Where in the World is MOUNT KITCHENER?
Truthfully, I’m not really sure. But, on Saturday, September 26, 2009 our group of four climbed some rocky peak, pretty much due west of the Giants Kneecap that sported a brand new KMC register inscribed “Mount Kitchener, 9080 feet.”
Our day started at the rather startling hour of 5.30 am, when, in the black of a late September morning, we met up at the Nelson Park and Ride, and piled into Caroline’s ultra-comfy 4WD for the bumpy drive up the Gibson Lake Road. This road always takes longer to drive than you think, so it was about 7.00 am or perhaps a little after when we started hiking up to Kokanee Pass.
Kokanee Lake was still deep in shadow and a cold wind was blowing through the pass, which turned our hands and arms into wooden lumps. From Kokanee Pass, we hiked east up light forest and alp-lands reaching the gentler terrain of Smugglers Ridge easily. Pleasant rambling up talus and meadow brought us to the west ridge of Mount Kitchener where we finally got a glimpse of the sun, but the wind was blowing with yet more gusto so our quick snack also entailed putting on just about every piece of clothing we had with us. The west ridge provided surprisingly good scrambling to class four on reasonably solid rock. Route finding is easy – just stay right on the ridge – this is also where the best rock is as deviations out to either side look loose and nasty. Once we’d crested the top of the west ridge, we wandered south over a broken, blocky ridge (class 2 to 3) eventually arriving at a cairned summit and finding the KMC summit register.
We had some lunch tucked out of the wind, and then decided to descend the north ridge down to Smugglers Ridge and regain the Kokanee Lake trail somewhere near the Kaslo Hilton. The north ridge also provided some fun scrambling on class 3 terrain and soon led us down to the gentle meadows of Smugglers Ridge. We wandered down the ridge, sometimes on a trail, until we could drop easily off to the west where we regained the hiking trail, and, with increasingly sore feet, wandered back out to the trailhead.
Thanks to my companions for another wonderful day out in the West Kootenays. Participants: Doug Brown, Jen Kyler, Caroline LaFace, and coordinator, Sandra McGuinness.

About admin

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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