30-Jun-2002 -- The capture of this confluence point wasn’t quite as easy as anticipated. We initially attempted to land this confluence point on June 29, 2002 as we got within 2 ½ kms however darkness was quickly approaching so we decided to abandon our mission for the next day.
It started like this. We made our way along highway 3 in Southern British Columbia making our way south from Salmo. On the way to our turn point, we spotted a beautiful baby black bear grazing on dandelions. We then made our way to the pass at Ripple Mountain where we had planned to make our way into the confluence point. As soon as we began our approach down this back country or "logging road" we were blocked by a huge patch of snow. This snow is apparently very late for this time of year, after all it was June 29, 2002. Fortunately for us, a local resident of Salmo drove into this road behind us and informed us that if we take the alternate route that we had shown on our map, it would take us to where we wanted to go and would do so without obstruction. We made our way to this alternate access route at a point where Summit Creek runs along highway 3. We drove along following the winding gravel road and closely following our vague maps.
After a few wrong turns (honest mistakes) we found a deactivated logging road that would bring us to the closest access point. The road was extremely rough so we thought we would examine this road by foot and by this time it was 7:30 p.m. and sunset was a little more than an hour away. We got to within 2 ½ kms of the confluence point where we thought it could be accessed but unfortunately not until the next day. We decided to camp in Creston at a much lower elevation to keep warm.
On the morning of June 30th, we made the two hour drive to the point that we left off at the evening before. We continued to drive until we were met by a wash out of our road by a raging mountain stream. At this point we were only 1 ½ kms away from the confluence point. We parked the cars and hiked due south to the 49th parallel where there is a boundary cut at the International border between Canada and the United States. From here, it was approximately a kilometre to our goal. Here we hiked along the open cut until we reached a high point where we looked down toward our confluence point which appeared to be in the middle of a lake. On further approach we were fortunate to find that the confluence point was to lie just North of this Alpine lake. However, we realized that we would have to climb up the side of a cliff. We must have climbed up 50-60 meters until we found it.
There was one minor problem ... we forgot the camera (Yikes!). The groans that followed must have been heard back in Vancouver.
John was elected the goat to retrieve the camera and so he went. Poor bugger because he wasn’t even in charge of the camera. About 90 minutes (with the others shivering from the cool rainy weather) later he returned and it was realized that the confluence point had drifted to a more precarious position on the outcrop. Success was had, however the 5th decimal place of the latitude could not be obtained without the ability to fly.