Chilcotins – Day 2 – Big Creek to Spruce Lake

On day 2 our stats are: 9 hours and 6 min. Elevation gain 1041m. Descent 1333m. Distance about 29.5km. Our route is shown below.

It sprinkles a bit that night but barely enough for me to roll over and rig up the tarp to keep moisture off me. It’s wonderfully cool and clear in the morning and the hot chocolate goes down well with the view of Warner Glacier.

This panorama show Elbow Mountain, Elbow Pass and Lorna Pass.

East face of Dorrie Peak (2836m) from our camp. Behind Dorrie Peak is Iron Pass.

Taken by Pat Mulrooney

For some reason, even though we’re up basically at 7am we didn’t get rolling till past 9.30. Too much food to eat I suppose. It’s incredibly slow going again on the trail between our Big Creek camp and Lorna Lake – surprising because this trail should see a lot more traffic. Here Zdenek and Mike manage to pedal a bit in one of the few bits of non-boggy trail.

To get to Lorna Pass you have to cross Big Creek. You have to go past Lorna Pass on the west side of the creek for a bit before fording Big Creek.

Taken by Pat Mulrooney

No trip in the Chilcotin seems to be complete without a bit of bushwhacking. This was a bit unnecessary and if we’d followed Pat and stayed low on the talus we could have avoided it.

Halfway up the talus scramble of Lorna Pass here is the view north looking towards Grant Creek, Cluckata Ridge and the Dil-Dil Plateau. From bivouac.com

-Location: The Dil-Dil Plateau lies east of Mount Vic, in the South Chilcotins. There are not many such plateaus in southern BC that are so extensive at over 7500 feet. Terrain: The Dil-Dil is an ancient volcanic flow, and very level and easy to hike across in almost any direction. There are numerous big healthy deer up on the plateau. There is lots of water available for campsites, and no human, cow or horse trails, so you can drink the water without filters.

The fabled Pat-hair with Dorrie Peak, Lorna Lake and Iron Pass as the backdrop.

Taken by Zdenek Manhal

This little creek at just above 2000m is a conveniant rest stop.

Finally getting to the rarefied air of Lorna Pass at about 2300m — ugh.

Taken by Zdenek Manhal

Pat wins the polka-dot jersey and gets the coveted testosterone patch and is rewarded with this tremendous view down Tyaughton Creek.

For every climb, there is payback. Here’s Zdenek getting payback on this 600m descent of singletrack.

The man-train taking in the views.

Taken by Pat Mulrooney

Pat in his natural environment.

Taken by Zdenek Manhal

Mike descending the lower slopes. The mountains surrounding Windy Pass are the backdrop.

Pat shredding the lower Tyaughton singletrack dropping into the plateau around Tyax camp and the Deer Pass trail junction.

We get to the Deer Pass trail junction at 2.30 – a bit too late to make it up and over Deer Pass if we want to get to Spruce Lake before nightfall. Regretfully, we decide to not even try and just take the Tyaughton Creek trail to Spruce. Be aware that all 5 creek crossings are deep! We finished off by taking the WD trail to Spruce, getting there at a nice civilized time of 6pm.

Our view from the Spruce Lake campsite looking south to Leckie Peak (2560m) and the Leckie Range.

The view to the north and Fortress Ridge isn’t bad either. The ridge is 2300m or so high – or just about the same elevation as Lorna Pass which we just climbed.

Some useful waypoints are here – all NAD82:

Creek below (W of) Lorna Pass – good place to get water – 2060m 0489540 5664557

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