BALFOUR KNOB (2253m 7392’)
Map Crawford Bay 82F/10
On Sunday, June 1st, Doug Brown, Sandra McGuinness, the dog Kumo, and I climbed this minor peak above Balfour in the Kokanee Group.
We accessed it via cutblocks on the south side of Coffee Creek (yes, you can drive into Coffee Creek, but the way is circuitous). Departing at 9:20, we ascended south through timber, passed through a higher block where the road was snowed in, and continued (now on snow) through timber and up a ridge to reach a bump at 013-031. Then we walked southwest on snow over various lumps along a ridge system leading to the base of our objective’s north ridge, which we surmounted without difficulty.
On top by 1:35, we rested for 20 min. near the prominent green communications cone and tried our best to pick out landmarks in the murky, stormy weather, which eventually overtook us for a bout of light rain. We were treated to fine views of ferries plying Kootenay Lake below us, to indifferent vistas of the Purcells, and to cloud and mist in Kokanee to our west.
Retracing our steps, we reached the truck in 2 hrs. 45 min., making for a 7 hr. 20 min. day. Snow conditions were excellent. Cutblocks to the northeast of the summit in the upper reaches of Leake Creek would give easy access to this fine viewpoint later in the year, but the road to these blocks may be restricted (I don’t think these cutblocks are the ones heli-logged, since the terrain doesn’t seem very steep. I’ll leave it to someone else to explore this approach.