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KSteffa

Pantheon Range Trail Party (Aug 12-22)

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Greetings -

 

I am helping to coordinate a 'volunteer vacation' type trip into the BC coast mountains this August. These plans are in conjunction with Ryan Foster at the Sand Creek Ranch. The Foster family lives at the end of the 'westbranch' road near Twist Lake. Nearest town is Tatla Lake, in the Chilcotin region of BC. This area is the traditional jumping off point for trips into the Waddington and Pantheon Ranges.

 

We will be establishing a foot-trail from the end of the road on the valley floor, westward up Sand Creek, to timberline. This will provide a direct brush-free route for skiing/climbing to the near side of the Pantheon range (near Siva Peak). It will also provide an indirect access, via alpine routes, to Nirvana Pass, as well as longer traverses in the Pantheon and Waddington ranges.

 

Our dates are set for August 12-22. Tools and a basecamp will be provided. In addition to volunteer days, we will definitely plan on the 'vacation' part with a few rest days. This could be either fishing on Twist Lake, relaxing around the Ranch, or exploring into the alpine around Siva Peak.

 

If you are interested in more details, contact me.

 

Kevin Steffa

email: kevinsteffa at gmail dot com

 

Note: Driving takes about ~12 hrs from Seattle/Vancouver/Lower Mainland. I will coordinate a limited number of carpools for those date ranges (or sub-ranges) above.

Edited by KSteffa

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WOW....but I selfishly dislike this idea..I sent 6 days in 2008 in the meadows below Siva and kind of thought of this place as my private paradise...untouched and epically beautiful...Hummingbird Meadows, Quicksand Lake, Siva's Dagger (all our names)..But who am I to oppose?

 

Also how is party supposed to get from there over to Nirvana Pass??Over the Vishnu/Bayamee Col? Not easy...

 

Marc might disagree with me?

 

By the way I will be up in the Niut Range in about a week right accross the valley.

 

 

 

Edited by ScottPick

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Aye, good to hear that the area has seen some advocates!

 

Suffice to say we will not be cutting trail through the meadow zone. Our route will end at about the 1800m mark in the Sand Creek drainage. Beyond that, the passes are all pretty rocky or glaciated, so its all cross-country terrain past there. I think the more interesting features are just over small passes in adjacent drainages (twist and hell-raving). There should be plenty of room to spread out and leave for discovery.

 

To travel to Nirvana Pass, I think the easiest route would be to cross over the divide between Siva and Osaris peaks, taking a line via the hell-raving side. More technical yes, the Vishnu/Bayamee col. What route did you take to get from valley through timberline on your trip in 2008?

 

The Niut range looks pretty nice from the ranch too - though no trail assist - you probably wont see anyone else up there!

Edited by KSteffa

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Hitched a ride with Mike. There is a big nasty drop at the twist/hell raving pass. don't know how someone would get over that. long scary rap. then its WAY down the valley (losing a ton of hard-won elevation) then up and over Osaris? Hmmm..Looking at my topo now it looks better to veer north and around the backside of that little 8'000 foot peak (passing a small lake) then down into the Hell Raving headwaters. That would avoid the serious gap at the pass mentioned above. We trundled rocks off that pass and its a doozie. Rocks took many seconds to hit anything. Have you thought about building a trail up Hell Raving? Its long but gentle.

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You are right that twist/hell raving pass doesn't go nice. However, there are two nice passes from sand/hell raving - one near that small lake you mention, another near Vetch peak.

 

Hell-raving has been used by some as an approach route. However it is not only considerably longer, but also has a higher ratio of downed trees and brush. John Baldwin's third edition 'exploring the coast mountains on skis' makes similar mention now. Sand Creek is really the most efficient valley-to-alpine route.

 

Twist creek has also been under consideration, which could lead more directly into the 'heart' of the range. However, that is a considerably larger project with more details to be worked out. I believe that NOLS regularly uses this route for their courses? If enough interest/volunteers materialize, we could certainly pursue that further.

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Twist creek has also been under consideration, which could lead more directly into the 'heart' of the range. However, that is a considerably larger project with more details to be worked out. I believe that NOLS regularly uses this route for their courses? If enough interest/volunteers materialize, we could certainly pursue that further.

 

i think NOLS mostly goes down-valley from Fosters to Twist Lk (road), then follows the old trail to the long-abandonned hippy homestead on the flats near Twist Creek where Sage Birchwater and his family used to live (until the tail end of the '80s?). this trail was in need of clearing 10 years ago, but not too bad. from the homestead, they continue down Mosley Creek, then branch up Scimitar.

 

there are still traces of the old cattle trail up Twist Ck that (I believe) the Fosters built way back in the mid-70s - I reckon it was a trapping trail earlier than that, cuz we came across remnants of trap lines when we walked out that way in '79. highland grazing didn't pan out up there, cuz the valley's infested with grizzlies. it would take a lot of guys with a lot of chainsaws a lot of days to cut thru all the deadfall now - the earlier beetle infestation around 1980 created a lot of windthrow a decade later, and of course the last few years have been much worse. still, a trail up Twist Creek would open up the finest alpine country in the Coast Mtns: Nirvana Pass, Zeus/Thor, Bifrost Pass, the Waddington Range itself. with helicopter transport getting pretty expensive, it'd be nice to rejuvenate the practise of flying in and walking out. it's a great adventure, brings the size of the wilderness into scale, and saves money (altho not time and effort).

 

good luck!

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