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Hotter Than Hell - Peak Bagging in the Devils Range
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.11 - 08:33:19
Ranges: North America Ranges / Columbia Mountains / Selkirk Mountains / Valhalla Ranges
  (4 days)     Elevation Gain: 2200m
Participants: Doug Brown, Sandra McGuinness
Difficulty: 5: Rock climbing to 5.6, moderate bushwhacking and route finding.
A four day camping trip to Cauldron Lake with climbs of Devils Dome, Rosemary's Baby, Trident and Mephistopheles.
Day 1: Gasp into Cauldron Lake

Maybe if we'd started earlier, walking in to Cauldron Lake wouldn't have been so tiring, but, probably, I'd have to start about 20 years earlier, not just 2 hours, for it to be truly less painful. One hour into the trip we reached [px]d_lake.jpg[c]Drinnan (Drinnon) Lake [/px]and I guzzled a litre of water while Doug genteelly sipped about a cup full. Beyond Drinnan Lake, the trail was mostly snow-covered. We managed to follow it to Wicca Lakes, but lost it for good after that. Down in Gwillim Creek valley we passed Warlock Lake on the east side. Our directions (from a 2005 KMC newsletter), said to leave the trail here (just before the first bridge in Gwillim Creek valley) and follow game trails down stream (and hill) to cross Gwillim Creek. Despite snow cover, we did find sporadic game trails and reached Gwillim Creek, which in late June was a raging torrent. A bit of scouting revealed no easy or safe way of crossing, so we hiked back up to the trail, crossed two creeks on bridges and then bushwhacked over to Gwillim Creek where we found an easy crossing at about 6300 feet. After crossing Gwillim Creek, we had a short break and I slugged back another litre of water, Doug wet his lips.

We gained about 30 to 50 metres of elevation, then contoured for about 1.5 km until we reached the creek that drains [px]c_lake.jpg[c]Cauldron Lake[/px]. If you're ever retracing this route, the first part is across a boulder field, then an avalanche slope, and finishes in forest. If you stay at about 6400 feet, you'll cross one creek before you reach the creek that drains Cauldron Lake and will come out on a berm on the west side of the creek. We followed the berm up hill, until we encountered a marshy meadow where it was easy to cross Cauldron Creek....

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