Forum Index > Trip Reports > 9 Peaks, Peakbagging BC, Chilcotin Range and more - August 1-10, 2018
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Gimpilator
infinity/21M



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1596 | TRs | Pics
Location: Edmonds, WA
Gimpilator
infinity/21M
PostMon Aug 13, 2018 7:35 pm 
John and I went to Canada. I let him pick the itinerary. 8-1 Mount Crickmer – 4459’ This peak is nestled between Alouette Lake and Stave Lake. We parked at a gate (49.282478, -122.361664). You could likely drive to (49.296355, -122.370557) if the lower gate is open, beyond which there is overgrown bushwhacking along an old road. The trailhead sign is hilariouos.
We crossed a waterfall chasm on on old rotten log bridge. The sheer number of bear scat piles on the upper road is astounding. It was a nice surprise to find a well developed but abandoned trail where we needed to leave the road at (49.316535, -122.384808). Without this trail, it would be very difficult to finish this peak.
Robie Reid in the clouds
Robie Reid in the clouds
Golden Ears
Golden Ears
8-2 The Nipple – 7543’ This peak has a nice route on the west ridge, but that is no longer accessible because of a locked gate next to a campground. We decided to try the east ridge. People don’t go that way because it’s a hassle, but we decided to give it our best shot anyhow.
I was able to drive to (49.917461, -121.512398). Immediately after crossing a creek, we were immersed in dense alder. The margins of the road were initially better and then we followed bear trails and bear scat cairns through the middle.
road totally gone
road totally gone
The first route crux came when the road turned southwest. Any trace of road has completely disappeared because the ground has sloughed at an angle and slide alder is dense and diagonal. We crossed another bridge with trees growing out of it (49.928826, -121.535302).
We went up an overgrown clear-cut slope. Bushes and mosquitoes were dense here. At the top we briefly walked a clear section of road westward, and then back into the bushes. We were now along the east ridge and chest high in booshes. There were some large boulders to navigate.
We were surprised to find a sizable lake which was not on our maps (49.942074, -121.555659). The first 4 hours had been a strenuous bushwhack, but the last hour was nice alpine. It took the same amount of time to return to the car.
northern valley and west ridge
northern valley and west ridge
Clouds threatened rain much of the day and spoiled summit views, but fortunately it remained dry. 8-3 Spa Mountain – 5925’ Many of the peaks on John’s itinerary were planned as 2 or 3 day outings, but with a little peer pressure on my side I was hoping to day-trip everything. So far it was working, and that allowed extra time for some bonus peaks to be added. We drove east to Salmon Arm area. There are easy peaks there and we could stay with my family in Canoe, where I did some of my first hiking as a kid.
Spa turned out to be mostly a drive-up. The Wallensteen Lake side is the one you want with the better road. 8-4 Mount Ida – 5131’ There’s a nice trail up to an eastern viewpoint, but it doesn’t go to the summit. A friend of mine tried that and failed to get the peak. I drove to (50.622935, -119.309816). We walked a road with some fallen trees to the base of the steep south slope and then bushwacked. It was brief but dense. We followed a rib north to the upper summit plateau.
Some maps show a western point as the summit, but Google indicates an eastern point a half mile away. It’s all volcanic rock covered in blowdown and moose droppings everywhere. There are numerous deep volcanic fissures which must be crossed. It took longer than we anticipated to visit both points and from our measurements we determine that they are of nearly equal height.
west point
west point
east point
east point
Salmon Arm
Salmon Arm
8-5 Mount Lolo – 5735’ This is a drive-up peak north of the town of Kelowna. It was our Plan B after access was stymied elsewhere that same morning. 8-6 Blustry Mountain – 7657’ The approach roads for this peak are narrow and exposed, but it is obviously kept up by the locals for cattle grazing and recreation. A Subaru can make it to the end of the road at (50.587992, -121.734456). A use trail goes up all the way into the alpine.
cows
cows
We crossed meadows and went up to a saddle southwest of the peak. Cows were hanging out on the southwest peak. It’s broad and open on top.
Siwhe
Siwhe
Brew
Brew
White Cap
White Cap
Nikaia, Petlushkwohap, Skihist, Siwhe
Nikaia, Petlushkwohap, Skihist, Siwhe
Intipam
Intipam
Blustry summit
Blustry summit
summit friend
summit friend
8-7 Shulaps Peak – 9449’ The Shulaps Range is about 30 miles long and maintains a high crest throughout, with 8000 and 9000 foot peaks. It’s a sub-range of the Chilcotin Mountains. We hiked a steep ATV road which starts at (50.925945, -122.584870). Take the right fork at the junction (50.935854, -122.570185). The road sort of fades out at the campsite and creek crossing (50.944193, -122.557351).
bear track
bear track
Dickson
Dickson
We followed a motorcycle track up through the alpine meadows. I was angry and disturbed to see the track blow right by the signage asking motorists to please not tear up the alpine and not go higher than said specific elevation. This deep scar in the soft ground will take a long time to heal.
main peak above
main peak above
We went up the valley and crossed into a rock basin. The ground cover ended abruptly. Above us the main peak and south peak were towering. We ascended green rock which appeared to be serpentine, asbestos and jade (I’m no expert). We even found a hunk of what looked like galena. Smoke was pouring through the notch above and I put on my N95 mask for awhile, which slowed my progress.
south peak from the gap
south peak from the gap
Brushbuffalo, what is this?
Brushbuffalo, what is this?
At the gap we tried to ascend eastward on easy slopes below cliffs, but were blocked by cliffs below. We went back to the gap and dropped down manky slopes into the upper basin. There were only 2 options now. We could drop a thousand feet to go far around a major cliff band or try to find a weakness through it.
down mank
down mank
below cliffs
below cliffs
looking back at the gap
looking back at the gap
I thought I detected a gully, even though it wasn’t totally visible. John went to explore another option. Half way up the gully, I called to John that I thought it would go, so he came back over. The gully is steep and chossy for the first half and turns into a steep chossy diagonal ramp for the second half. It lets out onto an upper steep bench above the cliffs.
up this gully
up this gully
to a ramp
to a ramp
easier slopes below the east ridge
easier slopes below the east ridge
We traversed the bench east until we could see easy access to the east ridge above. More green and orange scree and talus and then we followed the east ridge to the summit. The original register is well hidden, but in fairly good shape. It could use a new stout container.
the east peak over a mile distant
the east peak over a mile distant
further out eastern Shulaps Range
further out eastern Shulaps Range
Seton
Seton
Truax
Truax
White Cap
White Cap
Dickson and western icecap peaks beyond
Dickson and western icecap peaks beyond
Shulaps summit
Shulaps summit
1942
1942
Big Dog, a future objective
Big Dog, a future objective
8-8 Rest day. We camped at Marshall Lake where I gorged on handfulls of saskatoon berries and wild raspberries. Fish were a jumpin and the loons, they were a callin.
Marshall Lake
Marshall Lake
Saskatoon
Saskatoon
wild raspberries
wild raspberries

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Gimpilator
infinity/21M



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1596 | TRs | Pics
Location: Edmonds, WA
Gimpilator
infinity/21M
PostMon Aug 13, 2018 7:36 pm 
8-9 Dickson Peak – 9232’ If you drive from Lillooet to Gold Bridge on a clear day, you will marvel at the reflection of Dickson in Carpenter Lake. We hiked up the access road which was recently graded for active mining (50.913910, -122.929273). Weekend warriors might dare to drive it despite prohibitive signage.
Dickson
Dickson
At a T intersection, we turned right and found a nearby log to cross Roxey Creek. The road came to another crossing, but we stayed on the north side and followed a use trail to the alpine meadows. We hiked to the head of this stunning valley and aimed for the left side of the upper headwall.
detached tower and Dickson behind
detached tower and Dickson behind
Everything below the headwall is unstable and potentially dangerous. Shifty talus and large boulders are covered in dirt and gravel and this is a clue to the fact that rock fall and natural rock movement is frequent all around the whole area.
We found the only passage through the headwall which is a gully with a creek running through it. The gully was also filled with unstable rocks and dirt and sketch material. We didn’t linger. Above we found slabs and a tricky creek crossing. (Note: on the descent water flow had increased 200 percent)
Now the upper south face of Dickson was before us. The lower part looked like sh*t. Steep loose scree and talus. We were careful to stay out of the fall line by going diagonal and it’s a good thing, because I launched a big one.
The final upper ridge climbs above a detached tower and features optional class 3 moves on lovely stable granite boulders. The summit has some of the best views of 2018 for me and is certainly one of the best peaks of the year.
detached tower
detached tower
Endless mountains in this direction for 1000 miles  :eek:
Endless mountains in this direction for 1000 miles eek.gif
Dickson summit
Dickson summit
1949
1949
popular Nea group
popular Nea group
Nea Peak
Nea Peak
Athelstan and Ethelweard
Athelstan and Ethelweard
Sessel, Frost Fiend
Sessel, Frost Fiend
Samson, Delilah
Samson, Delilah
Carpenter Lake Valley
Carpenter Lake Valley
Mount Penrose across the way looked particularly gnarly. We could see the huge icecaps to the west and we discussed our shared desire to penetrate that inaccessible area.
Penrose
Penrose
upper basin
upper basin
8-10 Mount Penrose – 8642’ This was totally spur of the moment. While I was busy driving to another peak, John suggested we try Penrose. We didn’t have any beta, but he thought we might be able to find the old trail start if we looked. A local lady who was out walking her dog told us which road to take (50.846346, -122.907165 ).
turn left at the old parking area
turn left at the old parking area
We found the trailhead (50.847380, -122.921838), and followed the trail to a junction where we turned left. The trail went up along the east side of Penrose Creek and then crossed it at 5250 feet. Beyond that it crossed through some amazing blowdown piles of small trees and then sort of faded away into sandy forested pumice slopes below the southeast ridge.
first view of the peak
first view of the peak
This peak is very steep on all sides. We followed flagging up to open slopes and traversed around the north side of the ridge and then up onto it. Penrose stood above us and looked a somewhat gnarly.
Shulaps Range and Gun Lake below
Shulaps Range and Gun Lake below
Sloan
Sloan
Vayu
Vayu
Downton Lake
Downton Lake
chossy blue
chossy blue
I could see that we would have some chossy blue rock to deal with near the end. But in the meantime we had green-eyed horseflies to kill. A lot of them! On this final ascent we stopped frequently to kill 3 or 5 horseflies at a time, and probably wasted upwards of 40 minutes hunting them.
We did some minor scrambling on the final ridge (tricky with the flies), but it might be avoidable. Downton Lake extends like a ribbon below and behind it to the west, the peaks are truly breathtaking. This is the best view of the year so far, hands down. We could see back to Shulaps and over to Samson which we both want, and a number of others which John has already done.
icecap peaks to the west including the Bridge Glacier and Stanley Smith Glacier
icecap peaks to the west including the Bridge Glacier and Stanley Smith Glacier
Shulaps Range in the distance
Shulaps Range in the distance
Whitecap, Birkenhead, Truax behind Gun Lake
Whitecap, Birkenhead, Truax behind Gun Lake
Sloan
Sloan
Samson and Delilah
Samson and Delilah
Dickson yesterday
Dickson yesterday
Nea group again
Nea group again
Relay up north
Relay up north
Birkenhead
Birkenhead
Sunshine and Cadwallader
Sunshine and Cadwallader
Athelstan, Icemaker, Ethelweard
Athelstan, Icemaker, Ethelweard
According to the register, the last ascent was 2016. John speculated about whether we might encounter less flies on the descent since we had decimated their population. He was right and on the way down we were only killing one at a time.
That evening we camped at Gun Lake and it was so hot that I sat down in the lake with all my clothes on. Sloan Peak is reflected to the south. Perhaps a future objective.
Gun Lake
Gun Lake
BC Sloan just as impressive as WA Sloan
BC Sloan just as impressive as WA Sloan
8-11 We got into position for the next and final peak, but in the middle of the night thick smoke moved into the whole area. We drove home. As with other forays into the BC coastal ranges, the take home vibe is a mix of excitement and the dawning anxiety which comes from the realization of how many good mountains are out there and how short life is. Thank you John for being such an awesome partner, and my apologies we didn't camp in an alpine meadow, as I know you would have liked.

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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostMon Aug 13, 2018 8:02 pm 
Lookin' good Adam! Love the Dickson and Penrose panoramas! up.gif up.gif

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Jake Robinson
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Jake Robinson
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PostMon Aug 13, 2018 8:03 pm 
Excellent report as always! The berries look delicious. I'm slowly coming to realize what an incredible wealth of mountains exists up in B.C. I wonder why more WA climbers don't go up there - seems there are many areas that involve less driving than some destinations in the Cascades, with a much bigger payoff.

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ChinookPass
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PostMon Aug 13, 2018 8:55 pm 
Awesome report. Thanks for posting!

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Brushbuffalo
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
Brushbuffalo
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PostMon Aug 13, 2018 9:37 pm 
Jake Robinson wrote:
incredible wealth of mountains exists up in B.C. I wonder why more WA climbers don't go up there -
The border, maybe.

Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Midnight Slogger
'Schwack Job



Joined: 04 Aug 2017
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Midnight Slogger
'Schwack Job
PostTue Aug 14, 2018 5:10 pm 
Your TRs always widen my world, Adam--many thanks! Thought you this past weekend in the Stone Kingdom area. When are ya gonna tag Three Queens and take me with you?

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kitya
Fortune Cookie



Joined: 15 Mar 2010
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Location: Duvall, WA
kitya
Fortune Cookie
PostTue Aug 14, 2018 6:15 pm 
Jake Robinson wrote:
I'm slowly coming to realize what an incredible wealth of mountains exists up in B.C. I wonder why more WA climbers don't go up there - seems there are many areas that involve less driving than some destinations in the Cascades, with a much bigger payoff.
When I lived in B.C. I knew a lot of people who would go across the border to WA all the time for hiking/climbing and I always felt like WA has more variety and more big mountains/volcanoes. Also forest roads are even more horrible and non-predictable in BC. Most of the hiking from Vancouver seem to be centered around Garibaldi provincial park and it has crowds similar to Enchatments levels, plus they don't allow dogs frown.gif

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Zloi
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Zloi
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PostTue Aug 14, 2018 8:46 pm 
Hey, Congrats on a great outing! I just had a question on your Penrose climb write-up. You write, "I could see that we would have some chossy blue rock to deal with near the end. But in the meantime we had green-eyed horseflies to kill. A lot of them! On this final ascent we stopped frequently to kill 3 or 5 horseflies at a time, and probably wasted upwards of 40 minutes hunting them." I'm curious what these flies were. You call them "horseflies," which conjures up the image of a very large critter with a distinctive low buzz and painful bite. But I've never seen a "swarm" of horseflies, such that one could swat them 3 or 5 at a time. In the Cascades, however, I have many times (esp August) encountered swarms of black flies (they love hot, still afternoons). They are about the same size as ordinary house flies and, as they are relatively slow to bite, can be decimated many at a time--though with little apparent effect on their onslaught. They are martyrs to their cause, one and all who, nevertheless, disdain early reveilles, so one notices them not at all in the morning. Just wonder if you could specify more precisely, for the sake of the advancement of scientific knowledge, the nature of the biting insects which plagued you? (Don't happen to have any close-ups..?) I'm sure most of us are concerned about giving horseflies an even worse reputation than they already (so deservedly) sport.

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Gimpilator
infinity/21M



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Gimpilator
infinity/21M
PostFri Aug 17, 2018 7:47 am 
Thanks Aaron and Jake.
Midnight Slogger wrote:
Your TRs always widen my world, Adam--many thanks! Thought you this past weekend in the Stone Kingdom area. When are ya gonna tag Three Queens and take me with you?
Thanks Reed! I'm up for it any time after this smoke clears. smile.gif
Zloi wrote:
Just wonder if you could specify more precisely, for the sake of the advancement of scientific knowledge, the nature of the biting insects which plagued you?
You bring up a very good question. Please allow me to elaborate. When I said we were stopping to kill 3 to 5 at time, I didn't mean with one swat. Each time we stopped, it was a battle. Whether we were dealing with one or more, the flies were using tactics that I can only attribute to horseflies. They would often land on the back of head, neck or shoulders. Once we stopped movement or swatted at them, they would fly away, a distance of 15 or 20 feet and then wait several minutes before resuming attack. This behavior is another trait that seems to be common among the species. They were challenging to kill. Smacking them or stepping on them was no guarantee that they were dead and finished with us. The effective method I have developed over the years to battle horseflies is as follows. Knock them out of the air with your hand or your hat. When they hit the ground, they will be temporarily disoriented for a few seconds. Step on them or use a rock or trekking pole tip to crush them. Grind really well to make sure the internal organs have ejected from the abdomen. If you hesitate on this final step, they will get away and come after you again. After your thoughtful comment, I spent hours reading about fly species in BC and looking at identification websites. I was not able to find an exact match to the green eyed black bodied fly that was predominate. I do feel fairly certain that it was Tabanus. The eyes were not banded. I have no photos of them. We saw a few black flies and deer flies lower in the forest, but up high in the bare rocks, it was horseflies only. There were more than one variety present, but the green eyed variety was primary. Horseflies were also present above 7000 feet among talus on Dickson and Shulaps, but the population on Penrose was much denser. Are you a biologist?

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Zloi
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Zloi
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PostFri Aug 17, 2018 9:58 am 
I am not a biologist and have only the curiosity of a rank amateur. I, too, have had difficulty identifying local insects via the standard bug guides--they are way too general. I have noticed different kinds of mosquitoes in our area, as well as biting flies and small gnats, the latter apparently being related to (if not the same as) no-see-ums. I have been the most curious about the black fly hordes that can suddenly appear on hot afternoons in the mountains from mid-July to mid-August. These average size flies have no respect for a prey's dignity, flying into eyes, ears, nose, mouth (usually open on the uphill), etc., although they seem to prefer bare legs. Luckily, they are slow to bite and so can often be killed in great numbers before they can inflict damage. Still, they are annoying as hell, and I am puzzled why there isn't more generally accessible knowledge about them or our other specific types of flying pests. Even though I love the long days of July, the dwindling of the bug population and cooler temps later in the summer and fall make that time my favorite for hitting the mts. The species you encountered does sound, indeed, like the common horsefly, and you are completely accurate about their durability. A mere slap often has little effect, and they do love to hover a few feet away and then dive-bomb a victim when they are distracted doing something else. We are fortunate that none of our various blood-loving blighters is much of a disease vector.

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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostSun Aug 19, 2018 8:19 am 
Gimpilator wrote:
When they hit the ground, they will be temporarily disoriented for a few seconds. Step on them or use a rock or trekking pole tip to crush them.
lol.gif We came up with a similar strategy on a WTA trip where horseflies were a problem. We experimented a bit but settled on the "double stomp" to ensure they wouldn't get a second chance to bite.

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