An Account of the Hike of 

The First Chapman Camp, B.C. Troop

From East to West Kootenay


By Scoutmaster Alf. Watson




The Boy Scout movement was first introduced into the Kimberley District of British Columbia when the First Chapman Camp Troop was organized, 1926, under the following executive:

President  -  Mr. C.T. Oughtred 
Vice-Pres  -  Mr. H.C. Stone 
Secretary  -  Mr. A. Southwell 
Scoutmaster  -  Mr. Alf. Watson 
Asst. S. M  -  Mr. Geo. Noble 


The population of the Camp is small, but every boy of scout age became a member.  

The Troop had a most successful season during the winter, and in the spring put on a display and concert from the proceeds of which, and also from monies earned by various scout activities, and through their service department, they were able largely to finance their summer hike, also paying for a full-dress uniform, and an outdoor service and gym suit.  

There follows an account of this hike, which had been the talk of the Scouts and their leaders for many months.  

The itinerary of the trip was as follows:.. Chapman Camp, B.C. to Meecham’s above St. Mary’s Lake; up St. Mary’s River; across the West Fork of this stream; up and through Rose’s Pass; down Crawford Creek to Kootenay Lake; Crawford Bay; Kootenay Bay; boat to Kaslo, B.C.; train to New Denver on Slocan Lake; thence back to Kootenay Lake via the Kokanee Glacier Park, Molly Gibson, Kokanee Creek to Kitte’s Landing, and back home by boat and train.  

On Friday afternoon, July 15th, 1927, the advance party, consisting of Mr. W.J. Burns-Miller and Patrol Leader Benson left Chapman Camp, picked up the pack horses at Marysville, and traveling light made Meecham’s Ranch, some sixteen miles up on St. Mary’s River in the early evening.  

Next morning, the main body made up of the following boys - Patrol Leader Murdo Morrison, Seconds Murray McKenzie and John Watson, Scouts Jimmy Pearson, Bill Young, Art Andrews, Ernest Stone, and Wilfred Stone, accompanied by their leaders Scoutmaster Alf. Watson, and Assistant Scoutmaster, George Noble were ready for the great adventure bright and early. Our Airedale mascot "Rastus" knew there was something special in the wind and made sure that he was not left out of it.  

Kit inspection of a couple days before revealed the fact that all the boys were ready so far as equipment was concerned. Each pack comprised - rubber ground sheet, a double blanket, full dress uniform, extra underwear, shirt, two pairs sox, three handkerchiefs, two towels, running shoes, toilet articles, note book and small letter pad, bathing suit, besides a full suit of clothes to travel in, with heavy woolen stockings and strong boots with hob nails.  

The Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company’s truck, kindly loaned for this occasion, and piloted by Messrs. Ed. Deschamps and Harold Bidder, conveyed the high-spirited party over the first part of the journey.  

Passing Marysville, four miles out, George Stuart, Maxie Bidder and Owen Phillips, who are all probationary Scouts, were lustily welcomed to the party.  

The ride to Meecham’s past St. Mary’s Lake was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The human-like whistling of the marmots in the rock slides here created an air of mystery among the boys, till the cause was explained to them. Presently one of the little chaps themselves came out to say ‘hello" at close quarters.  

Here we found the advance party in high spirits, with the horses all ready to be packed with the supplies we had brought on by truck. One of the pack horses was a mother, and her pretty little grey colt of a few months tagged along behind her. There was also an outlaw horse who made it his business to accompany the train for the first few days. Here also, we met Mr. George Reece of the Forestry Department, who was to accompany us to the West Kootenay Boundary at the Divide. Some months before, The matter of a guide had been taken up with this Department, and a man had been promised to accompany the Party. As the date drew near, it was discovered that there was not a man on the Department’s payroll at this point who knew the trail over the summit. However, Mr. Reece was assigned to accompany us, and although he admittedly did not know the way up to the Pass and through same to West Kootenay, he was of great assistance to us, and we wish thus to acknowledge our indebtedness to him, and to his Department for the help afforded. Mr. Reece started out ahead, the horses were packed as quickly as possible, and the trek began in earnest.  

On this, their first day out, the boys traveled light, carrying only their personal belongings; their blankets and ground sheets were packed on a spare horse. It was a good twelve miles to Bob Huggart’s cabin, but the party made this point in first class shape, without even a stop for lunch. As the going was easy enough, we kept pretty well on the move, travelling for fifty minutes, then resting for ten.  

Camp was made on the banks of the East Fork at Bob Huggart’s cabin, and the party was soon doing full justice to their first open-air supper. The water in the river was icy cold, but most of the Troop enjoyed a short bathe, and all had a compulsory foot bath before retiring for their first night under the stars in the great open spaces. The weather, which for weeks previous to this day had been of the most erratic variety, now appeared to be entering into the spirit of our adventure, and the moon shone from a cloudless sky. The boys had been locating the direction of the "Irish Queen" mountain peak, through our prismatic compasses, and when the north star shone out, they found they were pretty close to their mark.  

We did not pitch the tent, but laid it over our ground sheets for a mattress, and soon the boys were sound asleep. Next morning, while as yet the sun had just touched the peak of the "Irish Queen" away to the north, the breakfast gong was ringing, and all fears of the leaders as to the health of the youngsters was set at rest at once. After a wash in the waters of the East Fork they surely did justice to their first breakfast.  

This day the boys loaded up with packs of full equipment, leaving the spare horse for spelling off the smaller members of the Troop who might be in need of a little rest.  

The trail. for the most part, lay through beautiful tall timbers, and here and there across the path of a snowslide - now covered with luxuriant grasses, and flowers in wondrous profusion. Each slide seemed to have been paid some special floral tribute. One would be covered with tiger lilies, as many as fourteen blooms being counted on one stem; another would be given over to forget-me-nots, and so on. From these open slide paths, we caught glimpses of the snow-patched peaks, beckoning us on to the Land of the Beyond.  

As on the previous day, no time was wasted on the trail, and no stop was made for lunch, principally on account of the loaded horses. another twelve miles and "Office Camp" was reached, and everybody happy. This log cabin was the rendezvous of the prospectors and miners who invaded East Kootenay over thirty years ago. Here the spruces and balsams of the higher altitudes began to mingle more freely with the cedars and hemlocks. The Camp is beautifully situated, surrounded by trees with a pretty vista of the mountains bordering Sawyer Pass into West Kootenay.  

Here the tent was pitched, and beds were made of balsam boughs. Before supper, the Troop paid a visit to the river, some quarter of a mile distant, where some of the boys caught a few fish, and all had a bathe; then home to eat - and soon after to bed. The "skeeters" started to celebrate, but they were smudged out of the tent, and the rest of the night passed in comfort. The third day was a joy killer for a while, but by night everything was lovely once more.  

This is how it all happened. The day dawned brightly and breakfast was over by seven o’clock. Packs were made up as speedily as possible, and we headed up into the hills again. Mr. Reece, our guide, was doing yeoman service leading the van, and cutting out the odd windfalls across the trail. We had heard so many stories of the trail up in these parts, and most of them different, and all by men who reckoned to know all about them, that we were a little uneasy as to whether the right trail would be readily picked out. Mr. Reece, however, had a plan made out by a certain man who said he had looked over the summit into West Kootenay, declaring that the trail went through all right as depicted on his drawing. We admit we had been warned of this ‘new trail, which was shown on this plan, and known as the "Hutchcroft Trail", but we had been warned off so many things, including the whole trip, that we did not take the stories too seriously, knowing full well that with plenty of time to spare and food to take care of the party for several days more than the trip should take, we were bound to get through if we kept on, even though we had to scout around a bit for the right trail. Truth to tell, it appeared to be a hidden hope of some of the party that such a contingency should arise - and it certainly did.  

We followed this new Hutchcroft trail for a few miles beyond the Office Camp, crossed half of the West Fork of St. Mary;s River on a beautiful new bridge which ended on an island in the middle, forded the other half, and kept going up, up and up.  

At three o’clock in the afternoon, in a boiling hot sun, we found ourselves pretty well up on a water-forsaken hillside, with a few miles of steep zig-zag trail behind us, and nothing but a trackless forest ahead. The trail had disappeared into thin air, apparently ashamed of itself, and truth to tell, nobody could blame it.  

It was very evident, after short reconnaissance, that further progress in this direction was absolutely impossible, so after a hasty lunch without even a drop of water, the horses which had been unloaded for a short rest were repacked, and the descent began. This was accomplished back to the aforementioned bridge across half of the West Fork. Although we were pretty certain that there was no other trail leading off the Hutchcroft trail which might strike the older one, we kept our eyes well peeled for such a cut-off. Here again I might say that I had been told on what should have been excellent authority that such a connection did exist. The horses were in such a hurry to get down what they evidently considered a poor apology for right of way, that no time was found for much examination at the same time keeping the party together. However, with camp made by the banks of the stream, the horses unloaded and feeding, and the boys doing likewise, a more thorough examination was made, but no other trail was found; another track had to be tried.  

Nobody worried, everyone was happy, and we knew we would soon find the proper way. The boys, by this time dressed in their bathing suits, were having a perfectly lovely time in the river on a raft, and, good scouts that they were, never once did they make a nuisance of themselves in any strange situation, but throughout the trip showed the utmost confidence in their leaders.  

To cut the story short, the trail and the Old Ford where it crosses were soon located by two of the party, who waded across the stream, which was fairly wide, three feet deep, and running strong, to find better travelling back to camp than they had had from it when on the search through swamp and alder brush. As they approached within signalling distance of the camp, they made their presence and also their success in finding the trail known, and they returned amidst wildest rejoicing. As the evening shadows fell camp was hastily struck, the party returned across the river, and retraced their steps of the morning for a couple of miles, then branched off towards the "Ford". By this time, it was almost dark, but the boys now knew what was required of them on arrival at a camping place, and while some rustled firewood, some fed the horses, and others made ready the couches for the night, darkness found us with everything O.K. and ready to cross the "Ford" in the morning.  

We were up at daybreak and were delighted to find that the water had fallen nine inches during the night, for the stream had been pretty high when forded by the scouting party the previous night. Breakfast was over by five o’clock, and the matter of crossing the wide St. Mary’s was taken in hand. The ford is a long diagonal crossing, the first seventy feet being through shoal water, then a deeper and stronger flowing stretch of forty feet to the further bank. While there was no danger, it was thought that by felling one of the largest available trees on the farther shore it would anchor on the bank above the water, and the top would anchor in the shoal water on the near side, thus bridging the worst part of the stream. Another tree could then be felled on to this one from the near side, and a bridge of sorts thus made for the boys.  

There were no trees on either side anything like big enough to bridge the whole stream. We have to admit that it was cold fording this stream, clad only in a suit of scanty B.V.D.’s at five o’clock, before the sun was up. Perhaps these undies needed a wash anyway, and they sure got it before we said goodbye to that river. We felled, to an inch, the tree we had singled out, but the current proved too strong, and took it off the bank inch by inch, and away down the stream where it lodged lengthwise about a hundred feet down, and right in the deepest part. It appeared that by pushing it off from there broadside into the current, it would lodge across the middle part of the stream across some big boulders there. Then we could fell another tree on to either end from the banks. While not really hopeful of meeting with entire success, we thought it worth a trial, so waded out into the stream toward the stranded log. The water got colder, and wetter as it crept up to our shoulders, and eventually A.S.M. Noble was carried off his feet, and had to swim for it, much to the amusement of the boys, who were interested spectators from the shore. I, too, floated away, but grounded again. Together we got the log into the current, and it stuck on the rocks as we had anticipated. The current however, proved too strong for the smaller trees which were available to fell on to this one, so the effort was abandoned.  

After all it had taken a gang of men with proper equipment several weeks to bridge half the stream two miles further up, so we did not feel so badly over our failure.  

With light packs, and two boys on a horse, the train led by A.S.M. Noble in full soaking wet B.V.D. uniform, made several successful crossings. It is to be regretted that no pictures were taken of this very interesting stage of our trip, as I was far too busily engaged otherwise.  

The crossing, at length safely negotiated by all, even the little colt having been taken across on a rope by his mother’s side, we changed from our rather bedraggled underclothes into our trail duds, and the whole party moved forward once more.  

The previous evening, when we had first found this trail, we had followed it for some distance, as far as time would allow, and found it open and well-defined as far as we went. Now we found the going very pleasant indeed in the tall timbers, but our joy was to be short lived. After a mile or two, the windfalls began to make their appearance across the trail, and we found as we ascended that these became more and more frequent in their recurrence. Several times, we had to make a new trail up or down the hillside to get around three foot logs across the path. Whilst thus engaged on free Government Work, Mr. Reece went on ahead, and finally came back with the news that in the next couple of miles there "umpteen" trees across the trail, and, to crown all, the bridge across Rose’s Creek, some two miles further up, was down. The trail crosses this creek at a little canyon, and is therefore quite unfordable there. Mr. Reece officially reported the trail impassable for horses, and said he must abandon the trip, return and report that he could not get through.  

For us there were only two alternatives which we all knew though were afraid to speak of at once. However, it did not take A.S.M. Noble long to break silence, and make the following sporty proposition, swallowing what must have been a bitter disappointment for the sake of the rest of the party. He said, "Alf, old boy, if you and W-J are game to take the boys on and over the top, I am game on taking the horse back, and take a chance on catching up with you again somewhere". Thanking him for this, I asked Mr. Miller what he thought of it, and he willingly agreed to help me to the limit in this task, and we put it up to the boys. I told them I knew and appreciated what good lads they had been all day, climbing away and helping to clear the trail, shouldering their packs like the good scouts they were, and now Mr. Noble had made us this scouty offer. Either we must also go back, and call the trip and ourselves failures, or else we must all shoulder a considerably greater pack (even though the way was long and getting steeper) and accomplish what we had set out to do - to find and go through the Rose’s Pass and so on through it to Kootenay Lake.  

Need I tell how glad the leaders were to hear the Troop with one voice cry "We’re going through, we’re going through". That settled everything at once.  

Reluctantly, we parted company, carrying food for three days, but hoping to be only two more on this part of the trail to Kootenay Lake, sending the balance back with the horses, and it was with many a pang that we bade au revoir to our gallant A.S.M. and Mr. Reece.  

It was now four o’clock, and all felt that we had quite a task ahead of us to get through the Pass after we got there, so that we could go to rest with contented minds, for were not our West Kootenay friends expecting us on the morrow? At the Ford, we had read that the summit was three miles up. That must be as the eagle flies, or the fancy, but in reality it seems to be much more as the duck waddles, or as that tired and heavily laden bunch of boys and men travelled. However, they never whimpered. Each took the extra load assigned without a murmur, and started off. Up, up, up we went; over and under many a windfall, through the home of the grizzlie bears of which evidence was to be seen aplenty; through patches of wild currents and the treacherous devils club; travelling for twenty minutes and resting for three. By seven o’clock we were at Johnson’s Cabin, and by every indication were not so far from the Pass, so we rested for forty-five minutes and fed on a hastily prepared meal of potatoes, onions and tea, then into harness once more. Climbing up towards the saddle many were the expressions of delight and wonderment when the boys saw for the first time what the hills looked like at close range. Then came our first victory, and we all broke into merry hurrahs as the much talked of and eagerly looked for ROSE’S PASS opened itself before us.  

HURRAH! HURRAH! HURRAH! Nothing mattered now, and the whole troop broke into song as the members bubbled over with enthusiasm and joy in their achievement.  

We knew the Pass was a mile long, and that we had to get through and find the proper way out on the other side and it was getting dark. The mosquitoes apparently held the Pass, and resented our intrusion, for they started attacking on all sides. Were we downhearted? NO. A brief pause to bid adieu to East Kootenay, and we struck into the Pass. We found the travelling very pleasant, soft and grassy underfoot, and nice and level, which was quite a welcome change after the steep and rugged zigzag trail. There were numerous little pools joined by miniature canals, but what really interested us most were the "blazes" on the trees, for these were our guides. Weight of packs was forgotten as all joined in finding the "next blaze". The light was failing fast, we arrived at the western side of the pass, found the last blaze on the level, and the first ones leading down into a new country.  

We were rewarded with a beautiful glimpse of this, the little "V" of Kootenay Lake being just visible in the distance over Kootenay Bay, where we were due on the morrow, and we saw the bold peaks of Humboldt and Crawford with dozens of other mountains thrown into bold relief by the last ruddy glow of the western sun.  

We could have camped in the Pass; grassy couches and water in plenty would have tempted us on other occasions, but the mosquitoes were still in force. Content with having passed victoriously through their midst, we felt it no disgrace to keep on going and leave them behind in charge. The descent began, and twilight deepened into night, but still we held on our course. The trail through rocks, rocks and nothing but rocks led steeply downward, the leader making the pace aided by a flashlight, through vegetation growing over our heads, and many a somersault was enacted into the bush by an unwilling performer with his pack. Through it all our spirits kept up, buoyed by the promise that we would camp at the first available spot that combined twenty-five square feet of more or less level ground with a trickle of water in the offing. We did not find this combination till 10:30 p.m. when we dropped in our tracks in the bracken and scrub alder. Fire was lighted, water got from the nearby creek, ground sheets and blankets spread; a hasty meal and - sleep, glorious sleep soon claimed us all, for we had had a heavy day. One little fellow was only eleven years old, and several were just in the next year. But they had all trained seriously for this trip for many months, and though tired were in first class shape.  

By 8:00 a.m., we were on the trail again, and soon passed the Humboldt cabins. We were all getting wonderfully excited, for was this not the day on which we were to meet our waiting friends at Rainville, whither they had promised to come with a car or two? Where was this Rainville anyway? We knew we should get there eventually but just how far was it? Would they of the West Kootenay be there waiting for us, and would we be there by 10:00 a.m. as we had hoped and planned? No one could answer. Time alone would tell. The only thing we could do was to take the advice of that celebrated British Statesman to "Wait and See", and in the meantime to keep plodding on. We found the trail levelling off somewhat as we again came to the heavy and beautiful timber, and travelling was fairly easy as we reeled off mile after mile.  

At last we came to a landmark - the Ford over Crawford Creek, which we had been told was two miles above Rainville. Alas, the hour was 10:00 a.m. We were late. Yes we must admit that, but in turn we would ask if we might not be forgiven that two miles of distance after five days of travelling such as here described? We thought so, at least, and went on, and of course, got to Rainville, or what had been that place in the dim and distant past. Now the buildings were down and almost buried in a jungle of underbrush. There had been a good road to this place, but we soon found out that instead of a waiting automobile, the road had fallen away in many places. Just how far then we might have to walk was problematical.  

We kept on for some distance, then Mr, Miller volunteered to travel on light and try and make connection with the transportation which we felt sure could not be far away. He ate a hurried lunch with us, then went on alone.  

We bathed in the cool waters of Crawford Creek, changed from our travel-stained and somewhat ragged garments into full dress, and felt like giants refreshed.  

Travelling by easy stages, having to take care of Mr. Miller’s pack as well as our own, it was not very long before we met our advance guard returning with Mr. Westbury of Crawford Bay, in the latter’s car. They had to go up the road we had just come down in order to get a place to turn around, but we gladly parked our packs by the wayside for them to pick up. Mr. Westbury had been up there before, looking for us, as we surmised from the new auto tracks on the road after we got past the washouts, and Mr. Miller had just missed him by thirty-five minutes. At the end of the good part of the road, where he had found it necessary to turn around, in the old camp located at that point, he met two old-timers, who had been over into East Kootenay and had just recrossed a day or two before, using Sawyer’s Pass. They told him it was no use looking for us that day, nor the next, but that in about three week’s time we would be beginning to show up. Consequently, he was really not expecting us after that, and did not wait long before he went home. He was more than a little surprised when Mr. Miller got on his track, and to hear that we were there, and practically on time. Coming up in the car to meet us, they had passed a little grizzlie bear on the trail, but we did not see anything of it. From time to time, we had passed many patches of huckleberries, but all in the early stages of maturity even lots of them in bloom in the upper reaches. Now we came to a nice lot of ripe ones alongside of the road. A few miles further down, the car passed us, fully laden with our baggage, and soon we came up with our friends again at Hout’s Ranch, and Mr. Fraser of Kootenay Bay was also there waiting for us with his truck. From here a few miles drive through pleasant paths brought us to Mr. Fraser’s home, midway between Crawford and Kootenay Bays.  

Two or three cherry trees were generously put at our disposal, and soon Mrs. Fraser called the Troop to a dainty and plentiful repast on the lawn. We roamed around admiring the pretty setting, and well kept appearance of the place, visited the lake on the grounds, and watched the shoals of bass in the waters. Mr. Fraser keeps some very fine pure bred Ayrshire cows, with high standing records for milk and butterfat.  

As boat time approached, we said goodbye to the farm, piled into the truck once more, and were safely landed at Kootenay Bay as the S.S. Kuskanook hove in sight away down the lake.  

Here we found our trek cart awaiting us. This we piled high with our baggage, and some newly acquired provisions, bade our hospitable friends farewell, and boarded the steamer. The Captain very kindly allowed the boys up in the Pilot House, where they were much interested in the ways and means of handling the ship.  

A very pleasant voyage ended at Kaslo, where we were delighted to meet Mr. Papworth, the City Clerk, who met us on behalf of the city to guide us to Vimy Park, where the pavilion had been very kindly put at our disposal.  

Rev. W.D. Scott, hearing that a Troop of Boy Scouts was coming in and being interested in this and kindred movements, also made it a point to meet the boat, and both he and I were agreeably surprised to see each other when the boat berthed, as we had been closely associated some years previously in New Denver, and neither knew the present whereabouts of the other.  

Mr. George Burkitt, also late of New Denver and Chapman Camp, was down to meet us and give us the glad hand.  

The hour was late, very late, and it did not take us long to trek through the streets to our quarters - and so to bed. We did not rise very early the next morning and this was to be a day of rest. Some of our kind friends were around shortly after breakfast to see that we were all right.  

As soon as we got straightened up we took a stroll around the City, visiting the Court House and Government buildings, where Mssrs. Papworth, Ronald Hewitt and A.W. Anderson came out to greet us, and posed in our snaps.  

The necessary ‘rest-after-meal’ period being over, we visited the beach, with its bathing facilities. We found the lake water very pleasant after the icy cold creeks in which we had bathed on the trek. Most of the afternoon was spent in the water.  

Mrs. Burkitt landed down from the ranch with a huge bag of cherries, which were received literally with open mouths.  

After supper, we made our beds on the sand by the lake shore, lit the Council Fire, and welcomed our fellow-campers to our song circle, around which we then all gathered, and spent the usual happy time, everyone having choice of a song. We were also joined here by some Kaslo Boys.  

The time for the arrival of the evening boat drew nigh, and the question on everybody’s tongue was "Will Mr. Noble be on board?" Time after time his good sportsmanship in going back with the horses, and so letting us carry on with the trip had been mentioned by one and all, and hopes expressed that he would soon now catch us up. The boat was very late, but a few of the boys had been allowed to remain up to meet the passengers, and although we really knew that it was almost impossible for him to have got back down the St. Mary’s in time to be on board, we were all, nevertheless, very disappointed to find our A.S.M. still missing. We found comfort in the hope that he would show up on the afternoon boat in New Denver the following day, and so we went to our sweet repose.  

This was of short duration, however, for we had to break camp and be at the station at 6:45 a.m. We were there, of course, but it was a pretty sleepy bunch of boys that boarded the train for New Denver, and most of the lads paid another visit to slumberland over the first few miles.  

As the train crawled up towards the Divide, they gradually came back to life to note the mining activities going on in the valley. The Metal Recoveries Ltd., operating in the bed of Kaslo Creek, cleaning up the tailings from the old Whitewater Mill; the Whitewater itself, with its new mill under construction; also beyond the summit, where we noted the waters from Fish Lake draining in one direction and those from Bear Lake running in the opposite one, to mingle again at South Slocan many miles away. We passed the Lucky Jim, (also building a new mill), the Rambler Cariboo Mill perched on the side of the hill and overhanging Seaton Creek; passed the Monitor Mine at Three Forks, and so on up to Sandon, with its myriad mines - the far famed Silversmith, Ruth Hope, Slocan King, Richmond Eureka, Sovereign Surprise, Reco, Wonderful, Last Chance, Noble Five, all known as high grade silver-lead-zinc producers.  

Here we were met by Miss Clarence, Mac and Florence Watson of Chapman Camp, who had come from New Denver by car to meet us, and soon we were heading down the 5 per cent railway grade again towards that wonderful little town itself, New Denver - known as the Lucerne of B.C. - nestling on the shores of Slocan Lake at the foot of Goat Mountain.  

  On the way down, the railway follows Carpenter Creek with its canyon, in which is situated the power plant supplying the district with light. soon we detrained at Denver Canyon Station, a short distance above town, and with our loaded trek cart set off for our next camping place.  

Now, Mr. Sanderson’s orchard adjoins the station, and as we were passing the gate, the owner came out to meet us, and informed us that he had a big tree of cherries that needed to be cleaned up, and asked our assistance. This was readily given, as may be imagined. Mr. Sanderson had a warm spot in his heart for boys, having been an instructor and gymnastic performer for years, and an old co-worker of mine with the scouts in New Denver in 1920. He invited the Troop to come back and visit him and his cherry trees, of which he had many beauties with their loads of fruit.  

Miss Clarence had told us that a lunch was waiting for us at the home of Mr. Angus McInnes, Government Agent, and grandfather of the Watson children mentioned in this article, so thither we wended our way, and were given a great welcome. We hastily prepared to dispense with some of the daintily prepared food which was all ready for us - cold ham and salads and trimmings galore. Mrs. Cameron from Nova Scotia, and Mrs. Colgrave from Edgewood on the Arrow Lakes, who were staying at the McInnes’ home and Miss Clarence evidently knew just what we like under the circumstances, and had prepared bountiful supplies, to which we did great justice. A meal like that was quite a change after the camp food mostly prepared in a hurry.  

So this was New Denver, the hub of the Silvery Slocan! Our visit was starting well, and everyone agreed that, so far, the trip had been one unqualified success.  

It had been my intention to take the Troop straight to my Ranch, a mile and a half north of New Denver, and make our headquarters there, but the good folks of the town were so generous in their hospitality, we came to the conclusion that we were going to be too busy being entertained, and would be able only to sleep at the ranch, and that would hardly be worthwhile. We had camped on Mr. McInnes’ lawn, and there we camped for five days and nights.  

Not having been able to get our pack train of horses through Rose’s Pass forced us to abandon the idea of returning through that route, as it would have been too hard on the boys to walk all that distance, and carry full equipment and food. We, therefore, faced the necessity of paying a fare of five dollars each from Kitte’s landing to Cranbrook, coming home by train after going through the Glacier instead of hiking. This contingency had been foreseen and prepared for. We had enough money to get home on by leaving New Denver after staying one day there. On the other hand - not having to walk back through the Pass gave us some five days time to spare and still be home on schedule. Five days for a party like that meant money for food, but Mr. McInnes again came to our rescue, and said, "You may stay here as long as you can and give the lads a good time; don’t worry about the expense". We took him at his word, and are glad to acknowledge his extreme kindness to the Troop, in making possible our never-to-be-forgotten stay in New Denver.  

Tree after tree, laden with cherries, was put at our disposal, and the bathing beach with its diving boards, rafts, etc., was a very popular retreat.  

On Friday afternoon, the last boat for the week-end came in at the wharf at 3:00 p.m., and we were there to see if by any chance Mr. Noble had managed to get around that way, but again we were doomed to disappointment, and regretfully (almost tearfully) agreed that his share of the trip was over.  

On Sunday morning our camp was just beginning to wake about 7:30 when Mr. Miller and I, who slept together, were dimly conscious of the approach of some heavily booted pedestrians along the sidewalk in front. The gate opened and as we roused ourselves, we almost fell over each other. Who should the new-comers be but our long-looked-for A.S.M. Noble, and another good old scout Ed. Taylor of the Kimberley Pay Office, and Secretary of the Kimberley Troop of Scouts. They had walked in from Kaslo, a mere thirty-one miles, having arrived there on Friday night’s boat, and no transportation to New Denver until Monday. Now it was their turn to be surprised, for just as they threw off their packs, the door on the house opened, and Mrs. Cameron (aforementioned) came out carrying a tray with dainty cups of tea for Mr. Miller and me. There was no backing out of it; we were caught in the act; Ed. whipped out his camera, but thanks to the earliness of the hour and the fact that our couch was under a spreading tree, the light was not strong enough to register the scene of his film, therefore, this example of "Scouting de luxe" as they termed it does not appear in the picture. However, they were also treated to tea, and as they sipped it, this is the story they told, George starting off with his experiences after leaving us on his return trip with the horses.  

By this time the boys were all awake, and welcomed the travellers, listening with eagerness to the story of their experiences, as follows:-  

"It was nearly four o’clock when we finally got the horses repacked and ready for the return trip to Marysville and started down the road to the Ford. On the journey downhill we were delayed somewhat by two of the "Long-faced Chums" getting into difficulties on the bad side hill, and falling off into the bush, necessitating a halt to repack the saddles. After crossing the Ford, however, the going was much easier and better time was made. We kept going on the back trail that evening until the gathering darkness warned us that it was time to look for a suitable camping place. It was necessary to find a place where there was sufficient feed for the horses, and water. This combination was pretty hard to find, and it was getting dark when at last we called a halt about three miles east of the old Cedar Lean-to on a spot right down on the river bank at the bottom of the big slide, where the lush grass was almost five feet high, and in a few minutes, the old horses were munching contentedly, the fire was burning, and we discovered that the whole supply of baking powder had gone with the "foot sloggers"; we would, therefore, have to make out with the unleavened chupatty of the East. This, however, didn’t taste quite as bad as it looked, and if it had not been for the ubiquitous "skeeter", we would have felt fairly happy. These pests looked for a while as though they were going to compel us to retreat to the higher ground to sleep, but they left all at once, and we passed the night undisturbed. At 4:30 a.m. we awoke to a good start, and after a hearty breakfast got the horses packed and were on the road again at about 6:00 a.m. We made the next spasm to Huggart’s Cabin by 11:30 a.m. where a halt was made; horses were off saddled and fed, and we had lunch, leaving again for Meecham’s about 2:00 p.m., arriving there about 5:00 p.m. Mr. Meecham made us welcome, and we were rejoined by our old friend the outlaw horse, who had followed us up to the top of the zig-zag trail (Hutchcroft’s), and then having evidently come to the conclusion that anybody going in to a place like that must be crazy, he left us, and made his way back to Meecham’s on his own.  

Here Mr. Reece left us to return to his duties as Fire Warden at St. Mary’s Lake.  

We were obliged to retire into one of Meecham’s Cabins during the night as the mosquitoes had a convention outside, and all seemed to come to it hungry.  

Next morning, we started on the last lap of the return trip, Mr. Meecham kindly inviting us to breakfast. We were greatly indebted to him for this, and a good many other favours.  

On the way down to the lake, we were met by a party of Tourists who were staying at the Lake Camp, and had a photograph taken of the pack train alongside a powerful Studebaker Car, illustrating the ancient and modern forms of transportation.  

The horses, which had started out in great shape at Meecham’s in the morning were not long before they began to show signs of fatigue, and being unshod were now getting a little footsore. The loose colt was getting very tired, and would run on ahead for a few hundred yards and lie down to wait for the rest to come up. On stopping for lunch, the pack horses lay down before they could be stripped. When we arrived within two miles of Marysville, we had some difficulty in getting them to carry on, so that when Mssrs. Ed. Deschamps and Harold Bidder arrived with the C.M.&S. truck, we heaved a big sigh of relief, and throwing off the packs and harnesses, we turned the old fellows loose to make their own way home at their leisure.  

Considering the soft condition they were in, the horses did splendidly, making the forty-odd mile trip back in about two days, and as we picked up the caches of provisions left at various points on the outward trip, they had quite a fair amount of weight to pack.  

I intended to follow the Troop with the least possible delay, and went up to meet my old friend Ed. Taylor of the Kimberley Troop, and enlist his sympathy and service. These were readily given, but let us hear what Eddie himself has to say:-  

On the evening of Thursday, July 21st, a strangely attired figure might have been seen parading the streets of Kimberley; in travel-stained trousers and a shirt that looked like a relic of the dark ages, boots of a moss green shade and a hat that would hardly have done justice to a "Sundowner", it was not easy to recognize the Assistant Scoutmaster of the 1st Chapman Camp Troop. Nevertheless, this is who this seeming hobo turned out to be. He was, at this time, supposed to be some eighty miles up in the mountains on the way through Rose’s Pass into West Kootenay with his Troop; however, he soon explained that he had returned with the pack horses from within a few miles of the summit, when the trail there had become impassable for these. After a brief account of the adventures of the Troop since leaving Chapman Camp, we decided to follow by rail and boat, and if possible catch up with them at Kaslo. Accordingly, the following morning we took the train to Cranbrook, and after a delightful trip through the fruitlands of the Creston district, embarked on the S.S. Nasookin for Proctor. Here we changed to the S.S. Kuskanook, and made the last part of the trip to Kaslo, arriving there at 10:00 p.m.  

In vain, we searched the wharf for any signs of the boys, and coming to the conclusion that by this time they would all be peacefully sleeping at the Vimy Park Pavillion, we bent our steps in that direction. On arriving at the Park, we were just in time to find the caretaker closing up for the night, and on enquiry, we learned that the Troop had left for New Denver that morning, and that there would not be another train in that direction till Monday morning, so we decided to stay the night in the Pavillion, and decide on future plans on the morrow. Being, by this time, somewhat hungry, we decided to scout around for something to eat. This proved to be a difficult task, as most of the inhabitants had now retired for the night. However, we ultimately found a kindly disposed lady who gave us, not only eats, but also a lot of information about the town and its inhabitants. Here we purchased sufficient supplies for a day on the trail, and we retired to our downy (?) couch on the soft side of the Pavillion floor. Next morning early, we were at the depot, where we learned the bitter truth that the only way of reaching New Denver before Monday was by "Hitting the Ties". This we decided to do, and after a bathe in the lake, made up our packs and started off. The sun was shining gloriously, and the view of Kaslo nestling on the hillside by the lake made a very picturesque scene indeed.  

We journey along till 2:00 p.m. arriving by this time at a suitable camping place, where we decided to lunch and rest. Under the shade of an old barn, we fell asleep until 4:45 p.m. when we were aroused by the sound of a speeder in the distance.  

Thinking there might be a chance for a ride for a part of our journey, we hastily packed up, but were disappointed to find that the speeder carried the railway section hands returning from their day’s work, and no amount of persuasion would induce the foreman to proceed further.  

By this time, the heat was not nearly so intense, and enlivened by selections from the various operas by George, we proceeded merrily on our way. The scenery in this part of the country is all enchanting, with its many waterfalls and creeks, luxuriant vegetation, and trees of many greens.  

Old mine workings abound in the district, and at Whitewater a new mill is in course of construction, while men are treating the tailings discarded from a mill of the early days. We passed Bear and Fish lakes, looking still and sombre in the waning light, and came to the Lucky Jim Mine, where a new mill is also in course of construction. Now we began to keep our eyes open for a suitable camping place, but nothing offered, and darkness overtook us at a place called Parapet. This is well deserving of its name, perched as it is on the side of a hill with the creek dashing along below. Here we decided to make ourselves as comfortable as circumstances would permit. After a meal eaten by the light of a small fire, we rolled into one blanket with a feeling of contentment, having done twenty-six miles of our journey in a little less than nine hours. We employed the first hour or so of our rest (?) by throwing out the odd rocks from beneath us. By 3:30 a.m. George succeeded, by a series of subtle pushings and pullings instigated by a subconscious mind, in obtaining possession of all of the blanket, so I started to make breakfast.  

The sun was well up when the meal was over, and once more, shouldering our packs, we proceeded to Three Forks, which was once a flourishing town and distributing centre, but now dwindled into a few shacks. Here we had a clean-up in the clear waters of a spring welling from the mountain side, and once more took to the ties, refreshed and re-invigorated.  

We were about six miles from New Denver, and this distance was quickly covered, and we were soon rewarded by the glorious view of New Denver and the Slocan Lake, with the Glacier and mountains on the further shore basking in the sunny mists of the morning.  

We had halted on the side of the road to adjust our packs and take a snap of the view, when a man made his appearance from a house opposite, and invited us into his orchard for a feed of cherries. We found out later on that he was the same Mr. Sanderson who had so kindly placed several cherry trees at the disposal of the Scouts. From him, we got directed to Mr. McInnes’ home, where, after a few minutes walk, we discovered the whole party a-bed on the lawn."  

Thus ended Ed’s story, and you may be sure we mutually enjoyed hearing of each other’s adventures.  

Our stay in New Denver was one never to be forgotten. We visited the ranch, of course, and found the cherries there very much to our liking. The sour preserving cherries were at their best, and proved very popular. The adjoining home of the Levy’s, with its surrounding gardens all masses of bloom, was deeply interesting. We also admired their lovely rock garden, where bloom alpine flowers from the glacial ridges and jutting peaks of the Slocan, and some whose home is thousands of miles afar, all growing and throwing out their blossoms apparently quite oblivious to the fact that they have been taken from their natural habitat amongst the far-off snows to a more sublime climate, for they seem to be just as much at home there as they would be many thousands of feet higher up where they come from. It may be that the master and mistress of the garden who watch with delight for the unfolding of each and every leaf and petal, they recognize the touch of the artist, and ‘tune in’ accordingly in the delightful seclusion of their new home.  

Now the boys have the happy knack of getting a hand-out wherever they go, and here was no exception, Mrs. Levy entertaining the Troop to a dainty repast on the lawn.  

Bathing was indulged on the beach below the ranch.  

The Slocan is rich in natural colour, to my mind much more so than any of the other connecting ‘north and south’ bodies of water stretching across the southern part of the province of British Columbia - and I speak having seen and travelled them all. On this Sunday afternoon particularly, and at evening as the Troop returned from the Ranch along the Molly Hughes trail on the lakeshore, whichever way one looked, the scene, set in a glory of sunset hues, was one of indescribable beauty, which seemed to grip the whole party down to even the youngest boy, as we stopped repeatedly to gaze and admire.  

A special paragraph here mentions the fact that New Denver is free of mosquitoes.  

As the darkness fell on Sunday evening, we returned to our quarters at the McInnes’ home, and started up a little sing-song. By twos and threes and singly, old friends and new dropped in to say hello, and in the soft light which streamed from the shaded windows, we sang the old favourites with harmonic accord.  

Mr. Trickett, one of the prominent business men of the town, had a good scheme for getting the Scouts acquainted with the New Denver boys, amongst whom are still a few of my old remaining Scouts of earlier days. He very kindly invited us all to dinner at his home, after which he had arranged that we should be entertained by the boys of the town at the ice cream parlour. Needless to say, we all did full justice to the many good things provided, and his scheme brought about a happy fraternising amongst the home and visiting boys, who had hitherto been rather shy of each other. After the ice cream, darkness was falling, but someone suggested a swim at the beach. Permission being given, the whole outfit of boys trooped down to the Lake and had a glorious time. Then we lit the fire, and all had their choice of a song around the circle.  

In the present scheme of the universe all good things must come to an end, so it was with many expressions of regret that we bade au revoir to New Denver on the Tuesday, after a stay of five days.  

The first twenty miles to Enterprise Mill was to be made by Reo truck, kindly provided by Mr. Charlie Schmidt for the price of the gas. At 12:30 mid-day we piled on board, made a triumphal tour of the streets, and amidst wild hurrahs for our kind hosts, we headed south.  

Four miles took us to Silverton on the Lake shore, then we started to rise sharply up the Galena Hill. After that for several miles the way lay along a beautiful new road which is part of a missing link which will be completed this year, when it will be possible to visit the Slocan by automobile from outside points.  

This should constitute one of the most strikingly scenic trips of the whole Province, perched away up, as the new road will be, with a straight drop of over six hundred feet to the lake, then gradually dropping to the shore near Slocan City through gallery work and a little tunnel.  

We crossed Enterprise Creek, and followed its banks, now striking inland from Slocan Lake, and heading towards our next goal - the mighty Kokanee Glacier itself.  

Soon we came to the Enterprise Mill - and the end of the road, passing close to an old tunnel where a few years ago a man enticed quite a number of wild mountain goat from the surrounding hills. The Government got to hear of this and compelled him to liberate them before he could ship them across the border into the United States, where he had been promised a good price for them. In a neighbouring canyon, a few years ago, I came face to face with a little family of goat, father, mother and little kid too, and we gazed at each other over a twenty-five foot range for several minutes, mutually surprised. Unfortunately, my camera was in camp about half a mile away, so the scene is not recorded in picture.  

Miss Clarence had accompanied us in the truck, and had intended returning with it. However, on the way out, her adventurous spirit, and the lure of the trail ahead of us got the better of her, and she decided to make the trip across the icefield also. She certainly was not dressed for the part, clad in afternoon street wear, but we had lots of fun rigging her out in our spare garments. We christened her Minnehaha, or "Min" for short.  

It was our intention to make Paupe Creek that night, four miles up from the end of the road where we had left the truck, and camp there. About two miles up, a bad thunder storm which appeared to have been trying to locate us for some time finally got the range, and drove us to shelter under the trees. The rain persisted, and wearing our ground sheets as capes, we decided to push on and make camp. We set off at a good pace, anticipating a two mile walk through the drenching bush which overlapped the trail, but Providence was kind to us after all, and within a few hundred yards, we camp upon an excellent camping place. There were poles all ready to lash the tent onto, fireplaces built and pot hangers in place, a nice pile of firewood all ready split - the creek only fifty feet away. Were we downhearted? NO!  

It did not take us long to make use of all these conveniences, and we were soon more or less dried out and feeling very happy. The rain had ceased, but it appeared that there was still a little more would like to come down soon, so we made full use of all available space in the tent for our belongings and made beds there for the boys and Min. The four men spent the night in a lean-to built of brush before the fire.  

Before retiring, we were treated to a series of Irish Folk songs by Mr. Burns-Miller, while George Noble favoured with Tyneside Songs in the dialect of the north of England.  

Considering the dripping state of nature in general, we were having a perfectly wonderful time around the fire, to judge by the laughter. After Min had retired to her bed of boughs, we four must have presented a comical spectacle drying out our somewhat sodden garments to the strains of "We’re getting there by Degrees" and "Blaydon Races".  

The blankets in the wichiup had been laid by the Irish Songster, but as he did not provide a blueprint of the layout, we never really got on to the idea of the scheme. Whichever way one turned, the blankets seemed to go in the opposite direction. The rear flank was exposed from time to time, as one or other wriggled compulsively to gain possession of a little covering - for the night was cold and raw. Even the maker of the bed himself seemed to have lost the secret, for when first seen in the breaking dawn of the morning, his partner had all the blankets and he himself was wrapped only in thought and a cloud of fiery epithets. That was all the heat there was until we got the fire going. However, there was nobody hurt, and all the fun of the night was soon forgotten, as the approaching day brought its reward with the floating clouds of the morning mists after the rain, and the trees wept showers of pearly tears at the slightest move.  

The tent had been out all night, and like some men in like circumstances, had, to use a common descriptive expression "taken a load on". This was all the more evident when we came to make up the packs. Instead of its thirty-five pounds when dry, the tent now weighted at least twice as much. It was carried on a stretcher between Ed. Taylor and George Noble in addition to their back packs.  

The approach to the Kokanee Glacier through Enterprise Pass is not so very steep, the trail rising gently indeed for many miles of its length, though there are occasional sharp grades. Weather conditions on this day were ideal for travelling, and we did not have to hurry, as we had only about seven miles to do to get over the Pass.  

The trail led up on Enterprise Creek, and soon we passed the spot where we had expected to camp on the previous night, at the confluence of the Paupe and the main creeks.  

We climbed along the sides of Mts. Boomerang and Robertsmith, crossing several morraines from glaciers which have long since disappeared, and viewed at close range across the narrow valley the rugged peaks of the Enterprise Ridge which ends in Granite Knobb. We passed Bootleg Lake, and could see the Pass through into the Glacier just a few miles ahead of us.  

We were now in the country of the Giant Monkshood Delphiniums, with their flowers of intense blue at their best, many plants being over seven feet high, and flowery racemes well over a foot in length.  

On we went, resting when we felt like it, and admiring all the beauty around us; past Tanal Like, the headwaters of the creek we had followed so far.  

Now came a steepish climb till we reached Molly’s Cabin and noted the mine close by. We were getting excited now, as the cabin is close to the Divide, and we were anxious to see this new "Land of Beyond", so after a very brief rest, we covered the few remaining hundred feet, passed through the narrow defile, where to borrow a thought from Horatius - a thousand might well be kept by three. There! There at last! We beheld the wonderful Kokanee itself.  

Once again we had triumphed, and we made haste to get down to our camping place, which had been promised by the shores of pretty little Kaslo Lake, the headwaters of the south fork of Kaslo Creek.  

One of the most beautiful sights of the whole trip was this little gem of a Lake of deepest blue, with its tree adorned peninsula jutting out from its western shore well nigh into the middle. Viewed from any angle and elevation, it is a never ending source of delight to the eye.  

The trail drops down from the Pass and skirts the shore of the lake, and straight over the waters we could see the low Divide into Kokanee Valley, the way we should have to go out in a few days’ time after we had visited the ice, of which we could see two fields glistening above us in the glare of the afternoon sun, to the left the Kokanee Field, and a little glacier perched on the side of Outlook Peak on our right.  

We were not long in reaching the camping place just across the little bridge where Kaslo Creek South Fork runs out of the Lake, and a more beautiful spot to rest in would indeed be hard to find, nor could the hand of man have contrived a more picturesque rock garden. with its grassy undulations and rocky outcroppings swathed in masses of heather, where the fine fourfold shades blended to make glorious groups of colour of flower and foliage. Here also the showy swamp laurel, not unlike the red heather in colour, but with an open bloom half an inch across, strove for inclusion in the heathery masses, and where this seemed denied it had taken a homestead for itself, sometimes around a single boulder which it wreathed in glorious garlands, or again out in the open patches of colour thirty or forty feet across. Nor must we neglect to mention the stonecrops and saxifrages, which might have come from an old fashioned garden.  

At this stage of our camping experience, a meal for 15 was a detail in our young lives, and was hastily prepared and as hastily disappeared. Then some set out to explore, some to photograph, while others took a well earned rest. Perhaps to some, those words of Shakespeare "These rugged hills and rough uneven ways draw out our miles and make them wearysome" were full of meaning.  

We walked through the Park between its groups of stately balsam trees, the trail winding amidst the heather past quiet little pools and gurgling streams, till we reached the spacious log cabin about a mile from our Camp, the headquarters of the Kokanee Mountaineering Club of Nelson B.C. Here we decided on details of our plans for the few days. The cabin was in excellent condition, and replete with large range and every convenience that one could desire under the circumstances, and more than that. We thought it best to leave all our unwanted goods and chattels where we had camped, and just take what we had needed over to this cabin; sleep there, go up to the ice the next day, and back to the cabin, then the following day after breakfast retrace our steps to our cache, which lay on the route we must take in any case, and so on, - and on.  

Back we went, therefore, to our camp in the rock garden, and after supper we covered our "extras" with the tent; and made ourselves at home in the cabin. The night was uneventful, the mosquitoes evidently thought we were too tough to tackle in our mass formation, and as we had hoped, they stayed outside.  

By eight o’clock next morning, we were heading upwards and were soon amongst the first patches of snow, and on the long stretch which leads up to the ice on this side. Snowballing at the end of July was a new experience to many. and all enjoyed this fun.  

We were climbing fast, that it when we travelled, but we had to stop and admire so many of the natural beauties. Oh well, it was our holiday, and we didn’t have to hurry if we didn’t want to, so we took plenty of time.  

Bearing to the right, we edged past a last winter’s comb of windblown snow still about eight feet deep, over the crest of this, and on to the fair and flowery Smuggler Ridge. What a wonderful experience for the Scouts - their dream of months come true at last. Here they were right in the very midst of hills and lakes which had been but names to them before. We climbed 1,500 feet without an effort, so beguiled were we by the masses of alpine flowers. Here we found the yellow and purple fleabanes, green gentians, penstamons of deepest blue, blood red rosewort, white dryas, the windflower which follows on the heels of the receding snow still in occasional bloom though mostly topped with feathery tassles; the purple oppositifolia, and as we neared the ice, we found the moss campion spreading flat on the rocks, with its green mat of mossy foliage and wealth of reddy pink flowers, which brought forth many expressions of delight. On a previous trip to this glacier, I remember seeing a patch of this flower growing on the edge of the snow, and part of it spread a little under a thin transparent sheet of ice, and was actually in full bloom there. But that sounds rather like a fish story, so we’ll pass on. We passed the Tunnels, and cabins of the old Smuggler Mine, one above the other up the ridge, and we marvelled at the energy and optimism of the old timers. Gold bearing ore was shipped from this mine in the early days. The flowers and grass were left behind as we kept on up and up. Crossing the morraine we noted the great boulders left by the ice, some looking as though very little effort would be needed to roll them off their precarious perches.  

The boys saw their first ptarmigan, just changing from winter’s snowy garb to summer’s brown.  

Well, here was the ice at last. A cleft in the rocks at the base of the steep summit of Smuggler led to the ice in a step or two. Here we congregated, and ate our lunch of crakers, cheese and chocolate.  

Mr. Miller, like the small boy’s Sunday school collection money was not lost but gone before, and he joyfully proclaimed his safe arrival on the Battleship Ridge across 600 yards or so of fairly steep ice. We as joyfully responded and made haste to follow, roped together in two parties, while Rastus, who had crossed with Mr. Miller was anxious to get all he possible could for his money and made the trip back and forth several times as we crossed. With several inches of mushy snow on top of the ice, there was no need to cut steps even in the steepest part of the journey. Mr. Miller snapped us on our way over, and soon we too touched the prow of the Battleship. From here, following south and then west, we made our way up towards the peaks and headed for Esmerelda, 9200 feet above sea level - and got there. "And now! how changed the scene:" Yesterday - hemmed in by rugged peaks on every side, and - today the horizon a hundred miles away over ridge and valley, peak and glacier. We were on the roof of our immediate world and it was a wonderful sight to behold.  

We sat down on the peak and surveyed the widespread scene. What a contrast between the east and west right at our feet. On the one side stretched the field of perpetual ice for miles, while on the other the mountain fell away precipitously to Kokanee Creek, a couple of thousand feet below us.  

Away down this stream, we could see Gibson Lake, and the Molly Gibson Concentrator, the mill for the Molly Gibson Mine which lies close up under the summit of the peak we were on.  

Several photographs were taken, of course, and we registered our names alongside those of other mountaineers who had made the climb before us, and had left their records on a sheet of paper in a tin can.  

We have no hesitation in claiming to be by far and away the youngest party which has ever been up there. Pat Stone, Billy Young and Art Andrews are now just twelve years young, and several others a skimpy thirteen, so were all justly proud of this achievement of the Chapman Camp Boy Scouts.  

Did the altitude have any effect on the boys? Why, yes; the higher up they went the better they seemed to like it.  

The weather had been bright and sunny all morning, but now heavy clouds were hurrying across the sun, and we could see the many separate thunder storms operating miles away in quite different districts, with miles of bright sunshine between them. Not knowing how soon it might be our turn to be in one of these storms, and having gained our objective, we retraced our steps across the main part of this section of the ice field, past the outcropping "Giant’s Kneecap" and the "Battleship" and back on to the Smuggler Ridge. Down this the Scouts quickly made their way, jumping like goats from rock to rock, till they reached the long steep stretches of snow about three-quarters of a mile in length. Glissading down these at tremendous speed, the boys had a glorious time, and were back in camp and had the fire going in a jiffy.  

The storm drew nearer and Thor the Thunder God was speaking in no uncertain terms.  

We were all safe in the fold except two - Mr. Miller and Maxie Bidder, who had gone round another way to get some photographs when, with an earsplitting peal, the storm broke above us, and the rain and large hailstones like marbles came down in sheets. The noise on the cedar shake roof was deafening.  

Early in the morning, the order had been ‘all blankets hung out in the sun for airing’. The boys had taken theirs in again. After watching the storm through the windows for about ten minutes, it suddenly dawned upon George and Ed. (aforementioned) that in the stress of other duties they had forgotten about their blankets. These were still out, and getting washed as well as aired, so as hurriedly as possible, they retrieved them on to the verandah. The blankets were absolutely soaked, and had to be wrung out.  

Presently the two wanderers returned, also soaked but a feed in the warm club house after a change of clothes soon made them feel at peace with the world.  

The storm soon passed and we were soon very busy. Some cooked, ready for the morrow, and other cut and split a supply of wood to leave behind us.  

The evening was spent at ease, and darkness found us all safely ensconced in the blankets again.  

Ed. and George had their blankets hung up to dry around the McClary range, and the former was religiously awakened by his sub-conscious mind at intervals to replenish the fire. "W-J" (Burns-Miller) having, according to Ed’s reasoning, been accustomed to a four-poster bed in his youth and adolescence, had a reversion, and made his couch under the table. Just before the zero hour he made a semi-somnambulistic sortie from his lair, and gained for himself the sobriquet of "Ogopogo". Somehow he dreamed that his boots were about to catch fire, and he headed sleepily in the general direction of the stove on his hands and knees. First he scrambled over my pillow - or the big coffee can full of beans which I was using the soft side. The loosened lid and the scattering contents only spurred him on his way, which, so it happened, lay over the forms of the two blanketeers. Enquiries as to the identity of the crawling intruder brought forth the lugubrious rely "It’s meself". Having made that perfectly clear, the Ogopogo found its unharmed footgear, and returned to its lair. By this time, half the Camp was awake. Rastus thought he must be missing some fun, so took a flying leap towards it from off Minnehaha’s bed over in one corner - right on a bunch of the boys. It was a laughable situation in the breaking dawn, but soon the excitement died down, and we were off to slumberland again.  

Before breakfast John and Art made a trip back to the Rock Garden Camp for some little articles we needed, and came face to face with a deer.  

After our morning meal, we prepared to break Camp; we wrote our little history in the register, and left everything in perfect shape, blessing the kindness of the Kokanee Mountaineering Club in generously welcoming the use of their Headquarters by all visiting parties. It is pleasing to note that this privilege is not abused, but seems to be highly appreciated by all. The Camp is a well built structure of massive logs, and is always beautifully clean.  

We reluctantly turned our backs on the ice, glistening like fields of diamonds in the morning sun, picked up our other supplies where we had left them under the tent, and headed out through Kokanee Pass. This was reached in about twenty minutes, and is quite a low divide.  

This was the fourth watershed the party had crossed en route; seasoned travellers we were by now.  

With a last lingering look at the pretty little cabin of lakes which we had just skirted, and which drain towards Kaslo, we turned to follow the other little streams flowing into milky green Kokanee Lake, along whose shores the trail runs over a long rock slide.  

Here the marmots were abounding, and friendly too, and we had good opportunities to see several at close range over a space of some minutes.  

We gazed with awe at the peaks of the glacier now towering above us, and felt justly proud of the fact that but yesterday we had been there on those selfsame rocky pinnacles, which now looked a mile above us.  

The trail from here towards Molly Gibson Lake and mill was very steep, and laden as we were, our feet ground into our boot toes, and here the first cases of tender feet occurred. These were neither numbrous nor serious.. Redeeming features were the flowery slides, down which thousands of tons of snow had rushed madly in spring, but which were now clothed in perfect masses of bloom. Perhaps the prettiest one was about 200 feet across where the trail crossed, and looking for about three-quarters of a mile the whole appeared to be one sea of wild heliotrope and forget-me-nots three feet high.  

As might be expected, the hailstorm in the Park had not dried out the tent, and this was quite a load. However, it had been a good friend to us, so George and Ed. took it along, doubtless wishing that it were near a big (very big) fire somewhere lower down. Once, slung on George’s shoulders, it took him for a roll right off the trail and down through the buck brush. A few revolutions convinced George that he was in wrong gear, and after a one-sided conversation between them in which George did all the talking, they struggled back on the trail. Some of us were mean enough to laugh at him till he laughed too.  

We passed and repassed under the aerial tram from the Molly Gibson mill to the mine. The Mill was our objective for that day. We got there about 2:00 p.m. and were agreeably surprised to find the house inhabited; Mrs. Marshall bade us right welcome. She had the kettle bolding in no time, and we sat down to lunch in her home. For dessert she regaled us with luscious huckleberries, and delighted our hearts with the news that five and a half miles nearer Kootenay Lake there was a lovely place to camp right in the heart of an enormous patch of those lovely big berries. That settled everything. The Scouts forgot their tiredness, and declared that they could easily get there - and they did too.  

We took a hasty look over the mill - one look sees it all - sang our Chapman Camp song and yelled our Yell for Mrs. Marshall; bade her adieu, and made tracks for the berry patch. That five and a half miles was covered in fine style. It was good to see the boys in such splendid shape after the strenuous trip they had made. All did full justice to the huckleberries which were there in abundance and perfection.  

Owing to fire hazard largely - and time - and perhaps other things - most of the cooking had been done by the leaders over one fire, and that as small as possible. Here it was thought that the boys might take a hand. A creek fell close by our fireplace on the roadside, so fire hazard was reduced to a minimum. Several boys were detailed for the performance of making next morning’s breakfast, which, sure enough, led off with a cup of tea served to us in bed. Just imagine that under the circumstances, and lick your lips. We arose to find breakfast almost ready. This consisted of huckleberries, cream of wheat porridge, and pancakes of dainty proportions. Amidst caustic comment and much humorous harangue the meal was an unmitigated success.  

Oh dear! Oh dear! that tent again!  

We had hung it out to dry overnight in an old barn, and although it was much lighter in the morning, it was still quite a load to carry. George and Ed. had noticed an Irish Buggy, more commonly known as a wheelbarrow, in the ditch at the side of the road a little above the camp, and they went back and got this, and in it wheeled the tent down to the lake.  

From the Molly Gibson down to the Lake at Kitte’s Landing, we had a pretty good road, which helped a lot after the steep and rough trail of the day before, but it meant that we were getting back to the honk of the horn and hum of the motor, from which we had had a brief but happy respite, and Alas! Kitte’s Landing marked the end of our trail.  

We arrived there soon after noon, and George vented his spleen on the poor tent by one swift kick.  

We spent the afternoon bathing, cleaning up, etc., while Min enacted a transformation back into feminine garb.  

We boarded the S.S. Kuskanook in the late afternoon and got to Proctor for the night, this being necessary so that we could join the S.S. Nasookin next morning for our trip to the end of the lake.  

Camp was made and supper over in less than one hour, and next morning we arrived on the wharf in good time for the boat.  

It was a lovely Sunday morning, as we journeyed down to Kootenay Landing, noting from the deck the location of Kokanee Glacier and Rose’s Pass.  

We transferred to the train, and at Yahk, George bought up all the pies he could lay his hands on, and the boys certainly enjoyed this change of diet.  

At Cranbrook, we were met by parents and friends with their cars to take us home to Chapman Camp, where we arrived safely after sixteen day’s absence, absolutely one hundred per cent physically fit, from the youngest to the oldest member of the party.  

Some of the boys had grown visibly, and all looked the picture of health. They had had a year’s experience of an ordinary boy’s life rolled into a fortnight, and had tasted of joys and pleasures which may not come to many of them again all through life, and all in such a short time. They learned many things of the ways of the woods, and of the physiography of a most beautiful and rugged part of their own Province of British Columbia, while the true Scouting principles extolled the world over were exemplified by them every day.  

"A Scout is a friend to all, and a Brother to every other Scout". So reads one of the Scout Laws. Let us hope that on the trip this took a deeper meaning for all of us, and that the idea will be carried out and enlarged upon as the lads grow up and take their places in the world.  

That folks, is the story of our trip, and I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed it on paper, as you have followed step by step our pleasures on foot.  


Alf. Watson 
First Chapman Camp 



Sign My Guestbook