Mount GASS Hike

 
HIKEShttp://www.mountainflora.ca/Site/Mountainflora_Hikes.htmlhttp://www.mountainflora.ca/Site/Mountainflora_Hikesshapeimage_2_link_0
 

FACTS

Country: Canada

Location: Rocky Mountains -BC/Alberta border

Round trip: 10 km

Start elevation: 2050 m

Final elevation: 2600m- 2870m (peak)

Map: NTS 1:50,000

map 82J/2

Contributor: Hans Roemer





getting there

From Crowsnest Highway (# 3) turn north on Hwy 43 to reach Elkford, BC. From the bridge across the Elk River follow the road towards Fording for 14 km where you leave the pavement. Set your odometer to 0 where you cross the railroad tracks on your right and proceed straight up an old logging/mining road following the valley of Todhunter Creek.



featured plant

Castilleja occidentalis





partial plant list

Abies lasiocarpa

Achillea millefolium

Agoseris aurantiaca

Allium schoenoprasum

Androsace septentrionalis

Anemone drummondii

Anemone multifida

Anemone parviflora

Antennaria alpina

Antennaria anaphaloides

Antennaria racemosa

Antennaria umbrinella

Aquilegia flavescens

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Arnica angustifolia

Arnica cordifolia

Arnica ovata

Arnica rydbergii

Artemisia michauxiana

Aster alpinus ssp.vierhapperi

Astragalus alpinus

Astragalus australis

Astragalus bourgovii

Astragalus vexilliflexus var. vexilliflexus

Bistorta vivipara

Boechera lemmonii

Boechera lyallii

Bromus carinatus

Bromus pumpellianus

Campanula rotundifolia

Carex atrosquama

Carex concinnoides

Carex haydeniana

Carex incurviformis var. incurviformis

Carex nardina

Carex nigricans

Carex rossii

Carex rupestris

Carex scirpoidea

Castilleja occidentalis

Cerastium arvense

Cerastium beeringianum

Cirsium hookerianum

Claytonia megarhiza

Cystopteris fragilis

Dasiphora fruticosa

Delphinium sutherlandii

Descurainia incisa

Dodecatheon conjugens

Draba borealis

Draba incerta

Draba nivalis

Draba oligosperma

Dryas hookeriana

Drymocallis pseudorupestris

Elymus violaceus

Epilobium anagallidifolium

Epilobium angustifolium

Epilobium lactiflorum

Eremogone capillaris

Erigeron aureus

Erigeron compositus

Erigeron glacialis

Erigeron humilis

Erigeron ochroleucus

Erigeron speciosus

Eriogonum umbellatum var. majus

Erysimum inconspicuum

Erythronium grandiflorum

Eurybia merita

Festuca brachyphylla

Festuca campestris

Festuca idahoensis

Fragaria virginiana

Galium boreale

Gentiana prostrata

Geranium viscosissimum

Geum macrophyllum

Hackelia micrantha

Hedysarum sulphurescens

Heracleum maximum

Juniperus communis

Kobresia myosuroides

Leymus innovatus

Lithophragma glabrum

Lomatium triternatum

Lonicera utahensis

Luzula spicata

Melica spectabilis

Micranthes lyallii

Micranthes occidentalis

Minuartia austromontana

Minuartia biflora

Minuartia obtusiloba

Minuartia rubella

Myosotis alpestris ssp.asiatica

Oxyria digyna

Oxytropis campestris var. cusickii

Oxytropis deflexa

Oxytropis podocarpa

Packera contermina

Packera pauciflora

Pedicularis bracteosa

Penstemon albertinus

Penstemon confertus

Penstemon ellipticus

Phacelia sericea

Phleum alpinum

Picea engelmannii

Pinus albicaulis

Pinus contorta

Poa abbreviata ssp. pattersonii

Poa alpina

Poa cusickii

Poa glauca

Poa glauca ssp. rupicola

Polemonium pulcherrimum

Potentilla drummondii

Potentilla glaucophylla var. glaucophylla

Potentilla glaucophylla var. perdissecta

Potentilla ovina

Potentilla subgorodkovii

Pseudoroegneria spicata

Pulsatilla patens

Ranunculus eschscholtzii

Rhodiola integrifolia

Ribes lacustre

Salix arctica

Salix barrattiana

Salix brachycarpa

Salix glauca

Salix nivalis

Saussurea nuda

Saxifraga adscendens

Saxifraga bronchialis ssp. austromontana

Saxifraga cernua

Saxifraga cespitosa

Saxifraga oppositifolia

Sedum lanceolatum

Selaginella scopulorum

Senecio fremontii

Senecio lugens

Senecio triangularis

Sibbaldia procumbens

Silene acaulis

Silene parryi

Silene uralensis

Smelowskia americana

Solidago multiradiata

Stellaria monantha

Symphyotrichum foliaceum

Taraxacum ceratophorum

Thalictrum occidentale

Townsendia parryi

Trisetum spicatum

Trollius albiflorus

Vaccinium cf. myrtillus

Vaccinium scoparium

Valeriana sitchensis

Veronica wormskjoldii

Zygadenus elegans

 
 


The access road is open to the public between June 16 and August 31 and has numerous cross-ditches. To negotiate the latter requires a high-clearance vehicle with a short rear overhang. At km 7.3 you reach a flat area with plenty of room for pulling off the narrow track and turning. This is not the end of the road, but it is your ‘trail head’ at just above 2,000 m elevation.


Your objective is the south-facing bowl of Mt. Gass, to the north of where you parked. Initially, you can use some old bulldozer tracks a short distance through the edge of a young pine plantation, until entering the relatively narrow belt of untouched subalpine forest near its lowest point and following a small drainage up to the base of the bowl’s meadows at about 2,100 m elevation.

From here on, you have about 500 vertical meters of varied alpine meadows, scree slopes and other calcareous habitats to explore on relatively easy terrain. An exceptional diversity of subalpine and alpine species is encountered here. To reach either the peak or gain access to the high shoulder on your left takes some scrambling and is not recommended to the inexperienced. (The summit of Mt. Gass can also be reached from the Alberta side and from a western branch of the described road. The author has not explored these alternatives.)


Grizzly bears are common in this area and special caution is required, especially in places where visibility is restricted and where lush vegetation abounds. Watch for fresh diggings where bears went for ground squirrels or glacier lily bulbs.