen on Google Earth. From there, we hiked the bushy clearing to the edge of the forest. Travelling along the steep west bank of the creek wasn't easy, we soon dropped to the creekbed hoping to find less resistance. To our surprise, we were able to travel up the creekbed. Our progress up the creek was slow, at times we had to negotiate tricky sections or slimy slippery rock; amazingly enough, we were only required to find a way up the west bank to circumvent difficulties in the creek on two occasions. Those bypasses were not pleasant but fortunately, they were short-lived... After 3.5 hours of perserverance and tedious travel up the creekbed, the terrain opened up and we were delivered in the basin east of the summit block. We were thrilled, the ascent to the saddle appeared easy. We took a nice long break before continuing. At the saddle, we left our poles and put on our helmets; it looked like we'd be scrambling from there on. The ridge offers fun scrambling and leads to the summit block where it gets more challenging. We climbed the summit block a short distance before finding a good place to traverse the face onto easier terrain. The scrambling was never too difficult and it looks like several options are likely possible. After traversing, we continued scrambling upwards to the southmost peak. We walked the summit ridge over a false summit then onto the true summit which has a survey marker. We were both elated to be standing at the top. We had lunch before backtracking to the creekbed. The descent in the creekbed was as long as we expected it to be, I even wiped out into the creek banging a butt cheek pretty good and superficially submerging my camera. Other than that, it was uneventful and we reached the truck in good spirit. This scramble is certainly fun and interesting and the access up the creekbed, although long, isn't that bad; I enjoyed it despite the bruise!
along the creekbed

Finding our way along the creekbed, this is actually interesting.

travelling the creekbed to the basin

We're travelling along the creekbed pretty much all the way to the basin.

kapristo's basin

Kapristo's eastern basin, whoohoo!

the objective

The objective from the basin.

aiming for the saddle

Instead of going to the low saddle, we aimed higher where the ridge meets the flatter terrain (center).

snow bridges

Delicate snow bridges remain in the heat of summer.

at the saddle

At the saddle, preparing to scramble up the south-east ridge.


Easy and straightforward so far.

summit block comes into view

The summit block comes into view beyond this beach-like pulverized rock.

scrambling becomes moderate

Scrambling becomes moderate as we near the summit block.

traverse to easier terrain

We climbed the summit block and traversed the face to easier terrain.

climbing the face

Climbing the left side of the face before traversing.

traversing on a ledge

Traversing on a decent ledge.

scrambly bit

Odd scrambly bit beyond the traverse.

easier terrain

Ascending easier terrain towards the southmost peak.

looking back

Looking back.

coming up a gully

Fab's coming up a gully as I wait on the summit ridge.

prominent false summit

A prominent false summit to go up and over.

true summit ahead

True summit in sight, damn.

oh ya

Oh ya!!!

it's official

It's official.

mount hunter

Looking north-east over the Kicking Horse River towards Mount Hunter.

glacier national park

Western view over the Columbia Valley towards Glacier National Park.


Rick's name in the register, thanks for the inspiration, RIP...

the goodsirs

Mount Vaux (left), Chancellor Peak (left center) and The Goodsirs towering beyond (right center).

heading back

Heading back.

beaverfoot range

The Beaverfoot Range to the south.

retracing our steps

Retracing our steps to the traverse.

back on the ledge

Back on the ledge.

more of the same

More of the same.

looking back again

Fab's looking back as I'm traversing the ledge.

descending the face

Descending the far edge (climber's left) of the face.

moderate scrambling

Moderate scrambling.

steep but manageable

Steep but quite manageable.

leaving the summit block

Leaving the summit block behind.

weather moves in

Weather moves in as we travel the south-east ridge.

back at the saddle

Almost back at the saddle.

a steep bit interrupt the ridge

A steep bit interrupts the ridge.

pleasant trek to the basin

Pleasant trek to the basin below.

in the creekbed

In the creekbed for the remainder of the hike.

happy trails

Happy trails!!
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