Mount Macpherson
Although not nearly as striking as nearby Mount Begbie, Mount Macpherson is still a prominent landmark which is visible from the town of Revelstoke, British Columbia.  On 3 September 2018, Marta Wojnarowska, Zosia Zgolak and I scrambled up Mount Macpherson via its west ridge, and we relied on Ben Wilkey's trip report for guidance.

From the Trans-Canada Highway, turn south onto Three Valley-Victor Forest Service Road which is located 17 kilometres west of the junction with Highway 23 or about 500 metres east of the turnoff to Three Valley Lake Chateau.  Ignore all side roads and drive for about 4.5 kilometres before crossing a bridge over English Creek (erroneously marked as Eagle River on some maps).  Drive for another 7.5 kilometres to the trailhead which is marked by a small cairn and flagging under some power lines.  The gravel road is generally well-maintained, but a high-clearance vehicle is recommended.  The steep climb up the last kilometre or so before the trailhead may require a vehicle with 4WD capabilities.  A creek flowing across the road just metres shy of the trailhead may or may not be passable.

Since Wilkey published his trip report, a good trail has been cleared through the initial cut block, and we easily followed the trail to the edge of the forest to the south.  The trail makes an abrupt right turn here and climbs over a small hill before dropping down into the drainage on the other side.  Even at this early stage, we were staggered by an abundance of ripe huckleberries all along the trail, and it took great restraint on our part to ignore the bountiful bushes and keep moving.
I probably could have driven through the creek if I was feeling really lazy! Sonny's car is parked short of the trailhead which is just beyond the creek running across the road.
Good, we're still on the right track! Zosia finds a good trail heading into the cut block.
Can't...stop...eating! Ripe huckleberries are abundant in the forest on this day.
During the next 80 minutes, we followed the trail up the drainage and eventually transitioned from the forest to a broad gully.  We wandered a little off the beaten path at one point, but the terrain is open enough here that we were able to get back on track fairly easily.  The gully leads to a meadowy pass, and when we arrived, much of the pass was shrouded in thick mist.  We almost made the mistake of following flagging down the other side of the pass (the trail continues to English Lake), but after a quick check of my GPS unit, we corrected our course and headed east up a forested slope.  I was expecting some light bushwhacking on this slope but was pleasantly surprised to find a flagged trail winding up through the trees.

Further up, we briefly went a bit off-route again at the bottom of a talus slope.  While the correct route skirts around the edge of the boulders to climber's right, we simply climbed straight up until we spotted flagging again in some trees just below a steep chute.  Some easy scrambling brought us next to a cairn at the top of this chute.  The cairn marks the start of the "plateau" section--more like a broad ridge--as described by Wilkey.
I guess the flagging snobs haven't gotten to this trail yet! The trail is flagged and easy to follow through the forest.
Keep on grinding! Marta and Zosia continue to follow a beaten path up a broad gully.

It's easy to get lost in this soup!

Marta and Zosia walk by a huge boulder at a pass which is shrouded in mist.


If you find yourself at a lake, you've gone the wrong way! Zosia and Marta find a flagged trail which climbs up the forested slope east of the pass.
Look at the determination on that face! After climbing up a talus slope, Marta squeezes through some trees at the bottom of a steep chute granting access to the upper ridge.
Just like at the pass, visibility was limited by mist and low clouds as we hiked eastward from the cairn.  I consulted my GPS unit regularly to keep us on track, but even then, we still meandered a bit on the broad ridge.  Contrary to what Wilkey describes as "the almost flat 4 km long plateau that leads to the summit of Macpherson", there is a significant amount of elevation loss and regain along the way (expect to add about 400 metres of cumulative elevation gain to the round-trip totals).  While most of the traverse entails easy off-trail hiking, there are one or two spots that require some hands-on scrambling or route-finding.

After we passed a survey benchmark on the highest point of the traverse, the mist and clouds slowly began to lift, and our visibility of the surrounding landscape steadily improved.  As a consequence though, the plod up the final slope to the summit seemed longer because of foreshortened views.

A little over five hours after leaving my car, we finally reached the summit of Mount Macpherson.
Our GPS units were invaluable for keeping us on track. Navigating the upper ridge is problematic with all the mist.
I wonder if anyone ever actually writes to the director in Ottawa... Here is a survey benchmark on the highest point of the ridge (2377 metres) west of Mount Macpherson's summit.
Looks like our hike earlier this year on Lightning Peak! The occasional stick with flagging tape helps Marta and Zosia stay on track.
It's a good idea to pay attention while walking through the mist! Marta and Zosia pass by some startlingly big cliffs.
I slipped on some snowy grass while descending here. The mist begins to lift as Zosia and Marta descend the ridge to a low point before the final climb up to the summit.
We have a lot more slogging ahead of us! Zosia gets her first clear view of the summit.
Put your mind and body on cruise control here! Marta and Zosia hike up the final slope before the summit.

We were up there exactly one year ago!

The clouds finally clear up enough to reveal Mount Begbie to the southeast.


The Three Phalluses! Three "green rockets" (telecommunication installations) adorn the top of Mount Macpherson.
The town where the trains never sleep! Here is a view of Revelstoke from the top of Mount Macpherson.
Quadruple thumbs up! Sonny, Zosia and Marta stand beside a cairn near the summit of Mount Macpherson (2422 metres).
All we need is some beer! Zosia and Marta relax on the summit helipad.
Might be worth climbing someday... Mount Tilley looks dramatic to the south.
Conditions at the summit were comfortable enough for an extended stay, but the prospect of a long drive home later that night prompted us to start our return trip sooner than we would have liked.  On our way back, we considered trying to side-hill bash around the high point with the benchmark in order to save some elevation gain, but we quickly found out that the terrain below the ridge crest is too steep and rugged to make the effort worthwhile.  As such, we simply climbed back over the high point and retraced our steps, more or less, back to the cairn at the top of the chute.

After scrambling down the chute, we stuck to the aforementioned correct route around the fringe of the talus slope and soon picked up the flagged trail which we had ascended from the pass.  Oddly enough, we briefly lost the trail again while descending the broad gully below the pass, but as before, we managed to get back on track without too much hassle.  The remainder of our descent was uneventful except for the numerous stops to gorge on all the huckleberries that we passed up on earlier in the day.
At least we can see where we're headed now...DOH! Marta and Zosia begin the long trudge back along the west ridge.

Although the peak at centre is the gazetted summit of Mount English, the two peaks to the left of the glacier are actually higher!

Mount English dominates the view to the southwest.


Not the best descent route to get to the top of the access chute, but it's doable! Zosia and Marta descend a boulder field near the end of the traverse across the upper ridge.
The lake is actually within a small provincial park. English Lake is revealed in this view from the top of the access chute.
Much easier than going straight down the middle of the slope! Marta descends along the fringe of the talus slope below the chute.
Whatever works! Marta and Zosia are a bit off-trail here as they descend the broad gully.
This was probably the single best day of eating huckleberries ever! Zosia stops to pick ripe huckleberries along the trail.
Guess where these ended up one second after the photo was taken! Mmmmmmmmmm!!! Here is a close-up view of the huckleberries.
More strenuous than it looks on paper! Total Distance:  15.6 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  9 hours 47 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  866 metres

GPX Data