Alpha Centauri, Mount

elevation: 3,102 m. height gain: 1,400 m.
area: Radium,BC map 82 K/9-10

Via Welsh Lakes. Ref: Aaron Cameron and Matt Gunn's Hikes around Invermere & the Columbia River Valley.
From the south end of the Upper Welsh Lake, 348067, head south-west past a tarn onto the Centaurus Glacier. Travel on the glacier towards Alpha Centauri's south-east ridge. I gained the ridge using a rock rib followed by a short snow slope. From there, I immediately dropped on the south-west aspect and traversed heading north-west towards the summit.

before the lakes

Before climbing to the lakes, we put the dog booties on.
Scramble: RT 5.0; 3.0 up (from Upper Welsh Lake). Once again a fabulous weekend backpacking with the dogs in one of our favorite areas. The dogs did very well with their new booties; they prevented wear on their pads from the rocks. We followed a good trail to the upper lake and set camp at treeline. This place is very scenic, high up in the small trees the surrounding view is unobstructed but bordered by the nearby sheer walls of Carmarthen Peak. The night was cool, dogs content and bugs almost absent; quite restful. The following morning, I left early and started climbing on the glacier rather quickly. I got good pictures of another possible way up through the Alpha Centauri/ Carmarthen col. The plod on the glacier is straightforward, there is a bergschrund which is bypassed climber's left. The rock rib I followed to gain the ridge offers moderate scrambling on good rock. At the top of it, I put my crampons on for the following short snow section. Once on the ridge, I picked my way down a bit in order to facilitate an easy traverse. I climbed to a saddle left of a sub-peak and got my first glance at the summit block. Still on the south-west side, I continued traversing to the top. I was elated to be standing next to the cairn; the view is amongst some of the bests. Tucked in the cairn is a pill container filled with some entries but there is no pencil. I was careful to remember key features on my way down, I quickly stood at the snow leading to the rock rib. Slightly nervous, I carefully proceeded down; minutes thereafter, I was back on the glacier. The return is fast; I was back in camp before noon just in time to pack up. This trip is primo, well worth the effort!
middle welsh

Back of Middle Welsh Lake and Connemara Peak.

good thing dogs have booties

Rocky terrain leading to the upper lake.

towards upper welsh

Some snow cooled the dogs and offered entertainment.


Slightly above the upper lake, we set camp.

the route

An overview of Centaurus Glacier and my ascent to the south-east ridge.

from the tarn

I chose to go along the east (left) shore of the tarn.

north star

North Star Peak above the col, suggesting another way up Alpha Centauri or Carmarthen.

up the glacier

A natural ramp veers away from the bergschrund.

mid way on the rock

Solid grippy rock, a good alternative to the steep snow slopes.

top of rock rib

The snow slope along the rock.

after the ridge crest

On the south-west side of the ridge, I traversed to a saddle left of the sub-peak.

summit block

From the saddle, the summit block reveals itself.

nice view south-west

Eyebrow (left of center) and Birthday Peaks.

north star

Impressive North Star Peak.


Summit cairn and unofficial register.

lakes below

Middle Welsh Lake and the tarn above the upper lake (hidden).

south-east ridge

The arrow indicates the saddle at the sub-peak.


Looking west towards Gwendoline Mountain.

heading down

Below the saddle, I retrace my way back to the snow slope and rock rib.

top of rock rib

Looking back at the short section on snow.

mid way rock rib

Coming down the rock rib.

rock rib

The rock rib in the middle of two steep snow slopes.

upper welsh

Upper Welsh Lake.

fab below

Fab and the dogs awaiting my return.

from the camp

Mount Alpha Centauri from our camp.

heading back

A nice trail ahead to finish off the trip.
Back to home page