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McHarg, Mount & Worthington

Summit Elevation (m): 2888 & 2972
Trip Date: Thursday, September 7, 2006
Elevation Gain (m): 700
Total Trip Distance (km): 10
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2 – you fall, you sprain something
Difficulty Notes: McHarg can be anywhere from easy to moderate scrambling depending on route choice.
GPS TrackDownload GPX File
Technical Rating: SC5; YDS (Hiking)
Map: Google Maps


Rod, Jon and I scrambled Mount McHarg and Worthington as part of our Northover Ridge backpacking trip in September 2006. We first ascended Sarrail Mountain before camping at Aster Lake. The following day we ascended Warrior Mountain, Cordonnier and Mount Northover. On the third day we got up early and continued up and across Northover Ridge before descending into the Three Isle Creek valley towards Three Isle Lake. On the way we decided to bag McHarg and Worthington.

Mount McHarg and Worthington Route Map

Mount McHarg

Instead of losing any unnecessary elevation, we cut off the trail early and side-sloped on skiers left for the base of Mount Worthington. We really didn’t have any idea where to head up or what the terrain would be like but we got lucky and managed a relatively painless traverse right around the base of an outlier between Defender Mountain and Worthington. We dropped the heavy packs on the lowest north slopes of the outlier and kept traversing west to Worthington’s south flanks with our small day packs on.

Jon makes his way down valley towards Three Isle Lake. We will descend a bit further before cutting to the left (west).
Working our way up yet another rubble slope!

The going was slow but easy as we made our way up Worthington’s south ridge and started heading climber’s left for the ridge that we assumed would lead to McHarg. The only reason we went for McHarg first was that there was a ridge leading that way as opposed to a scree ramp leading up to Worthington on climber’s right.

The Royal Group shows up through the thick smoke. From left to right, Princess Mary, Prince George, King George, Prince Albert, Prince Henry and possible Prince John just sneaking into the shot at far right.
Rod comes up the ridge to McHarg’s summit with part of the Northover Ridge and Mount Northover’s summit in the bg and of course Joffre looming over everything.

We reached the summit of McHarg no problem and after trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to take pictures of the royal group we traversed over to Worthington.

Summit view towards Worthington (our next peak) with Northover Ridge and the Joffre area peaks in the far distance. Rod is a tiny dot coming up to the summit from the right.

Mount Worthington

After slogging up to the summit of McHarg, we turned our sights towards Worthington, just to the east. And I mean just to the east! I haven’t done two summits this close before – but they are the requisite 100 meters of elevation between them and are official summits so I’ll take it. Other than some slick snow patches, we didn’t have any issues descending McHarg and ascending to the summit of Mount Worthington.

Rod ascends along the summit ridge of Worthington with McHarg at far right and the Royal Group in the distance.

From the summit we could see our objective for the next day – the rarely ascended Mount Putnik. It looked to be another nasty scree slog (and it was)!

One more shot looking over McHarg (R) towards the always impressive Royal Group which includes, Princess Mary, Prince George, King George, Prince Albert, Prince John, Prince Henry and Queen Mary (L to R).
Summit shot on Worthington.
The east face of Mount Worthington – we ascending easy slopes oos to the left but there are moderate scrambling routes right up this face too.
Our heavy backpacks are back on! Heading down to the main trail to Three Isle Lake.

After spending a few minutes on the summit it was time to head back down to our packs and continue on to our camp at Three Isle.

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