AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, California, Basin and Range Province, Picacho

The Big Bend Highway. When completed, the road between Golden and Revelstoke will establish a Canadian highway between the prairies and the coast, the Selkirk Range being the last barrier between roads already constructed from Lake Louise across Kicking Horse Pass, and in the Fraser Valley. At one time it was hoped that the old railroad route over Rogers Pass might be followed, but engineering difficulties and cost of maintenance were considered so great that the plan was abandoned in favor of the Columbia River Valley, a distance of approximately 192 miles.

Special progress has been made on the eastern leg of the route, which will do much to reopen the northern Selkirks, especially the Sir Sandford region, to mountaineers. In time to come it may be possible to penetrate to the Rockies from this side as well, through the valleys of Bush River and Tsar Creek, hitherto impracticable because of the dense forests and absence of trails. From the site of historic Boat Encampment, the valley of Canoe River is accessible, while the western leg will offer points for observing the Monashee (Gold Range) Mountains.

Climbers who carry out exploration in the wake of this road construction will have the opportunity of making new ascents in a splendid district, with rewards comparable to those secured in the Rockies of the post-war years after the completion of the Interprovincial Survey.