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A Pleasant Ascent of Mount Shanks
Timestamp Free: 2021.01.26 - 23:00:00
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges
(1 days) Elevation Gain: 1800m
Participants: Phil Richards, Vern Dewit
Difficulty: 3: Easy to moderate scrambling via the south ridge. A fairly lengthy day trip.
A rather pleasant trip up Mount Shanks - as opposed to Rick's account from 1989.
Every time Phil Richards and I drive hwy 93 south to Radium through Kootenay National Park we have the same conversation. Usually twice - once on the way up and once on the way down. Finally after having the same conversation on our Mount Soderholm / Red Man Mountain trip a week previous it was time to change it up. It's hard not to notice Mount Shanks across the Simpson / Vermillion Rivers as you come through Hector Gap, delineating the Vermillion (north) and Mitchell (south) Ranges. There's not much doubt that peaks in the Vermillion Range such as White Tail, Verendrye and Foster are much more impressive than Shanks, but they're harder to see from the highway and aren't in your vision as long as Shanks is while driving. Plus Shanks and Hawk Ridge both look deceptively close and deceptively simple. It's only when you start looking at the details that you realize that maybe these objectives aren't quite as straightforward as you first thought. Firstly there's the lack of trip reports. I could only find one firsthand report from Rick Collier (who else?!) from 1989 with the appealing title of "An Unpleasant Ascent of Mount Shanks". Reading his report does not make the mountain any more appealing although it sounds like moderate scrambling at most. There's a YouTube video that comes up when you search but they were on their 2nd or 3rd unsuccessful traverse of the ridge and haven't made the summit yet. Rick references a two or three day trip by Peter Spear and R. Workum but that's about it. Rockies South only references the Peter Spear / R. Workum traverse as a route and 4th class at that! With all the lack of beta, Phil came up with the most logical route via the Simpson River Trail and south ridge already years ago and we put it on the backburner...
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