Probity Peak GR:792828

elevation: 2,555 m.
height gain: 1,500 m. from Gorge FSR
area: Craigellachie,BC
map 82 M/7

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 53-kilometer marker, look for an overgrown access road, 716822. It is only possible to drive 2.5 kilometers, a landslide bars the way 2/3 up to the cutblock. Only proceed if you don't mind scratching your vehicle; keep in mind that walking the short distance will add much frustration and time. At the end of the road, head east and ascend the cutblock. When the grade lessens, continue due east along the broad ridge. We camped around small lakes, 751841. Aim to gain the plateau at its west end, 765842. On the upper plateau, random hiking leads to the gentle glacier of the summit massif.

overgrown access

The access is overgrown, BC pin-stripping guaranteed.

it gets better

It gets better until a landslide bars the way about 2/3 up.
Scramble: RT 6.75; 3.5 up from camp (approx 4 hrs to camp). Milan and I had been considering this objective since last summer. Being the tallest of the Anstey Range, Probity Peak is alluring. Furthermore, its landscape is like none other in the region; it grants a vast expanse of barren bedrock, countless tarns, and a glaciated peak. With little beta from the internet, Google Earth was useful for planning this outing. Several logging roads access the mountain; Milan chose the one with the highest landing, which delivers to treeline and alpine meadow following a short but steep stretch in the forest.
Throughout the summer, we talked about Probity; we set aside a couple of weekends for summit bids; however, access proved challenging on this objective. On our first try, we drove Perry River FSR and got a flat tire 50 kilometers in; ill-prepared to continue, we pulled the plug after using our spare tire. On the second attempt, we drove the Perry River FSR once more. We went around the far end of the Anstey Range and hooked onto the Gorge FSR; shortly after, we located our access road. That service road tightly choked with alder posed a problem with Milan's company truck. With dusk fast approaching, we decided to forgo Probity Peak and drive to Revelstoke to ascend McCrae Peak. In doing so, we concluded that the Gorge FSR is a good road and far more direct. Milan and the kids went for an additional reconnaissance trip to assess the status of the overgrown road. They drove to the road and hiked it; they spent time moving large rocks and cutting bigger branches. They figured that the road surface is appropriate for travel if one doesn't mind getting their vehicle scraped by very tight alder. With that in mind, on our 4th attempt, we drove my older F150.
On this first fall weekend, the weather was stellar; it was perfect for another (and hopefully final) attempt at this elusive peak. We drove to the alder-choked access road and crawled to the landslide that bars the road; we saved 2.5 kilometers of unpleasant hiking. From there, we continued another 2 kilometers on the road before bushwhacking steep terrain to the west ridge. We hiked through shrubs and lots of deadfall; progress was slow, this was the worst part of the trip. Once on the ridge, conditions didn't improve right away. We trudged on, expecting the terrain ahead to be worth the effort. Higher up, as the ridge got broader, the nasty terrain gave way to open meadows and ponds. We continued with a rejuvenated spirit; after 4 hours of hiking, we set up our camp on a small island. While Milan put up the tent, I assembled the stove to make soup; that's when I realized we had the wrong pump for his stove. Milan wasn't concerned; he set some stones to build a cooker. It worked wonderfully, and we had water boiling in no time! Our campsite was magical; we enjoyed the sunset and the last rays reflecting off the water.
We woke up with the sun, boiled water for breakfast, and got going. There wasn't a cloud, and the temperature rose quickly. We travelled light, enjoying the delightful open landscape with abundant mosses and ponds. We gained height gently until we reached the ridge leading to the bedrock plateau. Enthusiasm filled us when we caught a glimpse of Probity and its glacier; the upper terrain left us in awe. The barren landscape is a testament to a glacial era; rocks strewn everywhere, sitting on polished bedrock. Flat rocks seemed placed in the vibrant green mosses; no landscaper could mimic these arrangements. Tarns, tarns, and more tarns of all shapes and sizes with translucent colours of greens and blues; who wouldn't want to spend days here? We regretted not having more time to lollygag. After dipping down a rift, we made our way onto the glacier. The gentle ascent on firm snow granted easy travel. Higher up, crevasses interrupted the uniform ice; we spent much time peering into them and taking pictures. A skiff of snow blanketed the ice, which made it possible to discern fresh grizzly tracks, mom and cub, no more than a day old. There were also wolf paw prints. And there it was, the top of our elusive summit, Probity Peak. We relished the feat, the view, and the weather; all were perfect. Unfortunately, we couldn't linger as we had to return to the truck; hopefully before dark. Following a satisfying break, we started our descent. Not far from the top, Milan noticed newly formed wolf tracks that crossed our path; it would have been lovely to see him. We backtracked to our camp with only half an hour over our estimated allowed time. We packed up our stuff and resumed our descent. All too soon, we were back in the chaotic deadfall and shrubs. We negotiated the steep terrain as dusk fell upon us. Thankfully, we reached the road before dark and only had to use the headlamps for the last 15 minutes before arriving at the truck. The drive out in the alders with the headlights shining on the foliage was neat; I can't say I've ever done that before. This outing was outstanding despite the hardship of getting to the upper terrain. The remarkable landscape is unique and beautiful; this objective ranks amongst my favorites, and it is the best trip I've experienced since I moved out of the Rockies. It is worth mentioning that Milan said he would continue his quest to find better access to the bedrock plateau. If he finds a better approach, I'll edit this page!

ascending a cutblock

At the end of the service road, we ascend an old cutblock.

short steep climb

This picture doesn't show the deadfall strewn everywhere; the short steep climb to the top of the cutblock was frustrating.

after the cutblock

After the cutblock, the incline tapers; unfortunately, with more dead-standing trees, I predict continued deadfall to straddle.

open terrain

Finally, some open terrain facilitates travel.

on the plateau

Once on the broad ridge, our objective comes into view.

countless ponds

There are countless ponds along the way.

more lovely ponds

More lovely ponds.

setting camp

We're setting camp just in time to catch a wonderful sunset.

makeshift cooker

Milan's makeshift cooker.

enjoyable campsite

Our enjoyable campsite is surrounded by water.

nice bonfire

A nice bonfire to wrap up a wonderful evening.

hiking to the upper plateau

The next day, we're hiking to the upper plateau under blue sky.

looking back

Looking back.

clear blue tarns

The upper plateau hosts clear blue tarns of all sizes.

glacial bedrock

Trees and shrubs give way to glacial bedrock.

glacial landscape

This glacial landscape resembles terrain of the Rockies.

another alpine lake

Another alpine lake precedes the summit massif.

climb to the glacier

We begin the climb to the toe of the glacier.

walking on snow

Finally walking on firm snow and ice.

rock formation

This rock formation exibits the forceful friction applied by the glacier.

perfect conditions

Easy travel, excellent weather on a long awaited summit goal.

open crevasses

The open crevasses add excitment.

grizzly paw prints

We're following grizzly paw prints in last night's fresh snow.

peering down

It's hard to resist peering down the deep slots.

cougar peak

Cougar Peak (center) to the east is the highest of the Cat Group.

schrund peak

Just south of Cougar Peak, Schrund Peak (left) is alluring.

summit ahead

The summit is just ahead, Shuswap Lake is visible to the left.

pious peak

Milan admires Pious Peak to the south.

barren terrain below

To the west, the barren terrain below is testamonial of a glacial era.

seymour and ratchford ranges

To the north, beyond Probity's plateau is the Seymour and Ratchford Ranges.

false summit

With more time and energy, it would be tempting to visit Probity's false summit south-west of us.

summit selfie

Summit selfie on this perfect day!

heading back

Heading back down all too quick.

back to the toe of the glacier

We're reaching the toe of the glacier in little time.

milky water

Powdered rock in the water.

polished rock

Polished rock, milky water and dirty ice.


This landscape is tremendously awe-inspiring.

mosaic of rocks in mosses

Lovely mosaic of rocks in mosses.

sandy beach

A small sandy beach by this tarn is very inviting.

larger tarn

Circling this larger tarn on our return.

descending from the upper plateau

Descending from the upper plateau.

too bad we can't stay

Too bad we can't stay another night.

rushing to beat darkness

We're rushing to avoid descending the cutblock in the dark.

entering terrain with deadfall

Our pace slows as we enter terrain with deadfall.

nice sunset

Pleasant stretch under the sunset.

negotiating deadfall

Negotiating deadfall near the cutblock.

nearing the service road

Closing in on the service road as darkness falls upon us.

surreal experience

Driving in the alders at night was a surreal experience.
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