American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Big Bend Highway

  • Notes
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1943

Big Bend Highway. The following notes made in 1942 apply to the road between Golden and the bridge at the Big Bend:

Mile 7. Moberly station. This was the site of Moberly’s winter headquarters during the survey period, but the original house no longer exists. Blaeberry River enters the Columbia at Mile 9 and Waitabit Creek at Mile 7, draining respectively from Howse Pass and the S. side of the Freshfield Group.

Mile 22. The road crosses the Bluewater bridge into the forks of Blackwater Creek. At Blackwater Lakes (Mile 33; fishing)

there is a two-way divide (3200 ft.) to the Columbia, highest point on the road.

Mile 47. Bush River bridge, from which Mt. Sir Sandford is said to be visible. It is two miles to the Columbia at this point, almost opposite the mouth of Gold River. Trumpeter swan are found on the nearby Bush lakes.

Mile 51. Surprise Rapids. Mile 57. Swan Creek enters from the Selkirks and is a possible approach to the Adamant Group.

Mile 68.5. Sullivan River. Wide flats; glacier said to be 30 miles upstream, with retreat of 1500 ft. since 1918. This point is opposite Windy Creek in the Selkirks, where, according to E. Feuz, there is a peak higher than Trident.

Mile 71. Kinbasket Lake, a widening of the river. Mile 72. Middle River enters the lake. Trappers say it takes two days to reach an ice tongue 10 miles in length. Mile 75. Trident Peak is seen across the lake. Mile 76. Tsar Creek, which trappers (despite the map) say is non-glacial, enters Kinbasket Lake at its lower end.

Mile 79.5. On the Selkirk side there are many waterfalls, with ice descending below timberline and Mt. Chapman rising above. Mile 84. Cummins River. Mile 93. Red Canyon of the Columbia.

Mile 95. Steel bridge across Columbia just below position of old cable ferry. 200 yards above bridge an old lumber road leads to a cabin at Wood River and a bridge to the point of land between it and Canoe River. This is the historic site of Boat Encampment, where the trail from Athabaska Pass reached the Columbia. It consists of huge stands of cedar and other fine timber, but no ancient blazes or cuttings could be discovered.

J. M. T.

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