KEYSTONE MT

Keystone Mtn. 1663m  5456’ Map Salmo 82F/3) Jan. 29
As the skiing has been so beastly lately, trip coordinator Sandra McGuinness deemed a snowshoe ascent of the Bonnington Range’s dread Keystone Mtn., 4.5 km. north of Salmo, to be an appropriate outing. Besides, she was buoyed after subduing the neighbouring Erie Mtn., also on ‘shoes’, only days earlier. Only two others, Janice Isaac and I, were mad enough to join her as we departed Nelson at 7:30 on a foggy, drizzly weekend morning. It wasn’t at all heroic, and a clammy white mist enveloped us much of the way up, but we did reach the top. Details follow.
We turned off Highway 3 about 3 km. west of Salmo, onto the Erie Rd. access, just east of Erie Creek Bridge. Then we drove north until the recently plowed portion ended, parked at the km. 1 sign, and headed out at 8:20. After 30 min. of tramping on the snow-machine-packed mainline, we turned right or east onto the signed and gated “Whiskey Creek Road” (about 757-509), just north of a bridge over Whiskey, or Hooch, as it is on my map. Thanks to good snowmobile packing, we made excellent time on Whiskey, finally turning left onto a northern spur called “Gary’s Road” (772-519), which was also nicely packed to its end at 782-529, 4750’. We then headed up a huge, denuded cutblock, kept to the left of a shallow watercourse, passed into timber, and soon reached a ridge. Here, we turned right and in minutes reached the timbered summit at 11:55 (3 hrs. 35 min. up).
We enjoyed a brief 25 min. lunch in steady snowfall and –1 C temps, congratulating ourselves on the excellent snowshoeing conditions (no, I’m not being sarcastic) all the way to the top. Return was via the ascent route in 2 hrs. 20 min. for a total day of 6 hrs. 20 min.
Good access, good exercise, and we never got rained on. Of course, the fog lifted on the way down, so that we finally got some minor views. There might be some good spring skiing in the massive west- and southwest-facing cutblocks in the upper Whiskey (or is it Hooch?) drainage.
Kim Kratky

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I would like to think of myself as a full time traveler. I have been retired since 2006 and in that time have traveled every winter for four to seven months. The months that I am “home”, are often also spent on the road, hiking or kayaking.
I hope to present a website that describes my travel along with my hiking and sea kayaking experiences.

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