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Burnham, Bees, and Bush - Redemption on Mt Burnham
Timestamp Free: 2020.01.27 - 12:13:05
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Monashee Mountains / Gold Range
  (3 days)
Participants: Doug Brown, Sandra McGuinness 1000 m of evil bush followed by short pitches up to 5.4
The story of an ascent of the East Ridge of Mt Burnham
This is a story about a grudge match of sorts, but with a twist - a variation of Type 5 on the Brayshaw Climbing Game Scale. Last summer Sandy and I ran out of time on an attempt of Mt Grady, and turned around after 10 hours of climbing when the summit was tantalizingly close. See Striking It Rich in the Gold Range. To make matters worse, Mt Grady's impressive north side is very visible from Highway 6 north of Nakusp, and from the Shelter Bay ferry, so our failure to summit this fine peak was not something I could easily forget.

I felt badly in need of redemption, but without resorting to air support, Mt Grady is frightfully difficult to access. The fierceness of Gold Range bush is legendary, and is rumored to contain several undiscovered tribes of pygmies. We had no option but to bend the rules a tad. Mt Grady is the western half of the double-summited massif of Mounts Burnham and Grady formerly known as Halcyon Peak. See East Ridge of Mount Burnham. I looked to Burnham for my atonement for flying in. Mount Burnham, one of the Kootenays most impressive "Highway Peaks" (summits visible from a highway) is separated from Grady by an impressive 500 foot notch and is actually higher and more difficult to climb than Grady. And even more importantly, logging roads above Upper Arrow Lake provide a feasible access route to Burnham. That was good enough for me; our grudge match was an assault on the mighty Mount Burnham.

On August 15, 2004, the family (Sandra, me, and the faithful dog) left Nelson planning to set-up an advanced base camp near tree line below Burnham's East Ridge. A new dam and hydroelectric project on Pingston Creek has significantly changed road access in the area, but by noon we had negotiated the maze of logging roads across...

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