Begbie, Mount

elevation: 2,733 m. height gain: 2,090 m.
area: Revelstoke,BC map 82 L/16

Ref: Mount Begbie summit trail, BC Ministry of Forests, Columbia Forest District

Mount Begbie from the Trans-Canada Highway.
Alpine climb: RT 6.5; 4.0 up (from campsite). Mount Begbie is one of the best alpine climbs we've ever done. The stars lined up for this exceptional weekend granting us amazing weather, a stunning mountain and great company. We met our friends Val and Yui in Revelstoke. Just before noon, we left the trailhead. Val's good friend and fellow climber Chris came along. The heat was upon us. With heavy packs, we hiked the 1,300-meter elevation gain to the campsite very slowly. The slower pace allowed us to converse and keep hydrated. After 4.5 hours, we set-up and enjoyed the rest of the day. Early evening, clouds thickened and darkened. The forecasted thunderstorms were skirting us. We viewed spectacular colors and textures in the sky; enthralled, it was a picture-taking frenzy! In the meantime, the storm was brewing behind us. It hit us suddenly sending us to our shelters for the night. The wind picked up and rain started coming down hard. We were in the midst of an electrical storm. Fab and I lay down under our tarp and watched the sky light-up several times. One strike was particularly close; it blinded me a few seconds and rattled the ground. Soon after, we noticed two small forest fires across the valley. I couldn't sleep, I was worried the strings and rocks holding the tarp would let go. Suddenly, the storm passed.

I woke up before 6AM with sunrays beaming on our camp. Soon everybody was up, in good spirits. We were peering over Revy, having a cup of hot chocolate, when BJ appeared unexpectedly. He had left the parking at 4:30 to join us. Having BJ on this trip was comforting; not only is he an experienced climber, he is familiar with the route. We quickly reached the glacier, which leads to the famous Begbie Ledge. It was apparent a rope would be required for the initial narrow section (bolted). After an assisted leap across the moat (thanks BJ), we geared up while Chris and BJ set up an anchor ahead. The rest of us followed, on belay. Thereafter, BJ ran the rope to the second and last anchor, from which he belayed the group past Chris and onto safer ground. From there the ledge is wider and we stowed the rope. I was nervous but mostly ecstatic to be here, able to enjoy it, feeling like I'm in good hands. We continued to the end of the ledge and started climbing on the blocky ridge. The route up is well indicated by cairns and offers sustained, delightful scrambling, which is not very difficult. Fab and I are not used to climbs of this nature, what a treat! At the top, we signed the register, took pictures and hung out. I was excited, it wasn't over, we still had the thrilling descent. Coming down the ridge was easier than I thought. We reached the ledge and agreed to rappel from the anchor to the glacier below. As I lowered my bum over the edge, my heart was thumping. This is a long one, whoa. Finally back on the snow, I started to unwind. We hiked back to camp feeling happy and satisfied with the accomplishment. I was thankful for this opportunity. At camp, it rained 5 minutes while we packed our stuff. We casually made our way down the mountain to some delicious pizza at Chris'. Thank you for hosting such a wonderful weekend!

begbie trail

Heading up the long and steep trail.


Relaxing at the campsite.

interesting clouds

A storm is brewing over Revelstoke.

incredible color

The northern sky beyond Mount MacPherson is incredible.

very nice morning

Getting ready the following morning.

above the campsite

Leaving the campsite under blue sky.

our objective

Mount Begbie comes into view, the "ledge" is obvious.

lower glacier

Moving onto the glacier.

the ledge

Approaching the ascent ledge.

clouds are forming

Looking back towards the town of Revelstoke.


BJ is assisting us over the moat.

fab is behind

Once on the ledge, we put away crampons and axes.

on belay

BJ prompts us to the anchor.

exhilirating moment

At the anchor, BJ runs the rope to the second and last anchor.


This section is airy.

very thrilling

The group following behind on the narrow ledge.

fab is about to join me

On safer ground, I wait for the group to join me. 

wider ledge

From here, the ledge is wide enough to walk along.

along the ledge

Walking along the ledge.

solid rock

Gaining the north ridge on solid rock.

very blocky

Yui scrambles through typical terrain.


Amazing view down the ridge.

break spot

A nice break on a flat, grassy area before the summit.
 Yui, Val, BJ, Chris and Fab (left to right).

summit ahead

Heading to the top.

western view

Mount English behind Mount Tilley, west of Mount Begbie.

north ridge

The ascent ridge from the top.

at the cairn

Signing the register.

blanket glacier

Blanket Glacier.


Back down the same way.


One last look at this superb ridge.

i stay close to the wall

Back on the ledge.

fast way down

I'm rappelling down to the glacier.

we beat the rain

Watermelon algae, smell it!
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