MT AMRITAGE (Moyie Range)
Maps: Creston 82F/SE 1:100,000 GPS: 7,559’ 2304 m. & 82F/8 Grassy Mtn.
I had long wanted to make a foray up the Goat River, northeast of Creston. Finally, a Saturday in late May this year proved to be the right time.
Leaving the West Kootenay at 7:30 am, Paul Allen and I drove east on Highway 3 and some two hours later turned north at Kitchener and onto the Goat River FSR, re-setting our odometer. Navigating by our Creston sheet, we continued along this 2WD “highway” to the junction with Kianuko Creek (km. 22.6), chose the route straight ahead signed “Kamma Creek/Huscroft,” and followed this as it bent east along the north bank of Kamma Creek. At. km. 37.5, we turned left or north at an unsigned junction, and made another left at km. 40.5. By now, we were driving through cutblocks and on snow patches. Finally, we were stopped by snow on the road at km. 42.7, GR 549-711, 5400’.
Our goal clearly in sight about 3 km. to the northwest, we set off afoot (we brought skis but decided against their use) at 11:30, walking north and west along the road. At a spot where the road crosses a watercourse (about 541-721), we left the road and followed this creek on snow in a generally WNW direction to the alps below the east face of Armitage. We then continued up an easy buttress to gain the south ridge, which we followed to the summit by 2:30 (3 hours up, all of it a walk-up on snow).
In fine, shirt-sleeve weather under partly-cloudy skies, we hung around for 30 minutes, examining the myriad lady bugs hatching on the summit rocks, contemplating the horn of Haystack Mtn. to the northwest, and identifying the sharp point of Steeple Mtn. on the west side of Kootenay Lake.
For descent, we re-traced our steps in good snow conditions, reaching the truck in 1 ½ hours, totalling a day on foot of about 5 hours. The drive home went quickly, as I reached Nelson by 7:30 pm.
In sum, we were very fortunate in finding excellent road access, good snow, and a peak easily reached—especially considering this was an area we had no first-hand knowledge of.
NOTE: Mt. Armitage is named after RCAF Leading Aircraftman David H. Armitage of Kaslo, who perished on 8 June 1942.