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#19179 - 10/14/17 01:25 AM Ghost Road Conditions - winter 2017/2018
Grant P Offline

WI8
*

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 1013
Loc: Calgary
A new season is nearly here so once again here are the basics and reminders for driving in the Ghost River Valley and this is your thread for road conditions this winter.

As in previous seasons, lets keep road conditions in one thread. Once again I'll summarize the access situation and pertinent pointers for both a reminder and for climbers not familiar with the area.

Access to #39 is relatively status quo. It's important to note that driving up to #39 is year round but then you're supposed to park and walk from there until 1-December. At that time it will be legal to drive back to Claw Creek until the seasonal access closes on 31-March.
Keep this in mind when posting road conditions. While I welcome reports posted on road conditions observed on foot, nobody is allowed to drive back there until December so please make it clear you didn't drive when posting before December.


Formal access is officially unchanged. For the more specific access related thread see here -> >> Ghost Access Information Etc. << That thread is about legal access not approach beta. For access related discussion, look in the forum list for Ghost Access regs - discuss here

Nobody wants to damage vehicles in there including AESRD so avoiding busted oil pans or other fluids spilled is a good thing to protect access. In the meantime it is still recommended that driving into the Ghost should only be done with 4x4 and good clearance. Stock vehicles may safely navigate some sections but the more clearance you have, the better your chances. The north Ghost area requires significant capabilities currently (ie lifted vehicles are preferable).

As I noted previous years, we should try to make the track in there well defined and use one trail. The reasoning is fairly simple - access is contingent on traffic following a defined track, thereby reducing braiding of trails and off track damage. As climbers it is also better to have an established track where errant rocks will not damage your vehicle. Losing an oil pan will not make for a stellar day, and no doubt would not sit well with any environmentalists who might want to cite it as reason to close our access again. We have to be seen as stewards of the area, not irresponsible yahoos.


And remember - walking beyond #39 is legal, driving beyond #39 is legal after 1-December, posting observations of conditions/problems before 1-December is welcome if you were walking, and posting that you made it to Claw Creek in your Smart Car at any time is just plain unbelievable unless you carried it in. whistle


Last year I posted some info to better orient someone to the area. See last years post for original details but below is a summary for everyone and the map.
The Ghost has three areas according to JoJo's guide.
North Ghost is basically beyond Wulley.
Devils Gap is Wicked Wanda/Malignant Mushroom and west.
South Ghost is Orient Point, Big Drip, Polaris, etc.

River crossings change during the season and can dry up or become immensely challenging. Here are the current crossings you'll encounter prior to #39
Big Hill crossing - bottom of the hill.
Crossing #35 - so named for the old marker that defined a track over to Blackrock but the marker was lost in the 2013 flood and we got a river in its place.
Wulley crossing - fords the river aiming you at Wulley Wall/Canyon.
#38 plus crossing - the old diversion structure and intersection is #38 and this crossing is a short way beyond it.
The Ramp crossing - just after #38+ another crossing leads to a ramp into trees.

>> Link to the map <<

...or click on the image for a full size map




I hope that last info and terminology helps clarify information for posts this winter.

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#19180 - 10/15/17 03:04 PM Re: Ghost Road Conditions - winter 2017/2018 [Re: Grant P]
Allan12 Offline
WI2

Registered: 11/29/12
Posts: 7
The access to Devils Gap had a new large berm put into place (25). Is there a reasonable access over this berm ? OR still use the old trail through the trees ?

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#19181 - 10/18/17 05:46 PM Re: Ghost Road Conditions - winter 2017/2018 [Re: Grant P]
Grant P Offline

WI8
*

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 1013
Loc: Calgary
It's the same track through trees as 2016. Head to the south end of the PMF berm. You'll see a break in the largish boulders there. After the boulder gap turn right and a track passes over the smaller SW leg of the berm. This basically leads you onto the way to the trees, same as last year.

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#19208 - 11/10/17 08:35 AM Re: Ghost Road Conditions - winter 2017/2018 [Re: Grant P]
Grant P Offline

WI8
*

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 1013
Loc: Calgary
So heading into the North Ghost it seems the fun has begun. One report (last Sunday) for crossing #35 was 3' of water and several inches of ice. That party attempted to break an ice dam and drain it. Apparently successfully because Monday another party reported thick ice with air below but too thick to drive through. A third person reported being turned back also at #35 on Wednesday.

My suggestion is if someone is going there in the next day or two, take a chain saw and cut a path through the ice. I haven't been there yet and might head there this weekend but haven't planned to as yet. A wood axe might do it but a chainsaw would make shorter work of it.

Then..... onto the next obstruction.

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#19215 - 11/13/17 09:40 PM Re: Ghost Road Conditions - winter 2017/2018 [Re: Grant P]
victord Offline
WI2

Registered: 03/11/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Canmore, AB
I was able to make it all the way to #39 with a stock Xterra today. There is a beaten in track all the way there so lots of other vehicles have been there already. The first crossing at #35 was the trickiest. I broke through the ice shelf coming out of the river, but after getting pulled out by my friend I picked a better exit and it wasn't that bad at all. The water level at #35 was only about a foot deep so it went down a lot since last weeks reports of it being 3' deep. The water was never over my axle. It'll be interesting to see what the road is like past #39 once December hits.

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#19218 - 11/14/17 09:09 AM Re: Ghost Road Conditions - winter 2017/2018 [Re: Grant P]
Grant P Offline

WI8
*

Registered: 11/10/07
Posts: 1013
Loc: Calgary
Thanks for the update Victor. I was in Kananaskis, Banff, and the Icefields Parkway this weekend so didn't play in the Ghost. Regarding past #39, I'd anticipate it will be similar to last winter. Most of the challenges lay prior to #39. I don't think last springs freshette was high so there isn't likely much flood damage or changes. Last winter we had #35 being a pain, then the stretch around the diversion structure to the ramp crossing. I'd say expect similar this year.

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