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Possible First Ascents of Mounts Terrion and Roth
Timestamp Free: 2019.08.26 - 01:18:59
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges
  (4 days)
Participants: Marion Owen, JA Owen, Christine Grotefeld, Mardy Roberts, Rick Collier Steep hiking, except for the minor summit of Roth, which can have moves up to 5.6
This report recounts a trip to Big Lake up Brűlé Creek and climbs -- possible first ascents -- of Mounts Terrion and Roth, both being straightforward backcountry hikes
On July 20, the four of us drove from Calgary down the Chain Lakes highway to the Crowsnest road and then W to Sparwood - about 3 hrs; then N about 15 km on the road to Elkford. At about GR 515/288 (82 G/15 - Tornado Mountain) we intersected one of the access roads to Brule Creek; this good gravel road wanders about on the flats W of the Elkford road for about 5 km before penetrating a ways up the Brule Creek valley on a track now quite degenerate. We parked, hoisted up our multi-day packs, and hiked about 4.5 km on a decent trail in surroundings that were very pretty despite the foliage being far too dense to see anything of the nearby peaks.

At this point a valley descends from the SW (GR 428/292 on G/14 - Queen Creek); we were, of course, heading for the next valley to the W, another 1.5 km further along (the one that leads S and W to what is locally known as Big Lake (GR 399/269). However, being impatient, unable to see any landmarks, and willing to believe that my GPS was once again broken, I insisted that we thrash up the more easterly of the drainages. After 1.5 km of nasty bush, I recognized my error (of having guided us into the wrong valley) and owned up to my navigational sin - not that that did much to diminish the ire of my companions; they were not to be comforted or even placated.

However, within another km we had found a remnant trail that led up the valley to more open forest where we could climb up to a col (7350') to the W near a small tarn (GR 412/258); from there it was likely we could traverse W under the NE cliffs of Terrion to our intended valley and Big Lake, with only (right, "WITH ONLY", as the forest resounded with my friends' derisive shouts) an extra 2-3 km distance and 600' of ascent.

Eventually, after serious exertions, we...

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