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Bachelor Pass and Pyrite Ridge Recon
Timestamp Free: 2019.10.22 - 17:16:40
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Selkirk Mountains / Big Bend Ranges
  (2 days)     Elevation Gain: 1400m
Participants: Cali S, Jesse D, Dean R, Regan J
Difficulty: 3: Hours of bushwhacking, mostly easy to medium, some heavy. Some minor exposure on ridges, some loose rock.
Two day summer trip to Bachelor Pass and the south end of Pyrite Ridge

Preamble/Context

Pyrite Ridge is a long high ridge in the Argentine Group of the Northern Selkirks. It provides great travel, but was actually the final piece to fall into place for a proposed regional traverse in 1948. The route was pioneered by Sterling Hendricks, in cooperation with a party that went the opposite direction afterwards that included Putnam and Kaufmann. Both parties coordinated for the air drops, Hendricks' party supplying themselves for a 30-day trip. They set up base camp for a number of side trips along the way, including new routes and first ascents in several areas around Sorcerer Mtn, Mt Sir Sandford, the Gothics, and the Adamants. The area from Sorcerer Pass to Moberly Pass was what was unknown to them beforehand, but ended up providing good travel and today Pyrite Ridge, while seldom sought out on-foot, is still considered one of the most scenic parts of the area and is very popular with CMH's heli-hiking operation from their Adamants Lodge. CMH tends to have a lockdown on all the most remote and wonderful places of the North Selkirks, making these very isolated areas a fair bit less wild. But on foot, it seems that almost no one is going into the area these days, probably due to the Bachelor Creek road having been in disrepair until last year. The Fairy Meadows Hut is still chock full in the winter from fly-ins, and the Great Cairn Hut near Sir Sandford must get some fly-in traffic as well, but the area doesn't seem to get much attention from more self-propelled groups in the summer.

The Selkirks North (2004) guidebook reports a flagged trail leading towards Pyrite Ridge from a high cutblock so the area certainly did get some visitation up until at least then, but that trail is obsolete now due to the road conditions. The...

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