Portia Peak GR:336893

elevation: 1,870 m.
height gain: 1000 m. (includes height loss)
area: Coquihalla Summit,BC
map 92 H/11
2021-May-29


Ref: Steven's Peak-Bagging Journey

well-marked trail


The trail is easy to follow even with snow coverage.
Scramble: RT 10.0; 5.0 up. I missed the ball when I planned Portia Peak. I intended to gain Two Bears Ridge on avalanche debris in a major slide path that bleeds to the highway. When I drove by the drainage in the morning, there was no more snow lower down; instead, the steep gully had a fast-flowing waterfall. I turned around and drove to the Zopkios Rest Area and parked at the Needle Peak trailhead; plan B was the well-documented approach via The Flatiron. I wasn't disappointed with this option as I had never been up there with snow coverage. Judging from some trip reports, the hike up and over The Flatiron seemed simple, and the ridge walk to Portia Peak appeared delightful. There was snow at the trailhead; luckily, it was firm. It was easy to follow the general direction of the trail in the forest as there are numerous markers along the way. Within two hours, I was at the Needle-Flatiron Col. To ascend The Flatiron, I picked a direct line aiming towards Two Bears Ridge and bypassed the summit. Upon the ridge, a pleasant hike ensued under a bluebird sky. The view along the broad ridge is fantastic in all directions; it overshadows the minor ups and downs. A 200-meter descent to a deep saddle precedes the final climb up Portia Peak; I chose to make the best of it by glissading as much as possible. Portia Peak's upper half looks steep; as forwarned by other climbers, I brought my axe and crampons. I made my way to a small rockband where I stopped to don my crampons. The snow was quite firm; on this steep grade, the ascent would have been difficult without them. When I reached the summit, I took a nice long break to enjoy the view and eat my lunch. The descent from the summit was the only challenging part of this outing due to snowballing under my crampons. With caution, I backtracked to the rockband and gladly put the crampons away. I dilly-dallied for much of my return while admiring the surrounding sights and savouring perfect weather. This outing is fabulous and well suited for springtime.









needle peak

Nearing Needle Peak.

vicuna, guanaco and yak

Looking back at Vicuna, Guanaco Peaks (left) and Yak Peak to the right.

tiny pool

A thin layer of ice on a tiny pool of water indicates a decent overnight freeze.

the flatiron

Traversing towards The Flatiron.

portia peak appears


Portia Peak appears behind The Flatiron's southern ridge.


looking back


Looking back at Needle Peak.


my ascent


My ascent avoided the cornice while bypassing Flatiron's summit.


two bears ridge


The beginning of the scenic Two Bears Ridge.


the flatiron


The Flatiron is a short jaunt away, I've been there already!


portia peak and saddle


A deep saddle precedes Portia Peak (left).


delightful ridge walk


The ridge walk is delightful.


glissade


Glissading 200 meters to the deep saddle.


portia peak


The upper half of the ascent is steep.


rockband


 Aiming right of the rockband where I will don crampons.


crampons on


Glad to have my crampons on the firm snow.


steep sections


Steep sections.


upper mountain


Skirting to the right of the rocks.


looking south-west


Looking south-west as I near the top.


the flatiron and needle peak


The Flatiron (left) and Needle Peak.


anderson river group


The Anderson River Group beyond Two Bears Ridge.


the old settler


The Old Settler to the west.


illal, jim kelly and coquihalla


Illal Mountain (left), Jim Kelly Peak and Coquihalla Mountain to the east.


tulameen and outram


Due south is Tulameen Mountain and Mount Outram jutting above Mount Snider.


heading down


Heading down.


climbing back up


Climbing back up Two Bears Ridge.


resuming ridge walk


Resuming a pleasant walk back along the ridge.


message in snow


Coming across ski tracks, they left me a message.


portia and carry peaks


Looking back at Portia Peak with Carry Peak on the left.


needle peak


Needle Peak.


looking back


Looking back at The Flatiron.


alpaca, vicuna and guanaco


Alpaca, Vicuna and Guanaco Peaks.


nice return


Nice return with great views.
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