Mount Baldy – 2,726ft
Matthew and Eric Gilbertson
December 7, 2014
On December 5 I loaded up a rental car with all my belongings in Cambridge and started driving west to move to Seattle. Matthew was able to join for a weekend and planned to fly back to Boston midway through the drive while I continued.
I’d already driven across the US plenty of times, but never the whole way across Canada, so we decided to
follow the trans-canada highway. We took off Friday evening from Cambridge, heading north into Quebec then west across Ontario. We rotated drivers, eventually getting tired enough to take a short nap at a pulloff in central Ontario around 3am. By sunrise we continued driving. It was December and very snowy, but not too cold yet at 10F. We drove across very desolate land in Ontario, with hardly any towns, and eventually crossed into Manitoba in the evening.
Rotating drivers and taking turns sleeping, we drove through the night and just reached Mt Baldy as the sun was rising. There was about a foot of snow on the
ground and it was pretty chilly as we trudged over to the highpoint tower. We were the only ones around, and Matthew wore his sleeping bag with his head poking out a hole for warmth.
Matthew had a flight out of Winnipeg that evening back to Boston, but we had one more item on the list – a toe-touch in Saskatchewan. I would be driving across the province, but Matthew wanted to try to tag it before he left.
We drove just across the border, then turned around to drop Matthew off at the airport. He caught his
flight back to Boston while I turned back around and drove into the middle of Saskatchewan. That evening I found a small pullout next to a lake to sleep in my car.
The next day I drove the rest of the way across the province, and made the small side trip to Cypress Hills and the Saskatchewan highpoint near the border with Alberta. I approached the highpoint from the west, and the dirt road was covered in snow but packed enough that my rental car could proceed. I stopped where my GPS indicated the highpoint was, hoped out of the car,
over the fence, and into the field. I ran around for a
while looking for the highest point, but it all looked pretty flat. At least I tagged the correct GPS coordinates of the summit.
That evening I drove into Banff national park to camp for the night. I did a short hike the next day to check out some ice climbs, and another hike around Lake Louise, before continuing into British Columbia. I hadn’t realized that BC requires snow tires, which I didn’t have, but I proceeded cautiously and didn’t get in trouble. Some of the high passes were very snowy though.
By 10pm I made it successfully to Seattle, after an action-packed 4-day drive.