Ascent of Mount Thompson on 2010-08-21

Climber: Edward Earl

Others in Party:John Stolk
Date:Saturday, August 21, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Mount Thompson
    Location:Canada-British Columbia
    Elevation:2175 m / 7139 ft

Ascent Trip Report

I climbed Mt Thompson soon after climbing Kintla Peak with John Stolk and several others. John then decided to join me for some additional prominent peaks in Canada and suggested Mt Thompson, a near drive-up P4K near Creston BC, which is close to the ID border. I was happy for the opportunity to bag an extra prominent peak with a panoramic view from the lookout on a subsidiary summit.

From Bonners Ferry ID, we headed N on US-95 for 13 miles, then turned NW on ID-1 for 11 more miles to the international border crossing at Porthill, which is open from 7 AM to 11PM daily. If the crossing is closed, it is necessary to remain on US-95 and detour to Eastport, which is open 24/7. After the crossing, the highway becomes BC-21 and we headed N 6 miles to turn R (E) on Erickson Rd. 0.6 miles after the turn, pass the large Columbia Brewery on the L (N) side of the road. After a couple of miles, Erickson Rd gradually turns L and heads N and, 2.7 miles from BC-21, ends at BC-3. We turned R (E) on BC-3, which soon turned N. 1.1 miles from Erickson Rd, just after an equipment rental outlet, we turned sharp R on Canyon-Lister Rd. A quarter mile after the turn, we crossed over the Goat River and immediately passed under a RR bridge. 0.6 mile from BC-3, we turned L on Whimster Rd, which is paved. After about half a mile, the paved road turns R and dead ends. We avoided this turn and continued straight ahead onto Mt Thompson Forest Service Rd, which is well-graded gravel. Call the point where you leave the pavement mile 0.0.

At mile 0.2 is a large corrugated metal shack in a large clear cut on the R. After this point, Mt Thompson Rd becomes rough with large rocks, and a vehicle without high clearance may have trouble. At 0.5 mile we stayed straight where a side road went L. At mile 1.1, the main road switches back sharply to the L where a side road goes straight ahead. We stayed on the main road and immediately thereafter passed a 2km marker. There are several more kilometer markers farther up the road, which are probably the distance from the beginning of Mt Thompson Rd. At mile 1.4 the road switches back sharply to the R in a quarry-like cut. At mile 2.0 is a major L switchback. At mile 2.4 the road makes another sharp R switchback at a quarry-like cut. At mile 3.3 is a large clear wide spot where a logging side road goes L; we stayed straight. At 6.5 miles we reached the radio tower complex. Continuing straight through the complex, we reached the lookout parking lot a tenth of a mile later. Open views all around provided a view of the main summit of Mt Thompson, which GPS showed to be 1.77 miles S. A large obelisk on the mostly open summit of Mt Thompson was visible at this distance.

A sign past the lookout on the R side identifies the Rim Trail, which traverses the crest of the ridge to Mt Thompson. The hike is simple and straightforward. The trail dropped 300 feet at the beginning, then went up and down over a few bumps on the ridge (all which have less than 100' prominence) before climbing to the top of Mt Thompson itself. The trail fades amidst easy talus a few hundred feet (horizontally) before the summit.

The green summit obelisk is 20-25' high and clearly has a functional purpose; it has a couple of hatches and a solar panel sits nearby.

If approaching Creston from either the E or W on BC-3, there is no need to use Erickson Rd; you can follow it all the way to the Canyon-Lister turnoff.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:464 m / 1528 ft
    Elevation Loss:464 m / 1528 ft
    Distance:6.4 km / 4 mi
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:160 m / 528 ft
    Extra Loss:121 m / 400 ft
    Distance:3.2 km / 2 mi
    Route:Rim Trail
    Trailhead:Mt Thompson LO  2136 m / 7011 ft
    Time Up:45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:343 m / 1128 ft
    Extra Gain:304 m / 1000 ft
    Distance:3.2 km / 2 mi
    Route:Rim Trail
    Trailhead:Mt Thompson LO  2136 m / 7011 ft
    Time Down:1 Hours 

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