Perkins Peak is about 36km south-west of Tatla Lake off Bella Coola Highway 20. It is in the northern part of the Pantheon Range and is accessed by old mining roads that climb high above treeline.
I drove up the night before and found a place to park near a lake at 7200ft. Through a network of radio repeaters I was able to speak to someone in Williams Lake and even Oliver.
I brought wood and had a fire. The wind howled and the night was a bit overcast, but by morning the forecasted clear skies dawned.
I start by walking up the old mining track to gain the northeast ridge. This is not the most direct way up the peak, but I was curious about the state of the road. Once on the ridge views start opening up nicely.
- You pass Miner Lake (on the right) on the way up.
- Monarch Mtn in the rear? Maybe someone can clarify....
- The route to the top is clear. Lots of talus...
- Camped by the lake.
- final push to the top.
When I opened the summit register I saw a familar name from just a couple days before. (sorry about the poor weather Benoit...)
On a sunny day the views from atop Perkins, at over 9300ft, are pretty outstaning. To the northeast one sees the vast expanse of interior plateau, and to the south is the Waddington Range. Peaks in the Nuit and Pantheon Ranges also stand out.
- The Wadd Range behind Hellraving Peak (I think... not actually 100% sure). Perkins SW2 and the ridge I'll be walking in the foreground.
Just being on Perkins with these views is a fine outing. However, I wanted to make a day of things and take in some other perspectives. I walked/scrambled the ridge system counter-clockwise before dropping into the valley south of Perkins, which has an old mine track in it. From there I could walk the road a ways before b-lining back to my vehicle.
- Where I'm headed. Perkins SW2 mid-left.
After some up-n-down and a bit of moderate scrambling I am on Perkins SW2 (9175ft).
- Looking back at Perkins
- Monarch Mtn? and Colwell Lake below.
- I am following the ridge on the right. Not sure what mineral accounts for the red/orange tinge to the rock. Views continue to impress...
- SW2 on left and connecting ridge to Perkins.
- still a long ways to go...
- SW2 on left
- getting closer to the end of the ridge...
To gain this final highpoint (8500ft) was a bit of a trudge. The srambling reminded me of the easy way up Mt Weart. I took my final views from on high before slopping down a long scree and talus slope to the valley floor.
- I'll be dropping down to the old mine track below.
- Perkins at right. Ridge ramble clearly visible.
- scree ramp for descent
- still a ways down to road...
I was happy to be at the valley floor. I relaxed beside a creek and soaked in the sun...
As the crow flies, my car wasn't really that far away, except that Perkins' west ridge was in between. So I walked the mine track until it was suitable to b-line to my car over easy terrain, gaining almost 400 feet in the process.
I was fairly knackered by the time I arrived at the car around 430pm. I drank a variety of cold beverages and laid in the sun. I'm sure the star show would have been steller that night, but I packed up and drove off the mountain, stopping to chat with some hunters at Miner Lake along the way. This is definitely an area I'd return to for multi-day trips. Would also be neat to bring an ATV up and explore some of the old mining ruins.
- Miner Lake
Random fall shots...
Once back on Hwy 20 I almost ran over a big black bear that dashed out diagonally in front me; I missed him by less than 5 feet. (sorry no pics...) That doesn't happen everyday...
- approx foot route.