El Piveto is a triple-summited mountain located at the south end of the Filberg Range overlooking the head of Cervus Creek and the confluence of the two main branches of the Wolf River in Strathcona Park. It has been an infrequently climbed peak due to its relative remoteness and proximity of several other more high profile peaks (Rambler, Mt Colonel Foster and the Golden Hinde) that tend to draw climbers. But because of these impressive neighbours El Piveto Mountain has some outstanding views.
The inaccessible east face has some climbing potential but the real gem is the long northwest ridge - Conquistador Ridge (named so as a reference to the Spanish name of the peak and Terray's famous book Conquistadors of the Useless). The standard route up the west face is unremarkable but by whichever route the summit views are amongst the best on Vancouver Island.
The best approach to El Piveto Mountain is from Highway 28 up the Elk River Trail all the way to Elk Pass. From Elk Pass ascend up to the south shoulder of Rambler Peak and then make a long descending traverse across the east flanks of Rambler Peak into Cervus west Pass. Another ascent up over Cervus Mountain which sits right at the head of Cervus Creek then another descent into Cervus east Pass brings you to the base of the west face.
The ascent up the west face (basin) is straightforward on mostly 2nd & 3rd class terrain. From Cervus east Pass hike up through a narrow band of forest trending up and right to enter the bottom of the large open cirque. Hike directly up the cirque on open rock slabs and seasonal snow slopes. Toward the middle trend right across and up over exposed ledges. Toward the summit plateau the terrain angle eases.
Camping along the Elk River Trail is only permitted at the designated sites at Butterwort Creek (6km in) and the Gravel Flats site (~10km in). The Gravel Flats camp is the most useful base for a day trip to the summit of Elkhorn Mountain South. Backcountry camping within Strathcona Park must be more than 1km from a road. Otherwise the considerations are as for all backcountry overnights: practice strict leave-no-trace, don't flag or otherwise mark any hiking routes and remember that no fires are permitted in Strathcona Park backcountry at any time of year
regardless of the Provincial Fire Ban status.
Guidebooks & Other Links
Local guidebook Island Alpine Select