Ascent of Saskatchewan High Point on 2016-08-14

Climber: Greg Slayden

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, August 14, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Car
Peak:Saskatchewan High Point
    Elevation:4567 ft / 1392 m

Ascent Trip Report

If one is coming from Havre, MT or points southeast in the USA, these directions might be helpful:

From Havre, head north on Route 232 and then 233. Cross the border at the lonely Willow Creek customs post, which is only open from 9 AM to 5 PM. (You will likely be the only car there--this is not the Peace Arch!) Head north on Route 21 for 18.2 miles, then turn right on Route 13/21, now a good gravel road, for 9 miles as it heads east then north. Where Route 13/21 heads east again, turn north on gravel Route 615. Follow this north for 15.8 miles.

The key turn is a left off of Route 615, just before a house on the right with a bright red roof. Follow this road for exactly one mile. Then turn right and this road will lead you, after 11.1 miles of twists and turns, to the high point area. Just stay on the obvious main track and you should be OK. None of the roads after Route 615 have any signs as they travel past a few farmsteads. The road is steep and a bit rough climbing up to the plateau, but most passenger cars would likely have no issues. This is vast, isolated, "big sky" country.

A GPS is helpful so you know where to stop and park, about 400 feet north of the high point. Hike south into the uncultivated pasture. The terrain is tremendously flat, so the best plan is to walk around in the field a bit and carefully observe the slopes. It would take a professional surveyor to determine the exact right spot, and it might change depending on recent erosion from rains, cattle foraging, or vegetation growth/soil building. I agree with Edward Earl's trip report that the high point is very close to the point shown at the location listed on this site, and not to the southeast as Adam Helman claimed.

Coming from the west, the directions from Edward's trip report on this site are excellent. The downloadable GPS track here shows both the southeast road approach from Route 615, and the west approach from Route 41. And, of course, some random wanderings in the field in the vicinity of the highest ground.

On the NRCAN (MyTopo) map the spot elevation of 4567' is surrounded by a 4550' contour (25' interval) that passes just south of the road. This does not compute, since there is definitely not a 17' rise from the road to the HP. And this 4550' contour extends quite a way to the south, which made we wonder if there was not a higher spot down there. It is not possible to tell visually or with a sight level.

The ESRI/CalTopo map shows the 4567' spot elevation (1392m) inside a single tiny 1390m contour (10m interval). This makes more sense, a rise of 2 meters from the road is more plausible (but still seems a bit excessive). No other 1390 contours are shown, so this map definitely makes it seem as if the spot elevation is the Saskatchewan high point.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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