Markhor Peak GR:363934

elevation: 1,995 m.
height gain: 790 m.
area: Coquihalla Summit,BC
map 92 H/11

Ref: Steven's Peak-Bagging Journey

markhor peak

Markhor Peak shares Needle Peak's trailhead.
Scramble: RT 4.5; 2.0 up. This visit to Markhor Peak was unplanned; we were supposed to hike to Illal Meadows and stay the night. We left Kamloops in the afternoon; when we arrived in Merrit, the Coquihalla highway had just closed due to an accident. We went to Tim's and tried to devise another plan. An hour passed before they reopened the highway; we carried on with our initial destination. When we reached the deactivated Illal Creek Road, several parked vehicles along the main road indicated that most hikers didn't drive further to the trailhead. Hiking from there adds 3 kilometers (one way) to the 6 km approach to the meadows. We didn't have enough daylight to hike in and set up at a leisurely pace; hence we agreed to find another objective and save this one for when more time is allowed. That's when it dawned on me that we could still squeeze an ascent of Markhor Peak. We drove to the nearby trailhead and left the truck at 6 PM; this had to be one of my latest starts for a scramble! Locating the crude trail in the forest was difficult; after searching for a bit, we found the indistinct path. The trail improved as we continued; several ribbons helped to follow it. After negotiating a vast slab, we reached the treeline. From there, we hiked towards the summit over mixed terrain. On the north ridge, a cliff barres the way to the top. From up close, a bypass climber's right reveals itself. The scramble around the cliff isn't too difficult; it adds a bit of challenge. Moderate scrambling along the ridge leads to the top. The view onto the impressive traverse to Needle Peak is great; too bad we couldn't stay very long as it was late by now. Our descent went well; we paused briefly at the saddle to take in the lovely sunset, we carefully backtracked after that. We entered the forest in total darkness and roughly followed the crude trail back to the parking lot. This plan B outing was fabulous; it was also Milan's first real scramble!

indistinct trail

The trail is very indistinct at the beginning.

vast slab

Leaving a ribbon where the trail meets a vast slab.

typical terrain

Typical terrain at treeline.

interesting ground

Gaining interesting rocky ground in little time.

summit in view

The summit comes into view.

looking back

Looking back at Yak Peak.


 Walking on slab is interrupted by krummholz and small steep steps.

nearing the saddle

Nearing the saddle on the north ridge.

on the saddle

On the saddle.

along the ridge

Some scrambling precedes the summit.

crux ahead

The crux consists of a bypass climber's right.

circumventing the cliff

Circumventing the cliff.

alpaca, vicuna and guanaco

Alpaca, Vicuna and Guanaco Peaks in the background.

almost there

Almost there!

another scrambly bit

Another scrambly bit.

traverse to needle peak

The impressive 4th class traverse to Needle Peak.

jim kelly and coquihalla

Jim Kelly Peak and Coquihalla Mountain.

at the top

Nice to be at the top of a mountain.

on the high point

Standing on the high point.
Picture courtesy of Milan Kubik.

leaving the summit

Leaving the summit after a brief stay.

nearing the crux

Making our way towards the crux.
Picture courtesy of Milan Kubik.

beautiful sunrays

Beautiful sunrays as we descend.
Picture courtesy of Milan Kubik.


Negotiating the circumvention back onto the ascent ridge.

back on the ridge

On the ridge with the crux behind us.

enjoying the sunset

A quick break to enjoy the sunset.


Lovely sunset.

scree run

Short scree run.


Backtracking carefully.

re-entering the forest

Re-entering the forest as darkness falls upon us.
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