Ascent of Saskatchewan High Point on 2011-05-21

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Saturday, May 21, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Saskatchewan High Point
    Elevation:1392 m / 4567 ft

Ascent Trip Report

From AB-41, about 43 miles N of the US border or 7 miles S of Elkwater, I turned E on Township Rd 74. { Township (or TWP) roads are numbered S to N at 1 per mile (though Canada now uses the metric system, they surveyed their land years before converting to metric. Use this system to track your progress toward the turnoff.} The turnoff is directly across from Thelma Rd, which heads W. Call this point mile 0.0. At 1.5 miles, the road turns 90° L; I stayed with this turn, passing up a side road to the R. At 2.0 miles, the road turns 90° R and becomes TWP Rd 74A. At 2.3 miles the road jogs briefly N to avoid a dropoff. At 6.0 miles I turned R on RGE Rd 20. At 6.5 miles I turned L on TWP Rd 74. At 10.5 miles I turned R on RGE Rd 12. At 11.5 miles I turned L on TWP Rd 73. At 12.5 miles the road jogged briefly S to avoid a rille. At 13.6 miles the road crosses the border into SK and turns due S. At 14.3 miles the road turns SSE. At 14.7 miles the road turns due E. At 15.3 miles the road topped out, where I parked.

The ground definitely rises to the S. I headed in that direction until I was confident I was on the highest ground, to the extent that it's discernible. Magellan GPS 315 said the spot was at 49.55098°N, 109.98723°W, 4527' elevation. This point lies about 250 feet (75m) S of spot elevation 4567 on the NRCAN topo map.

Adam Helman and Bob Packard placed the highest ground at a tuft of grass at 49.54875°N, 109.98522°W. I tracked my GPS to this point, which lies some 300 meters SE of the point I felt was the highest ground. There is indeed a large and distinctive tuft of grass there, but I don't believe the HP is there - there is most definitely a rise in the direction of what I believe is the highest ground. Furthermore, my truck (parked on the road) was invisible from the Helman-Packard HP, the sightline blocked by intervening higher ground, whereas my truck was clearly visible from the point I believe is the HP. Adam says his HP is 500 S of the road, but I found it to be more like 1300 feet S. I'd like to know how Adam got 500 feet.

As an added verification, I returned to the vicinity of my HP without following GPS - instead, I tried to do it visually, to see how consistently my eye would locate the highest ground. When I believed I had found it, I checked my GPS and it indicated that I was about 200 feet south of the point I had previously identified as the highest ground.
Summary Total Data
    Distance:0.3 km / 0.2 mi
    Route Conditions:
Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:5 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:5 Minutes

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