Hector’s Peak (Bridge)

Summit Elevation (m): 2630
Trip Date: Saturday, June 03 2017
Elevation Gain (m): 1500
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 3 – you fall, you break your leg
Difficulty Notes: Moderate scrambling with limited exposure. NOTE: This was done as part of a long traverse to Two O’Clock Ridge via Landslide Peak.
Technical Rating: SC6; YDS (3rd)
GPS Track: Download
First Ascent: Dr. James Hector (solo). September 18, 1858

After leaving the summit of Ernest Ross it was time to traverse to the higher, and unofficially named, “Bridge Peak”. (Note: After doing some research and reading a beta copy of “Rockies North” from David Jones I realized that this is known as “Hector’s Peak” after Dr. James Hector. The significance of this ascent is it’s very early date.) The sun was out and our views were fantastic as we worked our way down the west ridge of Ernest Ross towards a very distinctive colored band of rock and the much higher summit of Bridge Peak above us. The wind was cool, necessitating gloves and even a fleece jacket for me. Not quite the 24 degree weather we were expecting but the cool wind helped our energy levels throughout the day.

The Landslide Loop Traverse Route Map

As usual in the mountains, Bridge was further than it looked. We crossed some interesting rock on the ridge and grunted our way up the east ridge / face of Bridge with no technical issues. Lingering snow made me question our decision to wear very light scrambling approach shoes rather than boots, but the snow on the east face was soft enough to kick steps in easily.

Once we topped out on the summit ridge we were treated to an obvious cairn at the far north peak and a south peak to our left that looked at least as high as the north one. There was nothing to do but do both of them. We first checked out the south peak. We noted that there was no obvious break through the cliffs on the west aspect and started a traverse to the cairned north summit.

Mike checks out the views from the south summit of Bridge Peak looking towards Landslide Peak, Mount Cline, Resolute and the White Goat Peaks.
Looking north towards Elliot Peak and up the Coral Creek Valley towards Mount Stelfox and Hangman Peak to the left of Elliot and Sentinel Peaks.
Entry and Shoe Leather Creek Valleys towards Landslide, Purple, Cline and the White Goat Peaks.

The winds were picking up as we took photos from the north summit, including some great views of the White Goat peaks (Troll, Dasent, Gruff) and Mounts Cline and Resolute to the west. Looking directly north we had great views of Elliot and Sentinel. Obviously Landslide Peak (our next destination) was also clearly visible to the southwest, along with what appeared to be many intervening bumps along the connecting ridge.

After taking a short break to hydrate and eat out of the wind, we followed an obvious sheep trail in the scree down the top part of the west face of Bridge Peak, heading towards Landslide Peak to the SW. It had taken us about 1.5 hours from the summit of Ernest Ross to the summit of Bridge Peak and we had many more hours and kilometers to go. We knew from Eric’s trip report that we might have issues descending this face with it’s many cliff bands and moderate terrain – especially since we had lingering snow to deal with on our trip.

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