Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Carthew Peak

Height: 8,629 ft
View-o-meter: 3/5
Scrambling Difficulty: Easy
Total Trip Difficulty: Moderate
Best Feature: Tamarack around Summit Lake
Worst Part: Doesn't feel like a real peak

This is an easy peak to bag. When compared to nearby Alderson peak, the summit isn't nearly as impressive. However, an ascent of Carthew Peak keeps all the elevation gained getting to the Carthew-Alderson-Summit. Ascending Alderson requires making up around a thousand feet of lost elevation (from dropping down into Carthew lakes).

Drive up to Cameron lake and follow the hordes of tourists up to spectacular Summit lake and on towards the Summit (the saddle separating the Summit Lake area from the Carthew Lakes area. Once on the summit cut left (north). A few sinkholes are found just under a kilometer up from the saddle. There are no technical difficulties following the ridge all the way to the rounded summit. From the summit you can scree ski all the way to Carthew Lakes. Tending right (west) avoids ledges. Most people continue down to the townsite after reaching the lake.

From Summitt lake you can also follow the ridge line above the tourist trail. There is a little bit of 3rd class scrambling to get to where the ridge T's. Walking through the Tamaracks is quite pleasant. Running this ridge keeps the views down to Cameron Lake open. Be very careful about not rolling rocks down the shale. Numerous tourists ascend this route. I would suggest ensuring you are either the first on the trail, or that you can handle the technical difficulties that may be required sticking to the left (north) side of the ridge. This does make for an excellent spring ski destination. You can run some of the slide gullies almost all the way back to the valley floor. Watch for cornices.

Other Route Descriptions

Vern Dewit's Scrambling Page -



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