CRAIG PEAK 2443 m 8015’
Map: 82F/7 Boswell
Craig Pk., 3.5 km. south of Haystack Mtn., is one of a series of minor-league protruberances along the east and south side of Sanca Creek on Kootenay Lake’s East Shore south of Crawford Bay.
On Sat, August 14th, Janice Isaac, Kyle Ridge, and I scaled this massive brute, an outing that we cannot really recommend.
After crossing on the 6:30 ferry, we headed south on Highway 3 and gained the Sanca Creek FSR, which we followed to its end (2WD) in the parking lot at km. 15.5.
Starting at 8:45, we headed straight up and east through a nasty cutblock and into light timber that was not much better. After 55 min. of bushwhacking, we emerged at the base of a rockslide north of Jackson Pk. (327-753). A traverse left and easier terrain got us to a picturesque sub-alpine lake at 6450’ (331-751). Heading east, we crossed the outlet stream, descended to an unmarked pond, and ascended a rock and grass couloir on Craig’s west face. Now on the south ridge, we sprinted to the cairned summit (no record) in 10-15 min. (3 hrs. 10 min. up).
During our hour on top, we huddled under rock overhangs to escape the fierce heat and admired lakes in nearby Kianuko Provincial Park (one of those places you’ve never heard of).
For descent, we inspected the west ridge but decided instead to re-trace our steps. This we did to the rockslide; from that point we took a diagonal to the northwest, hoping for better bushwhacking. After what I call a moderate thrash, we emerged in the cutblock some 200 m. north or right of the truck, and if anything this portion was even worse on descent. I deftly kept some 40 m. ahead of Janice and Kyle so that her gasps and curses as she fell into yet another concealed trap were scarcely audible.
Back at the truck by 3:15 (2 hr. 25 min. descent; 6 hr. 45 min. day), I mollified my spouse by switching on the air conditioner and motoring smoothly to catch the 5:20. Despite the blast furnace heat, Kyle and I were up for a cappuccino at the 24/7 bakery in Balfour before returning to Nelson by 7:00 pm.
Howie Ridge and Peter McIver climbed Craig by its west ridge (north ridge descent) some years ago and remember only moderate bushwhacking. That may be, but I’ll wait a bit before tackling Craig’s southern neighbour Jackson Pk.