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The long way to Bonnycastle
Timestamp Free: 2019.03.23 - 11:47:52
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (3 days)     Elevation Gain: 1500m
Participants: Klaus Haring, Robin Tivy
Difficulty: 3: Some difficult scrambling and bushwhacking
A climb of the NW ridge of Mount Bonnycastle
In July 1997 I led an Alpine Club trip to Meslilloet from the south. See Climbing Meslilloet Mountain from the South At Norton Lake we met some other people who had a recreation map that showed a road running along the southside of Norton Lake down to Belknap Lake and out to the Hixon Creek Road. It also showed a trail from there to Anne Lake. I immediately wondered whether that would have been a better access to Meslilloet and tried to think of another objective to explore this approach.

When Robin wanted to do something the following weekend I suggested to try Bonnycastle that way. So, on Saturday morning we drove up the Hixon Creek Road without seeing a turn off to the Belknap Lake Road. Eventually we turned around and drove back more slowly and near the Hixon Creek bridge saw some flagging tape marking the obscure start of the totally overgrown road. The alders were big enough trees so that walking between them was fairly easy and we reached Belknap Lake in half an hour. We had a snack and did a bit of swimming. The road seemed to end there and there was no sign of it continuing to Norton Lake. The flagging also ended and there was no trail either.

So we began to deadreconn up along the creek, trying to find the path of least resistance which had lots of resistance too. It was a terrible thrash in many places through bush and boulders and cliffs to be avoided. First we climbed over a small spur ridge, then dropped into a dense, bushy bowl and finally through bush and cliffs up a ridge to the outlet of Anne Lake. The SE shore is very steep, all bush and cliffs, on the NW where the map shows everything flat there is a big rocky hill too. We stopped on the logjam and had a very late lunch. The water was ice cold and we were not tempted to even...

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