Oldman Peak (Dg15) GR:817958

elevation: 2,714 m. height gain: 1,635 m.
area: Donald,BC map 82 N/6

Drive west past Golden on highway 1. After crossing the Columbia River on the Donald Bridge, start your odometer, the trailhead is 9.5 kilometers away. If you forget, you can calculate 3.8 kilometers from the Donald FSR. The trailhead is on the west side of the highway and dips down; it is extremely hard to find. It is just after a set of concrete barriers and delineators (on the opposite side). If you reach a rest area on the east side, you missed it! After turning and dipping down, park at the flat area, 814041. Quad or bike the 9-kilometer service road to the last landing, 808989. If you decide to use an ATV, a washout needs to be negotiated about 2 kilometers in. From the parking area, you will come to a newly built road (West Bench Trail), go left. Follow the road for less than 400 meters and start looking for the not so obvious access road that starts to climb on the right (more like straight ahead); this road eventually skirts Oldman Creek. From the last landing, hike through minor bush and slide paths until you reach boulder slopes on a mountainside; this sidehill above the creek easily leads to the access drainage, 814975. Continue towards Oldman Peak's north bowl and gain the ridge climber's left of a significant buttress, 822964. Follow the ridge (south) to the summit, expect some easy scrambling.
off the highway

Just off the highway at the flat area.

second junction

The newly built West Bench Trail veers left (second junction), we continued straight and started climbing.
Scramble: RT 11.5; 6.0 up. We ventured this way last fall with the ATV but when we encountered a washout, we had to leave the quad behind. The snow covered obstacle wasn't feasible at the time and with no shovel, saw or wrecking bar, we weren't about to attempt it. We continued on snowshoes from there, just to get some exercise... This time we figured we'd play it safe and bike the service road. Honestly, we pushed our bikes most of the way. The road is good but the grade is a bit more than we remembered; I'm sure it wouldn't be an issue for stronger folks! Once at the landing, we aimed for the boulders on the mountainside. Bushwhacking is short lived. After negotiating the sidehill and crossing the drainage, we neared Oldman's north bowl. We travelled on firm snow towards the ascent slope. Kicking steps up the steep pitch was fast and easy. We really enjoyed trekking on the ridge, some pleasant scrambling kept us entertained. Soon our objective was in sight; right on, right on! The weather was unstable but quite mild; it seemed thunderstorms would not be a threat after all. We stayed at the top for a while, the cloud layers added texture and beauty to the scenery. The upper Quartz Lake, west of us, was still sporting sled tracks on the ice. To the south, several mountains we visited petered in and out of the cloud cover. At times, we were engulfed in mist; I must admit, I really liked the dynamic clouds. After scoping other possible ascents of the Dogtooth Range, we slowly started to head down. Following a nice glissade, we backtracked to our bikes. We coasted back to the truck without even a pedal stroke!
leaving the bikes

We leave our bikes before the last landing.

last landing

At the last landing, we aimed for the boulder slopes on the mountainside.

boulder slopes

Travelling at the edge of the boulder slopes.

nearing the drainage

Nearing the access drainage climber's right.

crossing the drainage

After crossing the drainage, we climbed the rib on the left for a more direct route.

into the draw

Heading into the draw with our objective ahead.

north bowl

Oldman Peak's north bowl, we gained the ridge on the left.

good conditions

Good snow conditions and not too steep.

looking back

Looking back.

easy scrambling

Easy scrambling on the north-east ridge.

lots of snow

Lots of snow still.

donald peak

A look back along the connecting ridge to Donald Peak.

enjoyable summit ridge

Enjoyable summit ridge.

true summit

Last bit to the true summit of Oldman Peak.

summit cairn

At the summit cairn.

upper quartz lake

Sled tracks are still visible on the ice of the upper Quartz Lake.

view south

View south with Kingpin Peak (left of center), Zombie Peak (center) and Bokor Peak to the right.

view west

West of us is Dauntless Mountain (left of center) and Dg14.

heading down

Time to head down.

view across the columbia river

View north-east beyond Donald Peak, across the Columbia River.


Backtracking after a nice glissade from the ridge.

start of the sidehill

Crossing the drainage again.

retrieving our bikes

Retrieving our bikes for a speedy and effortless descent.


Off the bikes at the washout.
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