Traverses in the Gold Range
Thomas Crowley and friends made two connected traverses in the Gold Range in 1981 and 1982 which are described day by day. Parts of the routes are useful for approaches to peaks, such as in the regions around Mount Odin, Kelly Peak, Gates Peak and Mount Begbie. Map 82K/5 St. Leon Creek may also be useful.
MONASHEE PROVINCIAL PARK to BLANKET MOUNTAIN
Approach from the south via the west side of Upper Arrow Lake. (There is a ferry across Arrow Lake Narrows 25 km southsouthwest of Nakusp.) Logging roads reach Fosthall Creek from the north, from Highway 23, 1.4 km north of the Shelter Bay ferry slip. See “To Alpine Area at Big Ledge and Margie Lake”.
Day 1. From the north, cross Fosthall Creek and take the first road on the right; from there, the road system is very complicated. Find Spur J (1650m, 5400 feet) and follow the ridge south of Fosthall Creek to contour around the ridge to the east shore of a lake and follow up to the small stream entering from the NW; cross the divide and descend 2 km towards Peters Lake. Leave the valley to the north and ascend to Fawn Lake. There are good campsites at Margie Lake and Fawn Lake.
2. From Fawn Lake, traverse northeast 2 kilometres to Gates Ledge and descend through the cliffs at map coordinates 173965. Go northwest on a bench traversing between Icebound Lake and the lake at the head of Ledge Creek, and ascend northeast to the north branch of Ledge Creek and the col northeast of Mount Skade, a small summit just east of Mount Gunnarsen. Camp on the glacier.
3. Proceed up a snow couloir, then east to the ridge overlooking the north branch of Odin Creek. Descend a steep loose gully, traverse to the upper lake and gain the divide. Follow the divide north to high camp to the west of the glacier north of Kelly Peak. Camp at 2680 meters, on the divide in the col northwest of Kelly Peak.
4. Descend to the glacier down rocks east of camp to the ledges at the edge of the upper ice. Follow these to the ice and traverse northwest to regain the divide. (Note, in years of high snowfall this ledge could be covered with snow. In this case, ascend towards Kelly Peak, proceed east, then descend and traverse northwest.) Follow the divide for 1 km, then west for 1 km, then descend past a small lake to the lake west of the divide at the foot of Gates Peak. Camp.
5. Ascend north to the col east of Gates Peak, and descend 2 kilometres north across the glacier. Ascend to the divide and contour to a lake west of the divide at head of Gates Creek. Camp at 165137.
6. Descend to the glacier above the long lake at the head of Pingston Creek (steep; Avalanche Lake). Climb the glacier for 1 kilometre, turn north, ascend the ridge, proceed west across the divide and gain the glacier southwest of Cranberry Mountain. Climb to the col west of this peak and descend the north ridge to a lake in the pass between Lindmark and North (really west tributary of) Cranberry Creeks. Camp on the ridge at 144216.
7. From here, a nasty traverse below Blanket Mountain and then east on the ridge to logging roads ended the 1981 traverse. The logging roads end at a dam on a lake on Highway 23, 22.5 km (14 miles) north of the Shelter Bay ferry slip and 27.5 km (17.1 miles) south of the TransCanada Highway.
To proceed north from Cranberry Mountain, gain Blanket Glacier via the col east of Armstrong Peak and join the route of 1982. 1982.
BLANKET MOUNTAIN to MOUNT BEGBIE
1. Traverse east to Blanket Glacier through a short stretch of bush from the logging road south of Greenbush Lake (see Armstrong Peak and introduction, access). Camp in the meadows on the north side of Blanket Glacier.
2. Traverse 3 kilometres north past several lakes and ascend to the col (2330m) south of Mulvehill Ridge. Stay exactly on the divide, pass a prominent “rock island” on the snow slope and ascend a rock ridge of the westernmost summit of Mulvehill Ridge (2530m). Traverse west and north until a descent to the saddle campsite is obvious (at 2070m; 6800 feet).
3. Contour snow slopes above and west of the southernmost “Begbie Lake” (Mulvehill Creek drainage) to gain a notch in the ridge north of the lake (2150m; 7050 feet). Descend north to the main Begbie Lakes area, crossing between the last two lakes draining to Mulvehill Creek. Ascend easy slopes north and east to the northernmost Begbie Lake (2030m). 231
4. Contour the east side of the lake and traverse up and around the west shoulder of Mount Begbie to Begbie Glacier (Mount Begbie, Route 1, accessible). Campsites are excellent below the glacier on a prominent nose (2190m).
5. Descend a meadow ledge system north and west to the Mount Begbie Trail and to the Columbia Valley and Highway 23.
To Alpine Area at Big Ledge and Margie Lake From 1.4 kilometres north of the Shelter Bay ferry slip on Highway 23, drive the main logging road on the west side of Upper Arrow Lake, or approach from the south using the Arrow Park ferry in the Arrow Lake Narrows, 25 km (16 miles) southsouthwest of Nakusp on Highway 6. Turn off on Limekiln Road from this main road, then Empress Lake Road. Near the top of the logging operation where the road turns south, take the road north to the bridge over Vanstone Creek. Follow a caterpillar trail (four wheel drive) west up to Paint Lake. One can then pack to Margie Lake. (PC: Tom Fulkco).
SOME CLIMBING & EXPLORATION
1907 Rupert Haggen, James Herdman, J. R. Robertson, with Edward Feuz Jr. (CAJ 2/1(1909):139; 19(1930):16; 21(1932):128 ski ascent)
1925, 1928 Ley E. Harris, Topographical Survey party. (IRBC 1937)
1968, 1970 Bruce Haggarstone, David P. Jones. (PC:DJ)
1971 Ken Baker, Joseph Lang, Lloyd MacKay, Don Vockeroth. (CAJ 55(1972):77; PC:KB) 1973 Jim Brennan, Gerry Brown, Helen Butling, John Carter, Ian Hamilton, David Kennedy, Knut Langballe, Peter McIver, Gladys McLeod, Bruce MacLean, Beverly Mill, Bert and Sue Port, Howie Ridge, Gordon Stein, Peter Wood, (KMC Climbing Camp). (KK 16:43,54) 82L/9 213-064
1980 Linda Allis, Janice Isaac, Kim Kratky, Pat Taddy. (KMCN Sept. 1980; PC: KK)
1981, 1982, 1984- Leon Blumer, Dan Robertson. (PC: LB, DR)
1986 Ken Johnson, James Petroske Sr., John Petroske, Wm. Petroske, Alex Van Steen, Alan Wainwright. (BAE November 1986:13; January 1987:5; PC: John P)
1990 KMC climbing camp. (KK 33:19,53 Mt. Thor) – 82L/9 213-064
2003 KMC climbing camp. (CAJ 87(2004):101; KMCN Jan.-Feb. 2004) 82L/8&9 Backpack
2006 KMC climbing camp. (CAJ 90(2007):141; KMCN Nov.-Dec. 2006) 82L/9 Backpack Kelly Gates to Avalanche.
KMC Hiking Camps
1982 – Monashee Park – 82L/8 166-921
1994 – Valley of the Moon – 82L/9 150-958
2002 – Blanket Creek – 82L/16 113-268
2015 – Valley of the Moon – 82L/9 150-958