Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hiking Up Huscroft

Mid October in Interior BC typically brings wet weather, early snow and shorter, colder days. While it is still possible to climb some of the bigger peaks, smaller objectives are more likely to be give success, particularly on "iffy" weather days. On Thanksgiving weekend in 2011, Vicki and I drove over Kootenay Pass to the Creston area to hike up a small peak in the southeastern corner of the Nelson Range. At 2003 metres, Mount Huscroft doesn't even break treeline, but, given the weather forecast seemed like a reasonable objective for a wet weekend.

Driving south from Creston on West Creston Road we soon came to Corn Creek Road and followed it through pleasant open farmland to where the blacktop ends and the road continues west up the south side of Corn Creek. The road is in good shape and there are no junctions until you reach kilometre 18 where we took the uphill fork. The road became a little brushier but still reasonable and, within a further 2 kms we were below a cutblock to the east of Mount Huscroft.

An old recontoured skid road took us easily up into the cutblock where we found astonishingly good game trails that led up to a small outcrop of talus. We climbed up the east side of the talus field and, apart from a bit of steep rhododendron near the ridge top, easily gained the long SW ridge leading to Huscroft. A very good game trail, with occasional flagging and blazes, led us along the ridge, over two minor bumps on the ridge, and, within two hours we were standing in the mist on the summit.

After a quick, and somewhat damp and chilly lunch, we retraced our steps, but instead of following the talus field down, we continued along the ridge in a soutwest direction to see if the trail ran down a spur ridge that headed north. I can confirm that no trail runs anywhere down in this vicinity, but, as usual, instead of going back, we wacked down through head high rhododendron until we came out in a different cutblock to the west of our ascent route. A short easy hike through the cutblock got us back on Corn Creek FSR and 5 minutes of walking took us back to the truck.

Hiking the excellent game trail along the ridge

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