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Bull River Headwaters area

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  • Bull River Headwaters area

    Over the last two falls, parties from Kimberley/Cranbrook have been active in this area. The east face of Mt. Folk offers excellent options in a remote, alpine setting with climbs starting at over 8,000'. A lower wall on a NE extension of Mt Harrison offers shorter, avi-free options. The key is to catch the usually narrow fall window of opportunity between form up and the point where too much snow has fallen to access by 4 wheel drive. Approach from White River system, cross to Bull and head up valley towards Harrison. (75kms of logging roads from White Swan highway entrance.) None of us have heard of activity back here and saw no evidence, but may stand to be corrected in terms of FAs.

    Oct. 28, 2007 unnamed MK & CF alpine route to summit of Folk up gully system (11U 628036 5550531), II WI3, M3ish, snow to ridge, then summit, 3,300' from parking.

    Nov. 16, 2008 unnamed AM & CF lower wall WI4, 2 pitches, 75m

    Nov. 23, 2008 unnamed DC, RT & CF several gullies left of first climb (rotten approach pillar was avoided to left) WI4+ 3 pitches ca. 160m

    Nov. 29, 2008 Third Time Lucky AM, RT & CF one gully left of first climb. This is the real center piece back there. WI 5 about 5 pitches, with some snow walking (WI 4, 5, 5, 2+, 4) 340m

    Folk climbs have 500m vertical approaches, starting up an avi path right from the back of the valley parking.

    Pictures available, but I don't have a web page...

  • #2
    congrats Chris! Third Time Lucky looks spectacular! Doc

    PS Hope to see you back in Canmore later in the month


    • #3
      Got the image thing sorted out. Hope this works.


      • #4
        Is it possible to navigate to the routes with the backroads book? ddo you know if this is still snow free?

        cheers will


        • #5
          Yes, the Backroads book is good for this. Turn onto the White Swan road (a few kms south of Canal Flats) as per the Lussier Hot Springs. You want to continue east back to East White road and take it over a subtle pass into the Bull drainage. The final valley is up towards Mt. Harrison (west) on the first major right after getting into the Bull area.

          It is definitely not snow free, but MIGHT still be navigable with a 4X4. There are a few off camber minor troughs you need to get by. Use inertia more than gunning it for these. There has been some new snow in Kimberley and personally I wouldn't go without chains as back-up. If you have a sled, you could go as far as you can with a truck and then switch modes. The final valley is about 8kms long.

          The Bull River road was brutal for pot holes and the described route is highly recommended over it.

          Good luck.



          • #6
            Good on you guys for getting up there and getting them done. A friend and I spotted the routes on Folk on a very cold labour day in I believe, 1984. Frank (Colona) and a partner climbed one of the lines to the NE of Harrison in 85 (I recycled his conduits the following weekend). I also climbed a very straightforward gully low in the valley after being stopped on approach by thigh deep snow. The problem was finding the balance of cold and a lack of snow on the 112k drive up the Bull. And of course we were pretty young and those climbs looked HUGE.

            Frank moved to Vancouver Island and I wound up on the coast. But I often thought of those routes.