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Island Alpine Select

A Guide to Alpine Climbing on Vancouver Island

Wild Isle Guidebooks to coastal Vancouver Island BC AdventureNew Routes

Island Alpine Select
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Idsardi Mountain - Third Time a Charm

3C Third Time a Charm ** AD AI3 200m

From the summit of Idsardi, descend the ridge to the east and make one rappel down the north face to the base of the wall. Traverse west around an outcropping rock band, and into the next gully beyond it. Climb the gully with 100m of 65 degree snow/névé to a short 5m rock or ice step. Belay in broken rock on the right, climb the step, and continue up slightly steeper snow/névé to 75 degrees, to the cornice top out. Tunnel or climb the cornice to finish. A possible escape could be made to the left avoiding the final cornice, depending on snow conditions.
FA: Adrian Surdu, Steve Janes 9 April, 2015

Merlon Mountain - Central Spire East Face - winter

Central Spire - East face ** AD AI 3 4th class (ll) 200m

Start up a snowfield on the left side of the face until it is possible to traverse out right, keep traversing until you reach a small gully. Down climb into the gully and continue up with short ice steps and some mixed ground, when the gully ends head out left and climb direct to gain the ridge crest which is followed to the summit.
FWA: Josh Overdijk February 16, 2015

Merlon Mountain - East Face - winter

Main Summit- East Face ** AD AI 2 low 5th (ll) 200m

From the glacier on the East side head for the Col between the Main and Central summits. Before reaching the Col trend up and right on steep snow until and final very short step leads onto the ridge crest. Once on the crest traverse on the East side until a small pinnacle is reached above a notch, down climb on the West side of the pinnacle into the notch (4th class) then climb out of the notch up a shallow gully on the East side to the summit ridge and onto the summit.
FWA: Josh Overdijk February 16, 2015

Triple Peak - Southeast Ridge - winter

Southeast Ridge ** AD AI 2-3 Low 5th (ll) 150m

There are two gendarmes between the Main and Southeast summits. Either start between them and climb a short pitch into a cave like feature and out the other side (possibly snowed in) or if conditions are right, climb snow and rock to the base of the ridge proper above the gendarme. From here a short steep rock step with thick bush on the right leads to a lower angled gully like depression (chocked with bush in summer) which is followed to a sweet perch below an awesome corner. Climb the corner to the ridge crest then follow it to the summit.
FWA: Laura Young, Josh Overdijk January 29, 2015

Sutton Peak - East Rake - winter

Sutton Peak - East Rake ** AD AI 3 (ll) 375m

Climbs the obvious diagonal rake that cuts across the left side of the East Face.
FWA: Ryan Van Horne, Marie-Lou Piché January 28, 2015

Mt Colonel Foster - Great West Couloir, winter

Great West Couloir ** AD AI1 (lll) 325m

Viewed from the west, for example on Matchlee Mountain, it is hard to ignore this striking crescent-shaped couloir splitting the centre of Mt Colonel Foster’s West Face. Indeed climbers have been aware of this feature for decades and it was probably only the misinformation on the location of the true highest peak that prevented it being used as the first ascent route by Ricker, Neave & Neave in 1957. Like Walsh’s Return the Great West Couloir was first used as a descent route (Lee & Shives off Direttissima February 2014) before being climbed itself in December 2014.

Despite being a late-comer, in the right conditions, the Great West Couloir is the most direct and straightforward route to the Main Summit of Mt Colonel Foster. It is safest with full, stable snow-cover and luckily despite its open southwest exposure the couloir has been seen to hold snow all year round. As with all gullies loose rock and snow movement can be an issue. First climbed as a winter route but conditions translate well for spring & summer ascents.

The shortest approach is via the South Col and from there traverse under the West Face to the west shoulder which makes a beautiful high camp. Either hike up the narrow treed rib above the west shoulder to find a short, exposed, but perfect ledge that leads left (north) into the base of the couloir. Or alternatively drop into the huge northwest cirque and hike up the snow avalanche cone directly into the base of the couloir.

Climb the couloir direct, on moderate angle (35-40˚) snow for 275m. Toward the top the gully narrows and steepens for the final 60m to about 45-50˚. The top out is incredibly benign landing at the prominent high col between the Corporal gendarme to the south and the Utopian Fin to the north.
FWA: Hunter Lee, Josh Overdijk, Philip Stone 30 December, 2014

King's Peak - Sidewall Falls

Sidewall Falls - up to WI4 130m

Climbs the seep on the left sidewall of the lower meadow below the North Glacier of King's Peak at the base of the direct gully connecting the lower meadow to the glacier. Highly visible from the meadow when in condition. Best in early season/low snow cover.

First 2 pitches (60m WI3) climbed to base of steep pillars (2 options). Conditions prevented access to upper pitches on that attempt. John Waters, Philip Stone 17 November, 2014. Get up there - finish it off!

Good easy walk off to North Glacier on climber's right or rappel the route. Upper pitches above walk-off ledge look like they would go up to WI5.

Merlon Mountain - south spire

Merlon Mountain - south spire - southwest face

200m mostly 5th with a few harder moves
FA: Josh Overdijk, Laura Marie, Peter Hartmann 12 November, 2014

Mt Adam - East Face

Mt Adam - East Face

Approach via White River Main to Moakwa Main logging roads or the Adam River Main.

Climbs a line up the main buttress on the East face of Mt. Adam.
160m of low 5th with a few moves at 5.6 or so. Good rock with protection.
FA: Ryan Van Horne, Marie-Lou Piché 12 November, 2014


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Island Alpine Select - guidebook to alpine climbing on Vancouver Island
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