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Good Times in the Badshots: Ferguson to Armstrong Lake
Timestamp Free: 2019.06.20 - 03:08:14
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Selkirk Mountains / Duncan Ranges / Badshot Range
  (3 days)
Participants: Doug Brown, Cindy Walker, Sandra McGuinness and Juniper the dog.
Difficulty: 3: ATES simple, mostly easy ski touring and almost all exposure to avalanche slopes can be avoided.
A three day ski tour from Ferguson to Armstrong Lake including ascents of Great Northern Mountain and Mount Thompson.
Preamble

After hiking the popular Silvercup Ridge trail in the Badshot Range in the summer of 2011, our interest was piqued by an area of similar character just to the northwest. This gentle alpine ridge system starts at Ferguson, runs northwest to Beaton, and is anchored by Great Northern Mountain at the southeast end and Mount Thompson at the northwest end. As, the Badshots are known for poor rock and good skiing, a spring traverse of this ridge system seemed preferable to a summer trip.

After waiting for what seemed - and was - weeks for a short period of stable weather and stable snow, we finally set off on this trip on a Thursday evening, driving north of Nakusp and over Galena Pass (still snow in the trees) to Armstrong Lake, a few kilometres south of Beaton.

About 200 metres from the Hwy 31 junction with the Beaton Road, we found Thompson Creek FSR heading north into the forest. We were only able to drive perhaps 70 metres up this road before reaching a long, deep snow drift, so we parked one vehicle here, and continued south down Hwy 31 to the Ferguson Road which runs up the north bank of the Lardeau River to the community of Ferguson. [photo]ferguson.jpg[caption]Ferguson, deserted apart from us[/photo]

It was dark and cold by the time we arrived in Ferguson, a small community of, mostly, unfinished cabins, that was entirely deserted. Cindy put her tent up at the end of the road, while Doug and I crashed in the back of our truck. The next morning, the valley was dark and cold until, surprisingly early, the sun came streaming down the valley and immediately warmed everything up. Both Doug and I wandered in different directions looking for an old mining road (Fissure Creek) that climbs from Ferguson to a ridge-line east of Great...

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