Bill Nye, Mount GR:008126 (mislabeled on the map)

elevation: 2,648 m. height gain: 600 m.
area: Wasa,BC map 82 G/13
2012-Jul-29


From highway 93/95, find Wasa Lake Park Drive from either the northern or southern entrances of Wasa. Head east onto Lazy Lake Road and follow for 10.2 kilometers to the junction with Lewis Creek Road (signed). Turn right on Lewis Creek FSR. The 2-wheel drive gravel road is rough and switchbacks before heading south, stay on the main road. At a Y-junction, 012168, go right and cross the bridge towards the steep east facing mountainside; some people unload their ATV near the bridge. We continued a little further and parked at the second switchback, 008167. Apart from being narrow with no room for pulling over, the road is in good shape. Once near the mine site, go left at another Y-junction, 004149; this ATV trail leads to a small pond and the upper basin at treeline. The north-west ridge of Mount Bill Nye is reached via steep east facing gullies. A trail along the ridge pleasantly leads to the summit.
kootenay valley

View of the Kootenay Valley from the Estella Mine Road.

estella mine site


Estella Mine Site (center) and Mount Bill Nye in the background.
Scramble: RT 4.0; 2.0 up (from the basin). This beautiful area is easily accessed by ATV. We had been talking about doing a camping trip here with our hounds for a few years, but we never got around building a dog trailer to hitch on the ATV. We knew we could ride with the three dogs on the quad from a previous short trip; hence, we started planning our excursion accordingly. The information we acquired suggested the road to the mine site is narrow with no places to cross another vehicle. On the internet, we saw people up there with smaller trucks (Jeeps) but we planned not to take any chances and parked our larger truck at the second switchback as recommended by Janice Strong the author of Mountain Footsteps Hiking Guide. Fab rode us up to the lovely pond we chose to camp by, dropped us off and rode back down to the truck to get all our gear. This worked out great and we were soon ready to enjoy this lovely basin on a hot summer day. I quickly prepared to ascend Bill Nye. Fab decided to stay behind with Daisy; she is slowly recovering from an autoimmune disease. She was happy to be frolicking in the pond, chasing little bugs and such. I thought of bringing Rupert along with Lincoln but realized it was probably better if he stayed behind as well; all he wants to do is fetch sticks anyway! Therefore, off I went with Lincoln, my hiking buddy for today. The gullies to the ridge are steep, we tried to stay to the side and tread on vegetation and rock strata. Once on the ridge, we took advantage of the last shade for a while. I gave Lincoln some treats and a good bowl of water. The ridge is nice and easy, we followed a trail all the way to the top. I kept Lincoln on leash, to prevent wandering and reduce wear on his paws. We quickly reached the cairn at the top. We walked a bit further along the ridge before returning to the cairn for a nice break. I created some shade and set up water and kibbles for my friend; he took a nappy while Fab and I conversed on the 2-way radios. I could hear every time Rupert barked down below. After a good pause enjoying the view over the Kootenay Valley, we left the top. We stopped by a snowpatch to cool off; ahhhhhhhh, the dog days of summer!
tailing pond

The mine site and a tailing pond.

pond

We set camp near a pond higher up.

ascent gully


Fab escorts me to the gully I've chosen to climb.


short but steep


The ascent gully.


my hiking buddy


Lincoln is my hiking buddy today.


smart dog


He waits for me in the shade.


looking down


Looking down the steep gully.


on the ridge


On the gentle summit ridge.


good trail


There's a good trail along the way, the cairn at the top is almost visible.


at the top


At the top, we continued just a little further.


the basin below


Estella Mine Basin and the ATV access road.


returning to the cairn


We return to the summit cairn.


summit break


Lincoln at the top with very little shade.


view south


Mount Fisher (center) and Lakit Mountain (right margin).


approach


Approach ridge and gullies.


cooling off


On descent, we take a detour towards some snow.


last glimpse


Last glimpse at the top.


good boy


Good Boy!


approach gullies


Ascent and descent gullies ahead.


descent


Down we go...


going to the snow


Fab, Daisy and Rupert are meeting us at the snow, notice the end of the ATV road (right corner).


perfect on a hot day


Dogs, summer and snow!


inscripted rocks


Inscripted rocks are piled at the end of the road.


camping


A light breeze is keeping the bugs away, lucky us!


daisy in the pond


Daisy stalks insects.


gullies from the pond


The gullies to the ridge from the pond.


ready to leave


Fab already did a trip to the truck with all our gear, now it's our turn.


visiting the mine site


Visiting the mine site.


lots of debris


Remnant of buildings and material strewn everywhere.


old rock chute


An old rock chute.


tailing pond


Lincoln swimming at the tailing pond.


fab and rupert


Fab and Rupert, the fetching machine.
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