White Knight Peak

elevation: 2,620 m. height gain: 1,405 m.
area: Canal Flats,BC map 82 J/3-4
2009-Jul-03


Ref: Rocky Mountain Forest District trail index
Drive past Lussier Hot Springs and Whiteswan Lake. At 107570 turn left and at 097583, head north on Moscow Creek FSR. Follow to a clearing just before the kilometer 36 road marker, 091622. Turn left and drive as far as you can, staying along the creekbed. Park and hike. Once at Ptarmigan Lake, head south along the shoreline for a short distance; lack of a decent trail quickly pushed us up the treed rib through alder brush. Continue towards the draw, 045592. A couple of steep gullies can be ascended on the north side of the east ridge, 046583. From there, a climbing traverse on the south side of the ridge leads to the summit block. I picked my way through blocky terrain, staying near the ridgeline. An easier option avoids the gully ascents, it is quite circuitous. From the draw 045592, head east towards the end of the east ridge, 057587. Follow the ridge, dropping on the south side to avoid difficulties. A substantial loss of elevation is required to circumvent a sub-peak, 050584. After regaining the ridge near 046583, head for the summit block.
from the truck
The access road has a closed sign, happy hiking.
nice trail
The trail to the lake is pleasant.
Scramble: RT 6.0 (including Blue Knight Peak); 1.75 up (from the south end of Ptarmigan Lake). This trip with the dogs is one to remember. The really warm temperatures made us seek an alpine lake for an overnight stay. We had to hike the 4 kilometer road due to a slide. The sun was burning hot but luckily the dogs had access to water from the creek. The trail in the forest is quite nice, passing by a beautiful waterfall before climbing steeply to the lake. Once there, the lack of a trail around the lake is disappointing. Bushwhacking through alders wearing shorts was definitely unpleasant and slow. At our resting area, in the draw, we started to unpack and unwind. The scenery is spectacular; it was very much worth the effort! The hounds were exploring, just being happy dogs. I looked at some gully options not really knowing if I would be able to climb one of them. The following morning, I got an early start and quickly stood at the bottom of one of the gullies. It appeared manageable, so I proceeded to climb it. Beyond the rock step, it got steeper so I moved climber's right. I soon got nervous and realized as I continued that there was no turning back. I pursued the safety of a moat. Checking that every step was on firm snow, I managed to traverse towards the cornice. A short section was interesting: bridging half on snow, half on rock (with the crampons). A gap between the cornice and the rock wall offered a good way up to the ridge, finally! That was a bit too much excitement for me, I'll be coming down the long way! I continued to the summit block unsure about finding a way to the top. I found a fun line of ascent in the blocky terrain near the ridgeline. Yeah, I'm at the top...or am I? From my research I thought I was on the summit but north-west of me is another summit of equal height??? The topo map in the truck can't help me with this dilemma. In doubt, I continued towards the other peak, which turns out to be Blue Knight Peak, 3 meters higher. This extension of the outing took about an hour. at the waterfall
At the waterfall, nice place for a rest before the steep climb.
ptarmigan lake
Ptarmigan Lake and White Knight's east ridge.
closer look
Possible ascent routes.
ascent gully
From this angle, I made the decision to climb this gully on its right.
looking down
The sun is still not shining on the camp below.
from the moat
On a moat, I look back down the bridging section which seemed safer than the snow slope.
the cornice
You can see why I didn't want to be on the snow slope!
from blue knight
My ascent gully from Blue Knight.
top of ascent gully
Just after cresting on the ridge, left of center.
climbing traverse
Climbing traverse on the south aspect to the summit block.
summit block
The summit block.
typical terrain
Picking my way up blocky steps, enjoyable scrambling.
cairn
The official White Knight Peak.
blue knight
I thought this other peak might be White Knight; in doubt, I included it before heading down.
looking south
The abrupt south ridge.
east ridge
The east ridge and my alternate descent route.
heading down
Coming down the summit block.
circumventing
White Knight from below the slabby sub peak.
climb to the ridge
The east ridge must be regained.
looking back
Snowy Blue Knight and the sub peak that forces height loss.
ptarmigan lake
Our camp below is barely visible (circled).
gendarme
Precipitous north side of the ridge.
east end of the ridge
At the end of the ridge, I descended to treeline.
trees in slabs
Lower in the trees.
traverse from the east ridge
Looking back at the traverse to the east ridge.
Continue on to Blue Knight Peak
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