Mt. Goodsir, or “The Goodsirs”, is a beautiful trio of 11,000 foot+ summits in southern Yoho National Park. This peak is prominent and recognizable from a far distance and these summits are shoulders above their neighbours with a striking profile. This gorgeous peak has been on my wish list for decades, long before the current fad of bagging the Canadian Rockies 11,000’ers became a thing. When I was a rookie alpinist, Tim B. and I headed into climb the highest summit, the South Tower, back in August of 1994, but an unexpected dumped of snow sent us running. I did a few exploratory ski trips in the Ice River in February 2009, but I didn’t have the opportunity to attempt this mountain until this August.
My old friend and hard core mountaineer Raff K. was also keen to attempt this peak, so we headed to the Ice River on August 21, hoping to reach the summit of both the North Tower and the Centre Peak of Mt. Goodsir. The summer of 2017 has been exceptionally warm and dry, and we were hoping for ideal conditions. Raff had attempted the South Tower of Mt. Goodsir back in July, using the recently promoted Moose Creek approach, but he felt the Ice River was a better approach for a few reasons. I trust Raff’s opinion (he likely has over 1000 summits in the Rockies), so I was fine with this approach.
The drive described in Corbett’s guide book is bag on, except the last 400 metres of skinny logging road which was blocked by fallen trees, so we parked in the large cut block as described. After hiking the old logging roads, the trail drops to the Ice River and is well marked with rock lining the trail’s edge. Soon after dropping to river level, an old relic wooden Parks Canada sign posts shows the turn to the Ice River trail. The section 1 km or so of the trail is in great shape to the signed park boundary. About 2 km into the hike an avalanche slope from the winter has destroyed the trail, leaving an icy mess under the fallen trees, very, very slippery. Overall an easy hike to the old Upper Ice River warden cabins, just over 2 hours from the truck.
|Turn to Ice River road.|
|Tree blocking last 400m of driveable road.|
|Sign near start of trail with turn to Ice River trail.|
|Slick ice under trees on slope.|
|Start of the big scree slog below the North Tower approach.|
|On our new variation on the SW Face of Centre Peak. Raff is just visible in the bottom of the photo. Raff is seconding the fourth pitch on our new line.|
|Same view to top of North Tower.|
|After our 5 pitches of roped climbing, we reached easy terrain in a basin below the summit of Centre Peak.|
From here is it moderate scrambling to the top. Our first view to South Tower.
|OSWB and Raff on summit of Centre Peak, South Tower behind.|
|North Tower from summit.|
|Route shown on SW Face. Red line is 5 pitches of 5.2, green line was a scramble to the summit. Orange line is approximately the descent line, shows approximate location of the rappel station we found in place.|