Although I'd been part way N up the Mitchell River already during the summer of 2002 (when I'd climbed The Marshal with David Shadbolt), it was such an isolated and pleasant little valley that the thought of journeying in its depths a second time was quite attractive. So it was on the weekend of August 24-25, accompanied by Mardy Roberts and Christine Grotefeld, that I set out to make what could be the second ascent of Mt. Watson (9750'/ 2970m and GR 906383 on 82 J/13 - Mt. Assiniboine).
What makes access to this lush and primitive valley so attractive now is that a new logging road has been pushed N from the BayMag plant for 7.2 km to within 1.1 km of the southern boundary of Assiniboine Provincial Park, thus abbreviating all approach marches to peaks in the area. For example, the Marshal trip necessitated a short hike into this area of only some 2.3 km beyond the end of the logging road. Watson, however, would require us to penetrate nearly 7 km.
For those of you who have never searched out hikes or climbs in this area, it may be worth reviewing the approach: W from Calgary & S on the Radium Highway (#40); just before the climb to Sinclair Pass, one turns left onto Settlers' Road (well marked); 12 km S brings one to an intersection where one turns left again and descends to a bridge across the Kootenay River (very pretty here) and a river-rafting outfit; one then drives up the hill, bearing again to the left and traveling some 33 km along the Cross River; where the Cross River road bears off right, one keeps left, heading back N, and in another 5 km arrives at the BayMag gypsum plant; drive N right through the plant following the Mitchell River FSR signs (1 km); another 7 km on a good logging road brings one to the staging area.... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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