Vavasour, Mount


Trip Details
Mountain Range: 
Mountain Subrange: 
Attained Summit?: 
Trip Date: 
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Summit Elevation (m): 
Summit Elevation (ft): 
Elevation Gain (m): 
Total Distance (km): 
Difficulty Notes: 

No major difficulties - the hardest part is getting to the mountain via steep bushwhacking from any direction.

Trip Report

After scrambling up Mount Warre on a gorgeous last Saturday of summer 2014, Kaycie and I turned our sights on Mount Vavasour, the higher of the two peaks standing sentry over our beautiful bivy site beside Warre Pond far below.


The day before had been quite a struggle, with over 20km of backpacking in the rain, including a steep and difficult bushwhack to the rarely visited tarn I'm calling Warre Pond. Kaycie had quarter-sized blisters but was bravely bagging peaks with me anyway! We took our time coming down the easy south ridge of Warre. The scenery was stunning and the fall colors enhanced the experience by 10x. We were both fascinated by a waterfall plunging out of the rock face beneath a gorgeous tarn under White Man Mountain.


There were no difficulties on either the south ridge descent of Warre or the north west ridge ascent of Vavasour. The scrambling / hiking was actually very pleasant for the most part, on firm scree or small rock ledges / steps that made it fun. Maybe we were just comparing it to the soaking wet bushwhack of the day before, but we both couldn't believe how much fun we were having! The summit views from Vavasour were even better than Warre's - mostly due to it's additional height. We found a nice flat spot to sit on near the summit cairn, out of the wind, and enjoyed a nice long break and some well deserved lunch.


[Looking down at 'Warre Pond' - our bivy is at the lower right of the lake. Mounts Smuts, Birdwood and Snow Peak rise across the Spray River Valley below.]

[Looking back at the south ridge of Mount Warre]

[Some fun hands-on easy scrambling]

[Looking back at Warre with Red Man Mountain, Aye and Assiniboine in the background left.]

[White Man Mountain stole the show as we ascended Vavasour. The tarn beneath it was a close second... I think the East Peak sees a lot of traffic (HUGE cairn) but the main summit may have less than 5 ascents. Maybe even only 3. ++]

[A wider view of the scenery to the west and north of our ascent ridge on Vavasour. ++]

[A view from near the summit, looking over Mount Warre]

[Summit view looking east. Includes Smuts, Birdwood, Snow Peak with Fortress, Gusty, Galatea, Tower, Engadine behind.]

[Summit pano looking west and north to east includes White Man, Red Man, Eon, Eye, Brussilof, Alcantara, Assiniboine, Allenby, Cone and many other 'familiar' peaks! ++]

[Looking over my third destination for the day - Mount Leval. The west summit looks easy - the true summit not so much... Behind Leval is Leman with King Albert and Queen Elizabeth to the right. Even more right is the Royal Group. Sir Douglas rises on the left. A glimpse of Leman Lake can be seen at lower left.]

[Summit pano looking south-west-north with Kaycie now arriving. ++]

[I love this shot of the Royal Group. From R to L, Queen Mary, Prince John, Prince Henry, Prince Edward, King George and Prince Albert. Lockwood Peak in the foreground.]

[Extreme right is Prince Albert. To it's left are King Albert, Queen Elizabeth, Mount Back.]

[Sir Douglas with it's two glaciers and both Northwest Face and West Ridge routes visible.]

[I love this shot of Mount Birdwood with The Fortress and Gusty Peak to it's left.]

[Galatea is a favorite scramble in the Chester Lake area.]

[From R to L, Sparrowhawk, Wind and Lougheed]

[Looking north over Currie and Warre (lower right) at Byng on the extreme left and Morrison on the right.]

[A great shot of Aurora (L) and Byng (R)]

[Mount Assiniboine rises dramatically over White Man Pass.]

[Mount Aye]

[Alcantara rises over Red Man Mountain]

[Mount Brussilof]

[A closeup view of the difficult ridge and summit block of White Man Mountain. It doesn't look that bad to me, but I'm sure it's harder up close? I may have to investigate some day... Rick Collier and Harry Speir ascended a tough new alpine route up the obvious snow / ice gully in 1985 that has likely never been repeated.]

[Sharkfin Mountain is extremely impressive.]

[Looking north and west over Warre, Warre Pond and towards our approach route and Mount Shark, Smuts Pass and even the Spray Lakes peaks.]

[Kaycie is still smiling! She's loving all this peak bagging!]

[Mount Joffre has lost it's cloud cap now. Peaks in the foreground include Leval (scary looking summit block), Leman with it's remnant pocket glacier looks pretty easy to ascend.]

[Vern on the summit of Mount Vavasour]


After enjoying an extended break on the summit of Vavasour it was decision time. Do we go back to the bivy and enjoy the rest of the afternoon relaxing and reading e-books or do we push ourselves a bit and try for either Leval or at least the east peak of White Man? I honestly really wanted to go for White Man Mountain (main peak) but I was ill-prepared for this trip and hadn't done nearly enough research so I decided to descend the South Ridge of Vavasour and attempt Mount Leval. Kaycie would come part of the way and would find a safe, warm spot out of the wind and read her book while her dumb dad kept bagging peaks... ;)


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