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Exploring the Itcha Range
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.08 - 23:25:00
Ranges: North America Ranges / BC Interior Plateau / Chilcotin Plateau
  (5 days)
Participants: Pardeep Longia, Cecilia Lundsten, Sylvia Berryman, Colleen Craig, Fred Touche Off trail hike through open forest and alpine terrain. Tiny bit of Class 2-3 scrambling.
The Itcha Range is a mysterious extinct volcanic range perched on the Chilcotin Plateau west of Quesnel, BC. It's part of the Anahim Volcanic Belt, which consists of a series of volcanic ranges that become progressively younger from west to east. The oldest of this group is the Rainbow Range, followed by the Ilgachuz Range, and then the Itcha Range. Further east is the still volcanically active Nazko Cone.

The underlying feature that created these ranges is the Anahim volcanic hotspot. Lava erupts through the hotspot while the overlying tectonic plate moves. This is similar to the process that created the Hawaiian islands.

The Itcha Range is home to large herds of mountain goats and woodland caribou. There are also smaller numbers of elk, moose, and grizzly bears. Most human visitation is by hunters on horseback. Although it's fully within Itcha-Ilgachuz Provincial Park, it's rarely visited by hikers.

Drive to the Chilcotin
From Highway 20, which runs between Williams Lake and Bella Coola, we easily followed the Jacobsens Logging Road, which parallels the upper Chilcotin River. About six and half kilometres past the logging camp, we came upon a key fork where we veered left and followed a less developed road to its end.

The last portion of this road featured three creek crossings, one of which posed difficulties for my low-clearance, 2-wheel drive Yaris.

[photo]P9016699.jpg[caption]One of three creek crossings[/photo]
  I managed to get the car across the creek itself, but was unable to climb the loose sand on the opposite bank, despite four people pushing. I did manage to turn the vehicle around in the middle of the creek bed and then tried to back up the sandy slope. This miraculously worked and we continued to where a bridge across the...

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