Mt Septimus is a bit of an anomaly regarding its status as a named peak and being on the list of ACC-VI Island Qualifiers. This is because Mt Septimus is not actually the high point of the mountain it is part of, which is Mt Rosseau
. Nevertheless it is a great summit to climb with several excellent alpine routes and has an outstanding views of its higher parent and the surrounding terrain.
The usual way to approach Mt Septimus is from Campbell River along Highway 28 to the Buttle Lake Parkway and up the gravel Jim Mitchell Lake Road to the Bedwell Trail parking lot. From the trailhead hike the Bedwell Lake trail to the camp at Baby Bedwell and on to the main camp at Bedwell Lake. It is possible (in terms of minimizing impact even preferable) to base camp at Bedwell Lake. From here a well-travelled path ascends a forested ridge to the Bedwell-Drinkwater col and Little Jim Lake. From here the first peak of the mountain, The Citadel, is visible. Continue hiking a bench across the hillside and descend to Cream Lake and the base of Mt Septimus.
Mt Septimus is usually climbed by the X-Gully and North Glacier route in the spring or by one of the rock routes on the west face in summer and fall. Approach the X-Gully directly up the shrinking Septimus Glacier. Take either of the lower branches of the 'X' but keep to the right branch of the upper two. The gully steepens toward the top and some parties may wish to rope up here. The gully ends at a small col overlooking a glacier shelf. Traverse the shelf to the far side where a rock rib heads up above an exposed cliff. Easy but exposed snow and rock slabs leads directly to the summit. Descend by the same route.
Backcountry camping within Strathcona Park must be more than 1km from a road. Camping fees apply for this area - see details at the Bedwell Trail parking lot. 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