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Ilgachuz Escape
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.08 - 23:45:09
Ranges: Ilgachuz Range
  (6 days)
Participants: Chris Nott, Colleen Craig, Fred Touche
Difficulty: 3: No technical difficulty but travel through swamps and fire ravaged areas with many windfalls.
A truncated trip through the western and southern portions of the Ilgachuz Range.
After a 12 hour drive from Vancouver, we reached the village of Anahim Lake and veered north onto the Dean River road. Although gravel-surfaced, this mainline is in excellent condition. We stopped to car camp at the bottom of a very short spur that leads down to Medicine Lake from where the Ilgachuz Range was visible. In the evening the eerie sound of a loon lulled us to sleep. [photo]P9042148.jpg[caption]loon[/photo]

Day 1 - Arduous Approach
We continued driving up the Dean River road until we reached a logging road spur that branches off across the valley from Anahim Peak. [photo]P9042157.JPG[caption]Anahim Peak[/photo]

We managed to drive our low-clearance vehicle about 4.5 km up this road before progress was blocked.

After packing up, we hiked to the end of the road, which was only 400 m away from where we parked. We went through a short band of forest, crossed Festuca Creek, and then reached a [px]P9042163.jpg[c]cow bridge[/px] that re-crosses Festuca Creek. On the other side lay a broken down cattle fence. From here we needed to cross a swamp.

We spend considerable time trying to find a route through the swamp, which seemed to get deeper the further in we went. After finally giving up trying to keep our feet dry, we forced our way toward a line of trees on the other side of the swamp. Luckily we found a [px]P9042166.jpg[c]beaver dam[/px] to overcome the deepest portion of the swamp. After finally reaching the trees, we took a GPS waypoint at a small hump, and then followed a direct compass bearing toward a draw that cuts through the steep west edge of the Ilgachuz plateau.

We went through a couple more smaller swamps before reaching a gradual upward slope where the ground was drier. Abruptly we reached a massif area of...

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