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Mount Chipman - South Ridge
Timestamp Free: 2018.07.21 - 23:04:05
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Selkirk Mountains / Slocan Ranges / Kokanee Range
(1 days) Elevation Gain: 1200m
Participants: Dan Richardson
Difficulty: 3: Rough trail, moderate routefinding (hard without beta), low to high Class 3 scrambling depending on exact route
Hiking trail to Ben Hur Lake, routefinding to upper basin, south ridge Class 3 scramble to Mount Chipman summit.
In 2014, I'd noticed in satellite view all of the great basins and lakes between Fletcher Lakes and Keen Creek. I'd seen that there was a trail to the wooded Upper Fletcher Lake, but assumed the rest was untouched. So the original plan was to hike that trail, then continue cross-country and visit each drainage, and return the same way. I scouted the Fletcher Road though, and wouldn't have been able to get my car to the end, so that brought the trip down the priority list slightly. Then in 2015, I found out about the Ben Hur Trail and figured a through trip would be great. But when we scouted the Keen Creek Road, the Ben Hur Road was inaccessible, and seemed like a lot of elevation to have to gain if hiking from Keen Creek. Later this same year, I heard that there was logging planned and that the roads would be cleaned up. I emailed someone with the Kaslo Community Forest, who said the Keen Creek Road and Ben Hur Road had been worked on and were good to go. I still had no idea what to expect from the trail, as the only mention it gets online is from Sandra's trip reports.
See Satisfaction Peak by the East Face, and Caribou Ridge - Beautiful Meadows and a Sporting Finish and bulletins for Ben Hur Creek Trail). I half expected the trail to have disappeared in the intervening years, with the tough access. Being the end of the year, I've wanted to get a few more trips in and so I figured I'd do this as a day trip and scout out the potential for a longer trip.
The Keen Creek Road has definitely seen much improvement, though it will continue to be prone to mudslides. There's new bridges though, and easy access to the Ben Hur Rd. Turns out the work on the Ben Hur Road was only for the first 100m, then continued up...
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