Introduction To Canadian Ultra Summits
- by John Stolk
This is an introduction to my efforts for creating a resource for Ultra summits
in Canada that might be climbable by mere mortals such as you and me and many
of the folks chasing the list of 57 “south of the border”.
British Columbia and Alberta contain some of the most beautiful mountain scenery
I have encountered and some of the climbs I have done there offer a sense of
wilderness that is increasingly rare or absent in the lower 48.
Among the resources available on the internet, Robin Tivy’s
website at Bivouac.com deserves prominent mention.
Although he charges a fee to access the more useful areas of his site,
it contains a wealth of information and is well worth the price of admission
for anyone serious about doing some climbing north of the border or even just
for some great armchair mountaineering…..
Another useful resource is the Backroad Mapbook series produced by
Mussio Ventures Ltd. Their website
is www.backroadmapbooks.com. They are the rough Canadian equivalent to the
DeLorme Gazetteer series that many of us rely on. In my descriptions I will try
and reference the appropriate mapbook and page number. I assume the mapbooks
can be purchased through the website although I have purchased my copies at book
retailers in British Columbia.
In addition to the beautiful paper topographic maps produced by the Canadian government,
detailed Canadian topographic maps on CD can be purchased from Fugawi maps.
I don’t have their contact information at hand but I know that entire sets of maps
of large regions can be obtained at a moderate cost, much as the USGS maps for
individual states can be purchased on CD here.
It is my hope to generate some interest in the Canadian Ultras. Obviously many,
if not most are major undertakings requiring skills and a time commitment beyond
most peak-baggers. Fortunately a few are quite approachable and with some determination
and longer term effort I suspect it might be possible to visit the summits
of at least a couple of dozen.
In that light I will try and provide basic information on some of the most
likely candidates. I will begin with those peaks I have climbed or attempted
and have first-hand knowledge of. Hopefully I can eventually solicit input
from Grant Myers as well, since he is the has visited several summits that I have not.
I’ll try and provide enough information to give folks an idea of the relative difficulty
and time required. It won’t always be a summitpost.org style blow-by-blow description
of mileages, waypoints and the like; rather my intent is to allow an interested
party a good idea of what they can expect. Exact mileages etc... on approaches
and GPS waypoints are not my forte. Perhaps in the future someone else can add
this information. That said I’ll do my best to provide a basic description
of the approach and route I have taken.