Most scramblers will, however, try to ascend Shanks from the Simpson River pull-out and bridge (over the Vermilion River)on the Radium highway (GR 738/478 on 82 J/13 -- Mount Assiniboine). This is what we did in 1989, even managing to mountain bike part way up the old fire lookout trail (which splits off from the Simpson River trail only a couple of hundred meters past the bridge).
However, once the trail peters out and virtually disappears in the undergrowth, the bushwhacking takes over, and it is awful; as I noted in my climbing journal, "this [ascent by bicycle] was followed by a terrible bushwhack through interlaced toothpick deadfall." Any of you who have stumbled and agonized through this kind of forest will readily know of what I writing -- tiny trees, no more than a few inches in diameter, die and then are blown over by the wind in such a fashion that they twine about with each other, making progress through them frustratingly slow and contortional. A folding handsaw would be advised for the really tangled sections.
I'm sure this mess is even worse now, given the two forest fires in the area since our ascent. It's possible the fires have burned away some of this scrub, but more likely they have simply hardened and blackened these poles, leaving an even uglier morass through which one has to climb.
In any case, it's a long and nasty ascent to timberline. Once we broke... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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