Sunday, July 26, 2009

Buchanan Ridge

Height: 8,415 ft
View-o-meter: 2/5
Scrambling Difficulty:
Total Trip Difficulty:
Best Feature:
Worst Part: Usually have to arrange a shuttle

The first important thing to know about this summit is whether you are heading up the ridge of peak. While both are connected, heading to the peak is a bit more technical. In this post I'll be describing route to the various summits along Buchanan ridge.

Buchanan ridge is usually done in conjecture with Mount Carthew. Views up top are not especially great. Some 20-50 foot sinkholes just uphill from the Carthew-Alderson Summit offer a potential distraction.

Cathew-Buchanan Ridge
Most people make the trip starting up the Carthew-Alderston-Summit trail fro Cameron Lake. Once at the summit, follow a thin game trial up hill to the left (north). In about 300m a pair of small sinkholes can be found. Continue up this ridge to reach Mount Carthew. Instead of heading down the shale slope to reach lower Carthew Lakes, stick to the ridge. Uncertain about hard downclimb location Two minor peaks of similar elevation are respectively found one and two peaks past (north) of Carthew Peak. There is little to distinguish these two peaks. A third minor peak is found at the termination of the north-east end of the ridge.

From the ridge there are two possible descents: Heading north to Cameron Highway, is usually the easiest option. However, you can also descend south to Alderson trail. However, once past the first peak this option becomes less and less appealing. It becomes a bit of a bushy grunt crossing Alderson creek and getting back up to the trail.

Descending north from the 1st (west) summit will put you above the rock climbs of Buchannon Gardens. This is a nice valley. From the 2nd (middle) summit a fairly steep shale face can be descended. A prominent, but unamed, Spring / Fall snow gully ascends this face. You can descend the west rib of this face with (uncertain) not too much difficulty. Continuing along the ridge until it ends is the easiest of the three options. If you do this, you can descend back to the road on a relatively open slope, just above the bench by Trap Line (the bluffs just south of the Crandell creek parking lot). This will deposit you at the Crandell lake trailhead - after crossing Cameron creek of course.

Other Route Descriptions

Dow's Scrambling page - Good route descriptions and some nice photos of the crux downclimb if linking Carthew & Buchanan Peak.

Vern Dewit's Scrambling Page -



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