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Author Topic: Mt Slade BC Trip  (Read 86 times)

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Offline YJGUY

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Mt Slade BC Trip
« on: October 13, 2021, 03:35:58 PM »
Jen and I did a bit of exploring on the BC side this summer. I had seen some photos online and figured out where they were taken so we set out to find the trails. I use the Gaia GPS app to find most things. You can use it on your phone, ipad or desktop and everything syncs up, really handy. It gives you access to Backroad Map books and a whole slew of other useful layers. It does cost around $40 a year but has been worth it so far. The only downside is you can't import .pdf files like Avenza. I also use Google Earth as it gives you a more 3D look at the terrain to see if you are on the right track to find something fun.

We originally set out to go to Mt Farnham, which is just West of Invermere but came across a different trail that goes to an old silver mine. We spent most of our day exploring that area and never quite made it to Mt Farnham as we just went for the day.

We went through Invermere to hook up to Horsethief Creek FSR but figured out later you can get to it faster if you just go straight through the traffic circle when you drive into Radium. Horsethief Creek FSR has nice views and we just happened across the road leading to the historic silver mine. There is also an active Silver mine on the way up but it is gated off. As you turn off the Horsethief Creek FSR you immediately gain altitude and are treated to a great view of the valley from a shelf road. You can drive 3/4 of the way up in any vehicle (there were vans up there) but the last quarter you get into some boulders and then the sketchy shelf road with some washouts. 
Near the top there is a plateau with a great view of a glacier to the south west. You end up sort of between Mt Slade and Mt Delphine. Fit people can hike over to the glacier, you can also scramble up to the historic mine shaft from the plateau. Gravity is not on my side so I just took photos. From the plateau you can keep heading up through some very sharp shale and then you'll hit some very loose and deep screed. I drove up as far as I could but it can get pretty dangerous with a pretty real risk of rolling down the valley. It is very steep and I had to reverse down for a bit until I found a spot safe enough to turn around. There were ATV and dirtbike tracks right over the top of the ridge so it is possible to get over and on top of the mountain ridge with the right vehicle. There was also another shelf road/trail off to one side but it looked too narrow for a Jeep. Jen was freaked out by the steep incline so we just headed back down.

In total you gain around 1000m (3400 ft) in altitude from the valley floor to the highest point we could drive up to. We made it just shy of 2700m (8860ft). The highest point I've been able to drive to so far this summer.

Also, about 2/3 the way up there is another road that branches off to the west (McDonald Creek FSR). There was a bridge that is no longer there to cross over to that road but you can just cross a shallow creek to get across. We didn't try that road but will the next time we are in the area.

There are a few more places to check out in the area. If you are into hiking there is a parking area where you can hike to the Lake of the Hanging Glacier.  It is closed now as there is a bridge they remove in the fall. If you aren't hiking I wouldn't bother going down this road as there really isn't anything to see other than right at the beginning of the road, there is a nice little waterfall just off the FSR, sort of a mini Athabasca falls. I'd check that out then turn around. 

At the end of the Horsethief Creek FSR there is Mt Farnham. We nearly made it there but it was getting late in the day and there was a sketchy bridge you had to cross. The structure of the bridge was in good shape but half the planks on top were missing from what I assume is runoff damage. We came across another couple who brough their own wood to fill in some spots so they could get their FJ Cruiser across. They were heading up to the mountain to camp for the night. Apparently there is a nice glacier you can get right up to at the trailhead. We will definitely be going back next summer to make it to Mt Farnham. There are a ton of glaciers in the area you can see. The one at Jumbo Mountain is absolutely huge.

I'd also like to go to Cooper Creek / Kaslo next summer (South of Revelstoke). I've seen some videos on YouTube and there are some trails that can take to get to the back side of Lake of the Hanging Glacier and some other cool spots. I'd like to take a few days to camp and explore that area. I don't think I'll ever run out of trails to check out. 

Here are some pictures from the trip. I've also linked google maps to show the area but it doesn't show a lot of the little offshoot roads. You'll need backroads mapbooks or something similar. I've also linked the .gpx file if you want to add it to your gps. 

Photos from the day -
This is the silver mine turnoff -
.gpx link -
Lake of the Hanging Glacier info -
2020 JLU Rubicon - 2" Mopar Lift, 37" Nitto Trail Grapplers, Smittybilt front bumper, Smittybilt 10k winch, RokBlokz mud flaps, Misch 4x4 seat bracket

Offline Vinman

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Re: Mt Slade BC Trip
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2021, 04:55:46 PM »
Nice write-up, thanks for sharing your experience.
I’ve been up Horse Thief road several times but not since at least 2006. Your description of the mine sounds like the one I visited last trip up there.
Would definitely like to go back some day.
/l ,[____],
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Offline YJGUY

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Re: Mt Slade BC Trip
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2021, 05:52:43 PM »
Thanks! I'll do up a less wordy one tomorrow for another trip.
2020 JLU Rubicon - 2" Mopar Lift, 37" Nitto Trail Grapplers, Smittybilt front bumper, Smittybilt 10k winch, RokBlokz mud flaps, Misch 4x4 seat bracket

Offline hps4evr

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Re: Mt Slade BC Trip
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2021, 06:04:48 PM »
Sounds like an awesome trip!
YJ=Y’all Jealous

Offline rws

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Re: Mt Slade BC Trip
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2021, 07:26:55 PM »
Very interesting read!  Lots to see and do :).