LOCATION: Dr. Alan Hildebrand sent out the location marked on a map as an ellipse. From a topographical map NTS82J the centre of that ellipse is: 50° 21’N, 115° 13′ W (50.385, -115.217), and from GoogleMaps that is 50° 23′, 115° 13′ W, 550 ft down the hill. Lincoln Hanton and Alan Hildebrand assume the meteor fragments are scattered in an ellipse 3km wide by 5 km long, along this logged hillside. This is near Sinna Creek, between Russell Peak and Marconi Peak. Just a few kilometres from the Height of the Rockies Provincial Park boundary. For a quick look, cut and paste this into the Google Maps Search line: 50.385N 115.2145W
Strewnfield Fragment Distribution: Because of this scenic and rugged area, the centre of the ellipse would be on a logged hillside on the West side of the Middle White River gorge. Although some would be down in the gorge. Anything that hit across on the East side of the gorge, would be on a narrow shelf of flat rock, with high rocky cliffs above and below. It is expected that the heavier “three pieces” would travel to the far end of the ellipse across the river, and 2kg fragments near the centre, with lighter fragments not travelling as far, scattered along the Western edge.
Dr. Hildebrand has already scouted the area twice in a light aircraft this spring. Other people have been there on the ground, and they report that at the ellipse the logged area has been replanted with pine trees, which have grown to 6 foot tall. They also mention the bridge at 68km was out.
Middle Fork Rec Site: Via main road, go to the Middle Fork Rec Site near Seeta Creek at KM66 on the White Middle fork of the White River Forest Service Road. There was a forest fire there in 2003, and it has been logged since, but the Middle Fork trail was cleared in Aug 2014. Leave the main road and turn left on the Sinna Creek logging road 0.9km past the Seeta Creek bridge. After following the river bank for 3.2km, turn left up the hill. At 3.7km turn left again, and continue until 4.9 km. You are at ground zero, 50.385N 115.2145W
Maiyuk Rec Site: Note that just 2km further up the main road is the Maiyuk Rec Site at KM68, with horse corrals, firepits and outhouse. If you can get there, that is. Reports are that the Middle White River road at 67.5KM is still washed out just before the bridge, and won’t be fixed until Sept 2015. Some people have been using a ford across the river there, going through 18 inch deep water with a solid gravel bottom.
Above is a road map– right click on it and open it in a new tab to see it full size.
SPRING FLOOD WASHOUT AT KM59:Now that the river is flooding with snow melt, we’re getting a washout on the Middle White Road, at a culvert just past the bridge at the Mt. Forsyth Rec Site at KM59. GPS: 50.2780N 115.2000W 1390m (that’s 50d 16′ 41″, -115d 12′ 00″) Water is about knee deep, with a fast current. Below the surface are soft muddy ruts. The Middle White R. is overflowing it’s banks and cutting across a loop, running from right to left in the photo. The concrete/steel bridge 50 feet back over the Middle White is fine. Water is everywhere through the trees. No place to cross on foot, without getting wet.
LOWER NORTH FORK Route: The map shows another way around. We backtracked back across the bridge at KM43 and tried an alternate route on the Lower North White Road. Do you notice anything odd about the bridge in this photo?
Yep, one end is missing. Presumably this washed out in the big 2013 flood. Note the six ten-foot long planks placed at the end for ATVs to cross. So it would be possible to take motorcycles or ATVs past there. Assuming there aren’t trees down and more washouts further along this rugged road. (This bridge is at GPS 50.232N 115.265W).
If you have 3D goggles handy (the NASA standard type red/cyan anaglyph ones) then take a peek at this awesome impact area 3D photo. Those are rugged high mountains and deep river gorges there. Russell peak range is like the prow of a big battleship on the left. Deep gorge in middle. Sinna Creek running through a gouge in the ridge. That rectangular feature to the centre right is a towering T-shape mountain. These stereoscopic photo pairs were photographed in 2005.