MT SHIELDS 1789m 5869′
This minor league Rossland Range (Monashee Mountains) Peak, 8kms NW of the Nancy Greene Summit is accessible usually in April, making it a good spring outing. Maps show a trail to the top. It has outstanding views down to Arrow Lakes.
Time: 2 hours return
Access: long 2WD
Season: Late April through early November
Map: 82E/8 Deer Park, 82F/5 Castlegar
Drive: From the Nancy Green summit, drive west and across from the Paulson XC ski area, adjacent to the rest stop on the North side of highway 3:
0.0 Turn north onto Big Sheep FSR.
2.8km Go right.
6.4km Go left.
7.1km keep right.
9.6 km turn right onto Summs FSR,
9.8 km road veers left, at the next junction keep right, road gets brushy after a short distance, park (11U 0425547 5464485 at 5000 ft) and walk the last 2 km of road. Mt. Shields is visible as you round the curve after the bushy section.
Trail/Route: Follow the road approx. 2 km to just before the road turns south and start ascent at 0425735 5465880 North East to the summit at 11U 0426572 5466627 approx. 1.5 km away. Numerous deadfalls have to be negotiated. Just before reaching the summit plateau, find some rock cairns, and a rough trail. The trail that used to be there has long been grown in lower down.
There are two bumps on the summit. The first one has a very impressive 40 solar panel array (3.2 KW total), powering a cell phone tower complete with heli pad, and the second actual summit has two cone shaped radio repeaters. The views of the lower Arrow lakes are great all the way to Hugh Keenleyside dam near Castlegar.
Descend in a slightly less bushy connection to the road a bit more to the West. An easy hike of about three hours including breaks!
Mt. Shields 1789 m. 5869’ (map 82E/8 Deer Park) Oct.23 & Oct.25
It took two tries to climb (well, to find and hike up) this minor and obscure Monashee peak located north of Nancy Greene junction. As the days grew shorter in late October, I became interested in Shields because it would be a brief outing and old BCFS brochures and the Backcountry Map Book both showed a trail to the summit. The first attempt, on Oct. 23rd, 2003, saw Dave Cunningham and me drive the Shields FSR to km. 9.1, where we turned left and drove 1.2 km. on an overgrown track on the south side of Shields Creek before parking. After walking this for 2 hrs. 40 min., we popped out onto a very good road which we followed north to the base of Mt. Shields. By now, it seemed too late to make an ascent, so we re-traced our steps to finish with an energetic day of 5.5 hrs. and 20 km. of road walking.
Returning to the highway, we drove west to Big Sheep Creek FSR and followed this long enough to realize it was the true access. On Oct. 25th Howie Ridge and I returned to finish the outing.
Road access follows: turn off to the north on Big Sheep Creek FSR (on Hwy. #3 west of Nancy Greene junction), go left at km. 6.4; go right at km. 7; go down and cross a creek at km. 10, noting the old Shields road we walked on the right; and continue driving to the base of Shields at about km. 14.
During the anti-climactic 45 min. ascent through light timber, we stumbled across the old trail and followed it to the open top. There, we inspected two repeater cones and enjoyed spectacular views covering some 65 of Arrow Lake. On descent, we followed the trail as best we could, then continued flagging a route down to the logging road.
Best bet for a jaunt up this bump is to park at about GR 261-654 (4960’), walk about 40 m. farther on the road, and look for two pieces of flagging on the upper bank. Follow these as best you can to the top. A Selkirk College student crew may re-create this trail in 2004.
Hwy 3-Shields FSR-KVR Rail Bed
This is a varied mountain bike-ride that could be done after the Easter weekend. The Shields old-timers have told me that as of that time the Shields Forest Service Road is clear of snow. Several of them have had their summer homes there since the 1940’s. On a nice warm morning Bob and I met at the Safeway parking lot in Castlegar and pedalled up the “mostly” gradual 30 km to the Shields Forest Road (Just before the Nancy Greene turnoff to Rossland). It is a wide paved shoulder.
From this junction there is another climb on the easily traveled dirt road for a couple of km to the pass. From the pass there is a good view of Mt Stanley, Mt Spiers and Airy Mtn to the north.
The downhill begins rather gradually however after a few km it becomes an easily navigable steep descent. This part requires braking most of the way down to the rail bed. All told approximately 15 km.
When we reached the tracks we visited the site of the tunnel construction workers camp to the left. There were the piles of lumber from the buildings and rusty stoves, pots and pans. The rail bed had been just graded by some machine so it was a bit easier going than normal to the Keenleyside Dam. With use it hopefully will improve. We pedalled back to Safeway. 70 km total. Elevation gain 2500’.
Bob Shaw & Steve Miros