03-Jul-2000 -- This extraordinarily beautiful confluence is located in
Kootenay Nat'l Park, right in the heart of the Canadian
Rocky Mountains, in BC, just west of the Alberta/BC border.
Despite being less than 2k from rt 93, it took me
about 5 hours to get it. I had no maps and no
preparation, just regular hiking gear and water.
I showed up and the first thing I saw was a ridge, running
north/south, going straight up, pine at the lower elevations
giving way to bare rock and snow above the timber line.
The GPS indicated the confluence to the west, up the ridge.
I had no idea which side, or how far up, or what was on
the other side.
No trail, so I scrambled up heading west, thru deadfall,
rockslides, cliffs, and rivers of snow. Due to the angle
and the thick trees, it was difficult to find an optimal
route, and animal trails were scarce. It took about 3 1/2
hours from base to summit as I anxiously watched each
100th on distance to waypoint on the 12XL to tick down and
carefully watched the clouds and listened for thunder;
a T-storm up here could be disastrous.
Eventually I reached the ridge, and the view was one of the
most spectacular I have ever experienced. I just sat here for
a while, snow-capped peaks to the east, snow-capped peaks to
the west. The Garmin showed the confluence on the other side
of the ridge, still to the west, but not too far, which was
a snow-filled bowl with varying scatterings of pine trees,
sloping down to the north/northwest (which may have made a
easier, but much longer, approach, from the backside of
the mountain). The pics are from this bowl, about 20m from
the confluence, as the point itself turned out to be in a
thick section of trees).
I very carefully made my way down the snow-covered bowl, across
the treeless area to where I took the pics, and then to the
actual point, cautiously digging my boots into the snow to make
sure I didn't slide down the mountain. I was within 100m at
this point and had the pics, but I went and got triple zeros
Getting back down the mountain was more fun, I was able to slide
down patches of snow and the like, and found these cool erosion
tunnels that allowed one to tunnel under the otherwise virtually
impassable vegetation lower down. Altogether a rich and rewarding
experience, although a bit scary at times, and probably downright
stupid by myself.
I still don't have a decent map, so I don't know what the climb
of the ridge was, and cannot identify the peaks in the photos,
but I do know the GPS showed the confluence at an elevation of
Shot #1 is looking to the west, #2 to the south/southwest showing
part of the ridge, #3 to the north/northeast where the bowl
descends, #4 to the south, showing the ridge, #5 to the east
showing the where I actually descended from the ridge thru the snow
to the point, and #6 is the triple zeros. This, of course, was
in the middle of summer.
Would that I were the caliber of photographer that could convey the
magic of this place.