OLD TOM MOUNTAIN

OLD TOM MOUNTAIN   2649m   8690′ 

Location: At the head of Canyon Creek, a north-flowing tributary of Crawford Creek.
Difficulty: C2
Elevation gain: 3390′ 
Key elevations: Park 5300′ Summit 8690′
Time: 4.5 hours up, 2.75 hours down 
Access: 2WD but last very overgrown
Season: Early July through September
Map: 82F/10 Crawford Bay

Drive: From the Kootenay Bay ferry terminal follow Highway 3A for 5 km. and turn L. at the Kootenay Bay School. Drive 2.6 km. to a T junction and turn L. You are now on the main Crawford Creek haul road. Zero odometer.
0.0 Continue on Crawford Creek FSR making sure not to take the Crawford-Hooker Crks. Forest Road. 
15 km.  Take an obvious road to the R. that immediately crosses Crawford Ck. Follow this up some switchbacks and into the Canyon Ck. drainage; do not take two obvious turnings to the L. 2WD 
23km Park where logs blocking the road – 276-058; 5,100′. Although the roadbed is solid, this route is badly overgrown with alder; do not take your new Ford Explorer up here.

1. North Ridge. Continue walking on the road to where it ends near the top of a cutblock. Continue south and slightly up through open timber for about 25 min. to reach an open basin on the NE side of Old Tom. Plod up grass and scree to join the easy N. ridge (260-035). Higher up, ascend R. into a gully to reach a notch between the summit and an 8,600′ outrider to the E. From the notch. Traversed W. on the S. side of the mountain, above Baribeau Creek, to a prominent gully which leads easily to the W. ridge and a short scramble to the summit.

OLD TOM (from 1994 Karabiner article “Where Are These Mountains Anyway?”)
This peak is located near the head of Canyon Creek, a north-flowing tributary of Crawford Creek. It’s an easy scramble and makes a suitable day trip from Nelson, complete with free ferry ride. I believe that Jack Steed and Yvonne Tremblay climbed Old Tom back in the early ’80s, but no information seems to be available. Howie Ridge and I made this trip in late August of 1993.
One of the few moderately difficult things about this outing is the access. Pay attention, please. From the Kootenay Bay ferry terminal follow Highway 3A for 5 km. and turn L. at the Kootenay Bay School. Drive 2.6 km. to a T junction and turn L. You are now on the main Crawford Creek haul road; continue on this for almost 15 km. from Route 3A, making sure not to take the “Crawford-Hooker Crks. Forest Road.” At 15 km. take an obvious road to the R. that immediately crosses Crawford Crk. Follow this up some switchbacks and into the Canyon Crk. drainage; do not take two obvious turnings to the L. Follow this 2WD road for about 8 km. to a spot where there’s a parking space and logs blocking the road (co-ordinates 276-058; 5,100′). Although the roadbed is solid, this route is badly overgrown with alder; do not take your new Ford Explorer up here.
Now for the approach to the mountain. Continue walking on the road and ascend a series of switchbacks; then, follow the road S. after it levels out to where it ends near the top of a cutblock. Do not take any spur roads. Continue south and slightly up through open timber for about 25 min. to reach an open basin on the NE side of Old Tom.
From this point, it’s simply a matter of plodding up grass and scree to join the easy N. ridge (260-035). Higher up, ascend R. into a gully to reach a notch between the summit and an 8,600′ outrider to the E. From the notch, our party traversed W. on the S. side of the mountain, above Baribeau Creek, to a prominent gully which led easily to the W. ridge and a short scramble to the summit.
The N. face of this peak offers some 500′ of almost vertical climbing on solid rock; the E. ridge provides a series of challenging block-like towers. Descent can be via the ascent route or by descending part of the E. ridge before moving to ledges on the S. to avoid the towers. The cutblock and road that lead back to the carpark can be clearly seen from above, making it easy to judge where to enter the timber.
Times: car to summit 4.5 hrs., return to car 2.75 hrs.
Map: 82F/10 Crawford Bay,
Ratings: Climber’s Guide, II, class 3; KMC, B2., No rope is needed.
This peak is prominent from Nine Mile on Nelson’s North Shore and from Highway 31 near Coffee Creek.
Kim Kratky

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I would like to think of myself as a full time traveler. I have been retired since 2006 and in that time have traveled every winter for four to seven months. The months that I am "home", are often also spent on the road, hiking or kayaking. I hope to present a website that describes my travel along with my hiking and sea kayaking experiences.
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