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Coquihalla Mountain - A North Ridge Ascent
Timestamp Free: 2020.10.22 - 06:27:35
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Canadian Cascades / Bedded Range
Participants: Justin Brown and Nancy Mickelson
Difficulty: 3: A very pleasant easy/moderate trek along old logging road and horsetrail. The north ridge at the west side of the peak is class 3 and 4 on decent rock with moderate exposure. The west ridge is a class 3 scramble.
An awesome trip into the Coquihalla Mountain backcountry with an ascent of the peak via a scramble up the north and west ridge. A summit bivy and a descent the next day via the easier west ridge.
Editor's Note: The waypoints for Illal Creek FSR do not agree with the Bivouac Illal Creek - they seem to refer to a road up McGee Creek
I'd been wanting to summit this peak since first standing atop Tulameen Mountain back in the summer of 2001. It was then that I first laid eyes on this strangely isolated and prominent group of summits to the north that I'd only ever heard refered to as "Kelly Peaks". It was also then that I learned of the uniqueness and beauty of these ancient looking, isolated peaks and their surrounding landscape that make up part of what's known as the Bedded Range.
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time as a toddler and young man in the town of Tulameen. I have and aunt, uncle and cousins that have lived there for most of my life. Spending time in Tulameen, for me, was the greatest thing in the world. A town seemingly free of laws and rules and the biggest untamed wilderness backyard a youngster could imagine. I had a group of local kids as friends who were much different than my city slicker pals back home. These guys would build forts high in the hills and ride their dirtbikes and snowmobiles up and down the roads and miles of trails in every direction from town. They cussed and spat and smoked and kicked their dogs because, well, that's what they did in these parts. Their dads were avid "outdoorsmen" who fished and hunted and logged or mined. No cabin was complete without a display of game antlers, animal heads and stuffed birds mounted in sequence on the cabin walls. A display which at the time, kind of puzzled me.
Sometimes I would hear local talk of a group of mountains far up the Tulameen River to the northwest called "Kelly Peaks". Yeah, this place was supposed to be snowmobile heaven in winter and a prime...
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