MOUNT SKELLY 2304m 7559’
Map: 82F/7 Boswell
“Scrape, scrape.” What’s that sound? It’s me scraping the bottom of the barrel for an autumn West Kootenay peak I haven’t been up yet. And so here it is, another very easy outing in the Sanca Creek drainage in the southern Purcells.
Howie Ridge and I caught the 8:10 ferry on a warm sunny Monday morning, drove south to the Sanca mainline, and followed it to km 9, where we took the major fork right or south signed for “Wooden Shoe Lake.” Re-setting the odometer, we crossed Sanca Creek at .2 km., continued straight or east at km 1, went right or south at km 2 (straight ahead probably leads to a valley north of Mt. Dickson, another “noble pile”), kept left at km. 3.4 (don’t cross to west bank of creek), and finally ground to road end in a landing at km. 4.9 (297-683, 6250’) and northwest of our goal. The last kilometer is 4WD HC LR because of sandy dips; the rest is 2WD.
Starting at 10:35, we followed an old skid road southeast and then ascended through light timber to emerge on the ridge west of our summit. An easy plod up mostly open slopes with scattered trees got us to the long, flat, cairned top in 1 hr. 25 min.
During our 30 min. stay, we found no record (surprise, surprise), but did locate the brass survey marker. Some cultural features of note: the sound of logging machinery attracted our attention to the huge cutblocks in Skelly Creek to the south and southeast, and I also had my first view of the surprisingly large, sub-alpine Wooden Shoe Lake.
For descent, we headed along our peak’s gentle north ridge far enough to descend straight to the truck (a little more brushy than ascent) in 70 min. For all of this 3 ¼ hour day, I wore shorts, a testimony to the fine weather. Perhaps best of all, we caught the 3:40 ferry and thus were home before 5:00 pm.