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The Hillbilly Traverse
Timestamp Free: 2018.07.16 - 23:50:43
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Purcell Mountains
(5 days) Elevation Gain: 5000m
Participants: Stefan Feldman, Mike Baker, Justin Vance
Ski Traverse from Skelly creek(30km from Kitchener), to Grey Creek
For a few years I have wanted to pioneer a ski traverse. I am grateful for those who have gone before and left a documented trail of way points, directions and photographs, but of all of the traverses I have done my most memorable was the one we did not finish, the trip that forced us through the unknown(to us at least)to bring us home. The year before we followed ski tracks along the Yoho traverse, and the year after we hopped huts across the Wapta. Great trips for sure, but for me they lacked a certain feeling of adventure and remoteness. Therefore, when Stefan(our forester) told me that we would have alpine road access up Skelly(southern Purcells) this spring my imagination flared! A quick look at Google Earth, seemed to show a feasible route all the way to Crawford Bay. After a few months of throwing ideas, and routes back and forth we came up with a plan, or a few plans which would hopefully see us to Grey creek(the Crawford Bay option was abandoned due to what looked like a heinous bush wack finish).
Stefan knew the family that owned the bottom portion of the road we wanted to descend so after work we drove our trucks up to grey creek, and then to a ramshackle farm. Knocking on a shack's door brought out the owner, and a stream of her mostly inebriated friends. Parking the truck after gaining permission we both swore we could hear the banjos playing! With starting this traverse in Kitchener(definitely banjo players there), and ending it here, we thought the Hillbilly Traverse would aptly name our adventure. Mike met us back in Creston, and from there we proceeded to the plowed end of Skelly Creek FSR.
The first day of our traverse dawned clear, and cold. Which was good, as getting any decent weather this spring was near impossible, and the variable...
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