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Big Sugarloaf revisited
Timestamp Free: 2018.11.12 - 21:40:42
Ranges: North America Ranges / BC Interior Plateau / Thompson Plateau
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 400m
Participants: Klaus Haring
Difficulty: 1: Hiking and very easy scrambling
Description of changes in approach
[photo]P1070201.JPG[caption]Big Sugarloaf Mountain beyond Nicola Lake[/photo]

Coming back from the ACC GMC I drove along Nicola Lake in the late morning. I had planned to do some hiking and swimming in the Marquart Lake are east of Merritt and when I saw Big Sugarloaf Mountain above the south end of the lake I thought it could be a shorter hike than my first exploration if I drove higher up. See In Search of Big Sugarloaf Mountain. I knew that there was a gravel road coming from the old highway5 under the freeway to Hamilton Lake. I decided to explore this approach that should be a bit shorter.

I found the old hiway just below the information center at the southern freeway interchange. It started as a gravel road, but soon I came to the old pavement. It was in fairly good condition except for many lateral cracks, some fairly big, so I kept my speed down. There were still all the old warning signs, including for the truck runaway lanes which crossed the uphill lane. Eventually I came to a gravel road to the left, just as a bunch of kids on ATVs and trail bikes came up. I asked them whether this was the road under the freeway to Hamilton Lake. Yes! So I followed them as they tore back down the road.

[photo]P1070202.JPG[caption]Sugarloaf Mountain from before road crosses under freeway[/photo]

The road went downhill for nearly 1km before tunneling beneath the freeway. Beyond that I had hiked the road long ago as a loop from Marquart Lake including some cross country travel. Now driving it, it seemed longer and rougher than I remembered.

At Hamilton Lake a strong wind and water green with algae made swimming unattractive. I had driven there before from the east but again the road was rougher with some big holes, probably mud holes...

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