The latest going ons around Chainsaw Ave …

Local Weather Click here for weather

ESIS Kootenay Bay Ferry Webcam Click here for the Ferry Cam & Schedule

Gray Creek Hall – The Wedding Capital of the Kootenays” – check out www.graycreekhall.com for info on this historical gem, and rental info!

July 14th, 2016 – Local History comes alive at Gray Creek Hall!

Chainsaw talk poster

Did you know…

 

 

The Gray Creek Pass is a seasonal gravel road from Gray Creek to Kimberly, B.C. over a 6800 foot summit.

Gray Creek Pass Update Nov 11, 2016

The Gray Creek Pass is now Closed!

Rain at lower elevations results in snow at higher ones. Please be aware and read all signage when looking to travel the pass.

Gray Creek Pass Update : June 21, 2016

The Pass is now Open!

Tina Zimmerman emailed Tom to say that she had opened up the Gray Creek side and turned the sign around. The very top patch still has snow that would be difficult for small low clearance cars to get through for the next couple of days but that should melt fairly quickly. The grading on the Gray Creek Side side should be finished up today as well.

Gray Creek Pass Update : June 20, 2016

Thomas Mehren says that their group of 9 managed to make it over from Gray Creek to Kimberly. There was about 50 meters of snow at the top and several of the party pushed their bikes through but they did make it!

On June 15th, Gary Jenzen made it to a couple of swithbacks from the top on the St Mary’s side. He sent us these pictures too!

GC PASS2  GC PASS 1  GC PASS 3

Gray Creek Pass Update : May 19, 2016

On May 8th and 9th Felix-Antione and his dog Coco took 2 days to walk over and enjoy the spectacular scenery as they traversed the old powerline road.

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2015 is the 25th Anniversary of the official opening of the Pass.  Do you have photos you can share? Send ’em to gcs@graycreekstore.com!

Also: The pass is now officially part of the Trans Canada Trail – click here to check out the Trans Canada Trail – Gray Creek Pass web page!

Gray Creek pass Update: June 10, 2015

Tom: “I drove to the summit this morning at 8 am June 9th and a car or truck had come up from the Cranbrook side and been able to get over the snow and made it down the western side probably the evening of June 8th.
 With today’s 95 F temperature at lake level the pass will be fully open by tomorrow June 10th. This is the earliest ever – the previous early opening was June 14th – and that was when the late snow just to the west of the summit would be plowed.
Alpine flowers just to the west of the summit are just opening.”
Gray Creek Pass Update: May 23, 2015

There be Boulders! And snow even with this early summer heat.

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Gray Creek Pass Update: May 7, 2015

Ken from Cedar Grove Campground had a hiker who just went over the pass. The hiker says there’s still 2 meters of snow at the top (he needed snow shoes) and there are 2 boulders blocking the road on the west side of the pass.

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Gray Creek Pass Update: February 9, 2015

Still snowy – the pass is usually open July 1st but this depends on snow melt (May 1st this year?)
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Did you know   This is the season when you can see pink snow  at higher elevations – an algae activated by the sun.

 Last year, 2013 the pass was open for vehicles on July 1st, but our estimate for 2014 is somewhat later.
The earliest ever opening was June 14th and the latest ever July 23rd.

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Gray Creek Pass Update:

November 13, 2014 – Local travellers report

Gray Creek Pass - November 12, 2014

Gray Creek Pass – November 12, 2014

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The snow was about a foot and a half when we were up at the summit!

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October 31, 2014 – Local travellers report

A fellow who stopped in to the store today reported the summit has 2 to 3 inches of snow.  He made it through with chains and said it was one of the most beautiful drives he has taken!

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September 9, 2014 – Local travellers report

Jim and I were the guys on the BMW R1200 adventure bikes that stopped into talk to you about the Gray Creek Pass yesterday morning. We headed up shortly afterwards and about 3 hours later we were high fiving at Jim’s place in Kimberley. It was a great ride! A bit rough in spots and lots of steep down hill grades where our bikes are especially good at holding a slow speed without braking. We timed the weather perfectly as well. We could smell the rain coming, but it held off until we were enjoying a BBQ a couple of hours after we parked for the night.

Thanks for your helpful information and advise on the Pass. That was another excellent adventure checked off the list.

Best Regards,

Bob Race.

July 5 ,2014

Local Travelers reported the road was in excellent shape, we went over the Pass to a tributary road 5 kms on the other side, one large boulder on the road, no ice on Oliver Lake, there was a Ptarmigan nesting near the Sphinx Mountain cairn, amazing flowers in the basin

amazing visibility … could even see Fisher Peak

PASS JULY5 JULY42014PASSA

 

july52014 PASS download

 

July 2, 2014

We have an official first hand account that Gray Creek Pass is open! No major damage to the road. Drive carefully, take it slow and enjoy the scenic drive. See you at the bottom on the Gray Creek side (you just might need a slushie or something to celebrate the journey)!

June 29, 2014  

Sunday June 29th 2014  a pickup from the Kimberley side apparently drove downhill into the last snow just below the west side of the 6800 foot summit.  It got stuck so had to be pulled downhill by another vehicle.
This has cut through and the tracks will melt fast so the Pass will be open Monday June 30th.
With the predicted heat of July 1st there should soon be no sign of snow near the road.

June 26, 2014  Tom drove to the summit Wed afternoon June 25th.   Met a Forestry pick up that had done the same.  The road has wintered well – no slides, washboard, potholes or mud.   There is snow in the bush at Oliver Lake but tables and camping area bare.  Snow just below the summit is about 18″ deep – in the days when this was plowed the road would be open now.   Avalanche lilies, yellow violets and white crocus are blooming well near the summit.  There were 13 bear poops on the road past the second crossing of the South Fork – they must be feeding on the lush roadside alders.  Tom’s guess for opening is July 2 – or sooner if ATVS help the melt by making tracks in the snow.

Gray Creek Pass June 25th 2014 004 Gray Creek Pass June 25th 2014 001 Gray Creek Pass June 25th 2014 002

June 25, 2014  Folks made it to the 17 km mark and then hit snow.  From the Gray Creek side just past Oliver Lake..stay tuned!

June 9, 2014  Report from Paul at Kokanee Chalets – made it up to the 16km mark on his motorcycle from the Gray Creek side.  Snow on peak 4 km long.  Snow depth from 6″ to 14″.  Soft road sides – stay to the inside.  Thanks for checking.

May 28, 2014 Report from the BC Jeep Club – made it to the 3rd bridge from the Gray Creek Side.  GPS blue line shows location.

3rd Bridge location on Gray Creek Pass - from Gray Creek Side

3rd Bridge location on Gray Creek Pass – from Gray Creek Side

Oct. 19, 2013 Report from a traveler:

There was about one foot of snow at Gray Creek Pass. We met a jeep at Oliver Lake that had just come over from Kimberley.
I drove 4.5kms east of the pass to the turnoff to Fat Bob’s cabin and the Sphinx Mountain trail-head  For the first 4 kilometers, the Gray Creek Pass Road  was compact, rutted with lots of washboard. It wasn’t difficult going down the road but coming back was touch and go  …  I traveled the entire distance in low range, 4th gear and thought my truck was going to fly apart over the washboard. I needed the speed and power. Just about lost it on a couple of switchbacks. There was another vehicle at the pass and the driver said “We could hear you coming for quite some distance”.
2013 1019 pic of pass

Oct. 4, 2013 Report from Tom Lymbery:  Pass Pics – Thanks to Terry!

2013 1003 TRUCK IN SNOW 2013 1003 PASS WITH SNOW

Oct. 3, 2013 Report from Tom Lymbery:  It is early – but I wouldnt say Oliver Lake is really frozen – looks more like slush ice. It is early for snow and there has been quite a bit more since.  Two mororcyclists reported that when they tried the Pass from the Kimberley side yesterday they found at least 6″ of snow and had to turn back.  They thanked us for keeping Pass updates on www.graycreekstore.com

Oct. 1, 2013 Report from Tom Lymbery:   Up at the 5000 foot elevation there is 6″ of snow up to the pass on the Gray Creek side.  The ground is not frozen, so it may melt.  Tom wonders how soon until the higher elevation larch trees will turn to gold.                                                                                                                                                                                                         Sept 10, 2013 Report from Tom Lymbery:  I drove to the summit yesterday – road OK after rain.  No surface washed away at all.  Blowdown destroyed a picnic table at the Oliver Lake site, but other table OK.  Huckleberries at summit and Oliver Lake are ripe, but small & scattered.  Bushes have changed color.

Aug. 7, 2013 Report from Tom Lymbery: I crossed the Pass to the 2nd crossing of Redding Creek.  Grading and culvert repair completed on the 18 km from Hwy 3A at Gray Creek to the summit is excellent. Oliver Lake – please take 5 minutes to walk through the trees to this beautiful alpine lake – and 20 minutes to walk all around this gem. Culverts at 27 k have been repaired with stony fill as there is no gravel there.  This is the roughest section. Baker Creek Bridge has been re-decked and no longer has a 5 ton limit. Road is ok for 2 wheel drive, but no low clearance vehicles.

July 30, 2013 – Report from Pass Officials: Full CLOSURE Mon, Tue, Wed July 29-31 as indicated below.  Aug. 1-6 Grading crew on Gray Creek side.  Expect temporary/minor delays.    Aug.1 minor work mini excavator – minor delays.

July 23, 2013 – Report from Pass Officials:
There will be temporary delays WED, THUR, FRI July 24-26 at the 13 km mark on the Gray Creek side.  FULL CLOSURE MON,TUE,WED July 29-31 at 6.5km on the Gray Creek side. No Access – only walkers and people who can carry their pedal bikes over the construction!  Thanks for checking and stay tuned…

July 10, 2013 – Report from Pass Officials: Kimberly side at 6.5 km road narrow.  There is a fill failure – stay to inside.  At the 12.9 – 13.1 km mark tension cracks in fill – stay to inside.  Sorry to disappoint, but currently it is not suitable for trailers or motorhomes until repairs are done which should happen between 1 to 2 weeks.  Thanks for checking and stay tuned!!

July 4, 2013 – Forestry has repaired the culverts at 27 km from the Gray Creek side, and the pass is open. Another milestone – the first couple to walk over made it to Kimberly today!

Keep in mind the pass is steep and road conditions can vary so be prepared to take it slow and enjoy the natural beauty. If you’re coming from the St. Mary side turn right on the highway  and you’ll find Gray Creek Store almost immediately. Let us know how the pass is doing (and perhaps reward yourself with a slushie or something for all the good driving)!

 June 28, 2013 – The snow if off the summit and this morning vehicles are trying to drive through, but a double culvert down the Kimberley side has plugged and washed some road away.  Two motorbikes from Gray Creek Side couldn’t make it past.  As well, two vehicles were there and unable to cross.  Just looking at it, pedal bikes wouldn’t be able to make it over either.  This is about 27k from the Gray Creek Side.  This has washed out before so it is need of better repair.

Gray Creek Pass Snow LIne June 28, 2013

 

 

Rocks on Road June 28, 2013

Rocks on Road June 28, 2013

June 20, 2013 Melted 1 km past Oliver Lake – reported to have a 60 foot stretch of 4 feet deep snow.  With heavy rains the last couple of days, appears there may be a washout at 3km on the Gray Creek Side…stay tuned and thanks for checking!

June 12, 2013 Melted to 16 KM mark.  This is just past Oliver Lake.  As per pass Engineer Tina, doesn’t look like any major issues for this year!  Stay tuned and thanks for checking!

May 26, 2013 – Snow at the 11 km mark which is about 4000 feet!  Stay tuned..and thanks for checking.

Still Snow

Still Snow

Report from Pass Officials:

Pass was closed for most of the 2012 year.  Excess rain has caused road washouts and unstable banks.  Engineers are assessing required work and an application for funding will be made.  Contact our MLA and voice your thoughts over the funding and maintenance of the Gray Creek Pass Road!