Tag Archives: Chilcotins

McGillivray Ridge 31/07/10

Chris on McGillivray Ridge:
“Cam, Cara and I spent 4 days on and around McGillivray Ridge on the edge of the Bendor Range with a mix of thunderstorms and smoke haze. Smoke kept the big animals away but we saw many ptarmigan families and marmots and a few pikas. The Hurley is in rough shape (washboarding and exposed rocks) but still 2wd. The East Hurley to Bralorne and the Kingdom Lake FSR are also both 2wd (and in nicer condition). We parked at the start of the McGillivray Pass road and hiked up. The alders at the start of the road are growing in again but it’s still easy to maintain hiking speed. There’s a few blowdowns on the road as well. We left the road for the high trail and found that, once you hit the meadows, the trail is hard to follow due to non-use and I was working off memory most of the time. We camped on the ridge near where the trail crosses over and used melting snow fields for water. There’s still lots of snow as we found on the second day when we continued along the ridge: at one point we encountered an 8-m-high drift. We found and packed out some old garbage including a leg-hold trap embedded in the tundra. We made a try for Whitecap Mt on our third day by following the horse trail down into Connel Creek. This part of the trail is in better shape but still disappears in lush meadows. We passed the Chilcotin Holidays cabin (in poor shape because there’s no door to keep wildlife out). The meadows beyond were the lushest I’ve ever seen – up to our waists in flowers and couldn’t see our feet. There were remnants of the trail heading up a creek to the west of Whitecap but too hard to follow. We ran out of time with 400+m still to go but with the steep part of the climb (40 degree slopes) done. On our last day, we bypassed McGillivray Mt and headed NW along the ridge – much narrower than the eastern half before dropping down, sidehilling around Royal Peak and down the ridge to the Piebiter roads. Most of these roads had been cleared for ATVs perhaps last year but those that aren’t are slide alder hell. Crossing Piebiter Creek (knee-height), we checked out the old Piebiter cabin (sturdy but in need of a good clean-out) before heading down to the car again.”

Graveyard Valley 01/07/10

Chris in Graveyard Valley (southern Chilcotins):
“Getting to the trailhead for this hike can be a challenge. We made it in a slightly lifted 4wd Tracker with AT tires. 2wds will find the going ok until some dried mud flows on the descent to Tyaughton Creek campsite – still doable but you might scrap. If you get past a waterbar near the top of a hill about 500 m north of the campsite, you’ll be able to drive to at least 13.3 km past the campsite. Beyond this point the puddles get bigger and 4wd with good tires are recommended (later in the year, you might be able to push it for another couple km to the top of the big hill). We took the Relay Creek trail to the cabin then went up the Little Paradise Creek trail, over the pass to Graveyard and down to the large meadow where the main creek is. All the trails were frequently boggy with snowmelt and there were frequent creek crossings (many unavoidable). We had 2 nights of sub-zero temperatures and a mixed bag of weather – some rain, some snow, some hail and some sun. We explored many of the ridges around Graveyard including Elbow Mtn (climbing to 2450 m barely touching snow). Almost ran into a grizzly in Little Paradise (there’s also a large one in Relay – saw some enormous prints), heard some wolves calling and saw lots of deer and marmots. On the way out, we travelled down to Graveyard Cabin (which is showing it’s age – I’d opt for a tent given the choice) and back along the Relay Creek trail.”

Spruce Lake Area 20/06/09

Chris in the Spruce Lake area:
“Cara, Mike and Ribeka joined me on a trip of mixed weather and great hiking in the Spruce Lake area of the Southern Chilcotins. The Hurley Road was about average – bumpy but still 2wd-able. The Slim Creek Road was in better shape even after the work done to put in fire breaks due to the Tyaughton Lake fire (almost out). There’s a couple new spurs and the road forms part of the main fire break. We parked at Jewel Creek bridge and saw only one group of horse wranglers the whole time we were there (usually you have to hop off the trail to let bike trains and horse trains by). The trail was dry and dusty. The snow pack was 20% below record lows and melting fast – almost a month ahead of schedule. For day trips, we climbed up to Sheba Ridge and the ridge south of Windy Pass. Saw many deer but only one black bear. The only signs of grizzlies were a couple of the biggest tracks I’ve ever seen.”