Crater Mountain


elevation: 2,293 m.
height gain: 1,580 m.
area: Keremeos,BC
map 92 H/1
2021-Apr-18


From Keremeos, drive west on Crowsnest highway for a short distance and turn left towards Cathedral Provincial Park. Cross the red-covered bridge and continue onto Ashnola River Road AKA Ewart Creek Road. I passed Crater Mountain's first access road aiming for Crater Creek service road on the south-eastern side of the mountain, 169477. This 11-kilometer road leads to the summit. If the road is snowbound higher up, it is possible to use the eastern south ridge; I left the road around 133491 and reached the ridge easily. A bike could be an asset.


map

There are two accesses, I took the one that climbs the south-east aspect.
Hike: RT 9.0; 5.0 up. After putting my skis away, I turned my attention to a warm, dry area for a long hike. I figured the south-facing slopes of Crater Mountain would be bone-dry by now and I was right. I spent the night in Keremeos. The following morning, I located the start of Crater Creek service road and started hiking. It was nice to travel light on this warm spring day. When I caught sight of the objective, it looked further than expected; I wish I would have brought my bike. Higher up, the road enters the forest as it climbs towards a major drainage; that's where I encountered isothermal snow. I tried to continue following the road but I postholed even with snowshoes so I decided to beeline for dry ground on the nearby south ridge. The ascent on the ridge is pleasant and straightforward; I avoided snow patches as I aimed for the saddle at the eastern end of the summit block. From there, it's a short distance to the top. I stayed on the summit for a while to enjoy the view and warm weather. The mountains of Cathedral Provincial park steel the show and numerous other peaks are also visible. My return was long and uneventful; plod, plod, plod comes to mind. Nonetheless, this is a good objective to kick off the hiking season!





start of the service road

The start of the service road with Ashnola River Road on the left.

the road is rough in places

The road is rough in places.

summit comes into view


The summit comes into view in the far distance.


old cabin


An old cabin.


very long hike


This very long hike is uneventful.


wolf track


With snow on the road, I can see that wolves travel this area.


aiming for the west-facing slopes


Leaving the road because of isothermal snow and aiming for the west-facing slopes of Crater's eastern south ridge.


some snow patches


Remaining snow patches on the ridge.


finally getting close


Finally getting close.


summit block ahead


I'm heading to the east side of the summit block.


avoiding soft snow


Avoiding very soft snow along the way.


last stretch


Last stretch on the summit block.


summit cairn


I can see the summit cairn.


view west


View west towards Manning Park.


looking north-east


Looking north-east, the town of Keremeos is nestled in this valley.


cathedral provincial park


South-western view towards Cathedral Provincial Park.


heading back


Heading back.


big white


Big White is visible in the far distance.


snowy mountain


Snowy Mountain Protected Area.


backtracking


Backtracking on the south ridge.


a bit of deadfall


Negotiating a bit of deadfall before reaching the road.


back on the road


Back on the road.


plod plod plod


Plod, plod, plod!
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