Mount Antevs (Anteus)

Summit Elevation (m): 3204
Trip Date: September 08, 2023
Elevation Gain (m): 950 (from camp in upper Laughing Bears Creek)
Round Trip Time (hrs): 5 (from camp in upper Laughing Bears Creek)
Total Trip Distance (km): 9 (from camp in upper Laughing Bears Creek)
Related Trips: In the Footsteps of Sergeant Kowalski, Abstruse Peak, Profound Peak, Mount Osgood
Quick ‘n Dirty Rating: Class 2/3 – you fall, you sprain something
Difficulty Notes: Nothing more than easy scrambling but getting to the base of the ascent route is a bit of a challenge.
Technical Rating: SC5
GPS Track: Download
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After an easy morning ascent of Abstruse Peak, Sara and I took a nice long break at our lovely camp in the upper alpine meadows of Laughing Bears Creek before planning our next one – this time on Mount Antevs. Antevs was first ascended by Putnam’s party in 1972 on their way over a high col between it and Profound Peak (Simpson) from the Escarpment River valley. It’s impressive how much exploring people managed to do without satellite maps and GPS units in their pockets! On that trip they followed some mountain goats up a hidden route to the upper Fuhrer Lakes, continuing on to access the Laughing Bears Creek valley via a set of high cols between Recondite and Antevs. Since Putnam in 1972 and Collier in 2000 there has been at least one other ascent that Rick mentions in his report, this one by John Holmes and Alistair DesMoulins in the same year as Rick. I was really hoping to find their small summit register. Confusingly, in his 1973 Canadian Alpine Journal report Putnam refers to “Antevs” as “Anteus” but in the “Rocky Mountain of Canada South”, he and Boles dub it “Antevs”.

A closer look at our adventures in upper Laughing Bears Creek.

We wandered slowly further into the upper east valley from camp, going past Putnam’s Tower to marvel at it once more. (I have no idea how the heck Kowalski managed to mount a machine gun at the top of this pile of rocks but only he could do it, I’m sure.) The sun was warm in the tight confines of the valley, reflecting down on us from imposing cliffs cladding Profound Peak. After hiking over alpine meadows we continued along gravel flats littered with boulders and debris – again from the steep cliffs surrounding the valley on all sides. Pink and red hues were prominent in a line of cliffs running between Abstruse and Antevs as we continued up the narrowing valley. 

We start hiking towards the upper east headwaters of Laughing Bears Creek towards a distant snow covered Mount Antevs. Abstruse at left, Antevs above Sara and Profound and Osgood to the right. Look carefully for the huge cairn ahead of us.
Continuing to the east upper valley between Abstruse (L) and Profound (R).

Waterfalls in the creek were part of the magic as we marveled at the remote and wild landscape we were hiking through. Fresh snow appeared on rubble and remnants of an old glacier as we slowly contoured up the extreme SE corner of the valley and started up more rubble and moraine to the Profound / Antevs col. 

Originally we we planning a rising traverse to avoid the col but as we ascended, the terrain kept backing off and getting easier and easier – a welcome theme for the day. I was expecting Antevs to be the easiest peak of the weekend based on Rick’s assessment and it was.

We are small in the incredible upper alpine headwater valley of Laughing Bears Creek. Abstruse at upper left, Profound at upper right and Antevs at center. Note the red and pink colors in the cliffs above us here.
The rest of our route up Antevs looks pretty simple! Up to the col and then left, away from Profound’s imposing east face cliffs.
On fresh snow as we ascend to the Antevs (L) / Profound (R) col. Old glacier at right.

Blue skies with white, puffy clouds looked down on us kindly as we kicked easy steps up snow slopes below the col and continued up to the lofty summit on rubble slopes. Views back to the east cliffs of Profound Peak made us feel small.

Once we attained SW rubble slopes our views into the Recondite valley and over to the wall of cliffs running from Recondite to Augusta and Willingdon were incredible and once again made us feel pretty insignificant. It was sublime to be ascending this remote peak in such perfect conditions.

Ascending easy scree slopes on Antevs with incredible views back to Recondite (L), Profound and Abstruse (R). The Recondite valley at left and Laughing Bears at right.
Incredible views along the east faces of Recondite (R), Augusta, Willingdon, Crown, Tower.

Mount Antevs might be lower than either Abstruse or Profound but it doesn’t feel much smaller as you ascend it. At 3204 meters in elevation it’s only 100 meters lower than Abstruse and still one of the highest peaks I’ve ascended this year. As expected, summit views were incredible and we both agreed that with the mix of sun and cloud they weren’t any worse than the views from higher summits we attained over the weekend.

Distant views to Abraham Lake over Mount Heinrich and Erudite.
Views over the upper Escarpment River valley to remote giants such as Cheshire, Mamen, Icefall, Willingdon, Augusta and Recondite (R).

We had lots of daylight and didn’t rush our time on the summit or our return to camp. The sun was warm as we picked our way down rubble and snow and let the atmosphere sink in. I was disappointed that we couldn’t find the summit register on Antevs – I suspected it might be the only peak of the weekend that had one but we couldn’t find it despite looking pretty intensely for it.

Incredible landscapes in the upper Laughing Bears Creek valley between Profound (L) and Abstruse (R).
Sara is tiny in the huge landscape under Abstruse and Profound (R) Peak.

Mount Antevs was a lovely afternoon ascent with no pressure to go quick under a perfect late summer sky. We returned to camp and enjoyed a long evening of reading books, taking photos and letting nature do its therapy as the shadows grew long and the air cooled quickly. I was 100% content with the weekend already and wondered what the ascent of Profound and Osgood would entail. Both of those peaks sounded much more difficult in Rick’s accounting.


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