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An Autumn Odyssey: Ascents of Pengelly, McGladrey, and Darrah
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.22 - 22:18:08
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Border Ranges / Flathead Range (BC)
Participants: Mardy Roberts, Rick Collier, Alistair DesMoulins, Gail DesMoulins Some of the scrambling is strenuous and exposed -- 5.3+
This report includes directions for accessing the area E of the divide and S of the Crowsnest highway, and route descriptions for Pengelly, McGladrey, and Darrah
There's a fair bit of driving to get to these peaks, so it is well worth taking several days to explore the area thoroughly. My group - Mardy Roberts, myself (Rick Collier) and Alistair and Gail DesMoulins - started out on October 1 and drove down the delightful Chain Lakes road through Longview and eventually to highway #3 (the Crowsnest Pass road) - about two hours; then W to Blairmore for 0.5 hrs. On the SE end of the town, we located a good dirt road heading S along Lyons Creek and followed this track for about 20 km - it crosses Willoughby Ridge at one point and then continues S along Lynx Creek. But once the road starts following Lynx, it begins to deteriorate - at one point, we actually got stuck in a particularly nasty bog; once we'd managed to extricate ourselves, we were only able to continue a few more hundred metres before reaching additional mud-holes. The road may not always be in such ugly condition since - the fall of 1993 had been an especially wet autumn; however, after a stretch of dry weather, a high-clearance 4WD should be able to manoeuvre through these tank traps more easily than we did. In any case, we decided to abandon the van and camp in a clearing nearby.
The next morning (October 2) was a beautiful fall day - clear, crisp, and cloudless. After a substantial breakfast, we hiked S up the road, crossed Lynx Crk, went past a logged area, down a hill, and then turned W up the old road along Goat Crk, flowing down from the divide. After a couple of km, we chose the N branch of Goat Crk to follow (good, unused logging road here). 2.2 km brought us to the end of the valley where we turned right (NW) and ascended a drainage (containing water, even in October) and grassy slopes to a scree cirque between Pengally and McGladry (GR 745/863 on 82 G/10...
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