Coq on the long weekend - Illal Meadows - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
happiestoutdoors's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Raincouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Posts: 869
Default Coq on the long weekend - Illal Meadows

I headed up to Illal Meadows near the Coquihalla Summit for a quick overnighter yesterday. The Coq area has featured in a few memorable TRs on CT and the Illal Meadows trail is a new addition to 103 hikes, so I wanted to check it out.

This isn't much of a TR, more of a road and trail conditions report.

The driving directions in 103 Hikes are spot on. About 18.5km after turning onto Tulameen FSR from the highway we crossed Illal Creek and headed up the deactivated spur road. We were driving a Nissan X-Terra and found the spur road to the trailhead to be fairly manageable - although we did have a bit of trailer-hitch scraping on some of the deeper water bars.

103 hikes says that the first two kms of the road are 2WD high clearance but unless you are experienced with off-road driving, I don't know if I would bother. It is also worth mentioning that if you like your paint job, don't drive the spur road. There were several VERY brushy sections, especially near the bottom and our truck now has the tell-tale brush carwash stripes on it to prove it. We think it might come off with a good wash and wax, but we'll see.

103 Hikes says that the first 2km are 2WD and the last 1km is 4WD to the wash out trailhead. While this is true, it is worth noting that the only place to park is about a 1km or so from the washout and there is no easy place to turn around. There is space for one, or maybe two cars at the washout parking area, but that's it. There is lots of parking at the start of the spur road and we did see a pickup with horse trailer attached parked there.

As far as the hiking trail goes, once again the directions in 103 hikes were spot on. The only place that the trail was at all hard to follow was the part after you leave the old road for the final time and head up into the bush (after crossing a fork of Illal Creek). There was a bit of bashing around in the bush in that area to find the trail, but we found it fairly quickly.

Once you get on the trail proper, there are quite a few brushy sections, but the footbed is still fairly obvious. We also saw a bit of recent bear scat on the lower portions of the trail, along with a lot of horse sh*t, so beware of that too.

We didn't get into the meadows until around 7pm due to our late start, so we camped near the end of the trail right where the meadows start to flatten out. Right around the corner from our camp the trail just ended - 103 Hikes says it evaporates, and they are right.

There was a very cold wind coming down from the peaks so we were happy to have some sheltering trees to camp by. We had a fairly hard time trying to sting up our food in a bear hang. We weren't too worried about bears since all indications seemed to point to them hanging out at much lower elevations. However, we are always pretty careful. We wondered if anyone else has invested in a bear canister for these types of situations?

The next morning we didn't have tons of time to spare, but we did have a bit of time to explore the meadows and talus slopes below Jim Kelly Peak. We had our GPS with us, but it appears that the topo maps we had loaded don't have very many of the features in the area named. The NTS 1:50000 maps don't seem to have much named in the area either. What gives?

We rambled up to a flattish bench near the Coquihalla - Jim Kelly Peak col. Here are a bunch of pics that I took:

This was my first trip with my new camera - an Olympus Stylus 1030SW. It's freeze-proof, waterproof to 33m, crush-proof up to 220lbs, and shock proof for a fall of up to 6 feet. Thankfully, I didn't end up testing any of those properties on this trip. However, I did use a few of its scene specific modes. Overall, I'm pretty impressed with this camera so far.

After our ramble in the meadows we came back to camp for lunch, packed up and headed down. The spot we chose to camp was nice and sheltered from the breeze, but unfortunately this meant that the bugs were horrendous. I think next time I go back (since I definitely need to go back) I'll camp further up.

In the 24 hours or so that we were up there, we saw one other group who were also camped near the trail. We also saw one set of horse-shoe prints going up the same day as us, then going down the same day we went down. Never did see the horse though. There were six vehicles parked in the area, but we didn't see many people at all. This is a beautiful area with lots of great terrain and solitude. I'll be interested to see if it gets more popular now that it is in 103 Hikes. I think the long road access from Vancouver and the minor bit of route-finding involved in the hike might deter some. I will definitely be back to do some extensive exploring when I have more time though.

Oh, also, here is a link to a brief panoramic video I took:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW96aODqS20 Mostly I just wanted to try out the video feature on my new camera, but also, the video gives a good sense of the type of terrain up there.
happiestoutdoors is offline  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 08:10 PM
Scaling New Heights
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Posts: 75
Default

Great TR, wish I was there! Oh wait, I was.

Here's the trail according to my GPS.


grisha is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 10:10 PM
Summit Master
 
mick range's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Forest Gnome Cabin, , Canada.
Interest: Outdoor stuff...especially scrambling,trailrunning,mountain biking,kayaking,and hiking, and of course photography
Posts: 13,876
Default

That sure is a beautiful area to ramble
mick range is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 10:52 PM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: , BC, Canada.
Posts: 2,596
Default

Quote:
quote:
Illal Meadows
GAH! It's already begun. I should point out that the creators of the trail respecfully asked that it be kept secret due to:
A) The grizzly reintroduction in the area
B) The fact that ATV will tear up the meadows the second they hear about the trail (as they've done to everything else along Tulameen River FSR).
C) The alpine is fragile and cannot handle "103" levels of hikers. (note the trail does not go "anywhere", and it wont be long until the entire alpine is littered with random tracks)

6 cars parked there means the area will be destroyed within the next year or two.

</rant> (don't take it personally

At very least, please don't call it Illal Meadows! It's just an inventa-name - a few people have been giving everything in the area random names, pretending they have some sort of authority over such things.
ShadowChaser is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
happiestoutdoors's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Raincouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Posts: 869
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ShadowChaser

Quote:
quote:
Illal Meadows
GAH! It's already begin - there's no such place as Illal Meadows. It's an inventa-name.
Illal Meadows is the name given in 103 Hikes. The authors of that series are known for giving things "invent-a-names" - see Skyline East and West in Manning a.k.a. Skyline I and Skyline II. I don't know a better name for the area so I stuck with Illal Meadows. I have seen many of the features in that area given names here on CT but on my electronic topos I use with my GPS and on the NTS maps I consulted there seem to be a real dearth of names for features in this area. If anyone cares to enlighten me on some source for names for this region that would be great. For example, Jim Kelly Peak is not named on the NTS maps or on my electronic topos. It doesn't even have a bivouac entry. It is obviously part of the Coquihalla Group, but it is even more obviously a separate peak.
happiestoutdoors is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 11:01 PM
Summit Master
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: , BC, Canada.
Posts: 2,596
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Gulagger
If anyone cares to enlighten me on some source for names for this region that would be great. For example, Jim Kelly Peak is not named on the NTS maps or on my electronic topos. It doesn't even have a bivouac entry. It is obviously part of the Coquihalla Group, but it is even more obviously a separate peak.
Very few features have names there - Illal Creek, Jim Kelly Creek, and Coquihalla Mountain are the only two significant ones that come to mind. Jim Kelly Peak is more of a "common name" but seems to have been around for ages. All of the other Bivouac/103 names are randomly made up (ie/ not names from common usage). "Illal Peak" I've used, but it might just be a Biv name.

The reason "Jim Kelly Peak" isn't in Bivouac is he renamed all(most?) mountains with spaces in their names. No idea why.
ShadowChaser is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 11:37 PM
Summit Master
 
BillyGoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chilliwack, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, UL Backpacking, canoeing, snowshoeing
Posts: 7,376
Default

Exy and I have spent a total of 12 nights so far in that area and we have all kinds of made up names like Aquafresh Lake, Elusive lake, Compensation lakes, Illal Lake, etc. I have mixed feelings about it being included in the 103 hikes book and had a conversation with Jack Bryceland about it (I guess I'm partly to blame for it's inclusion as I gave him directions on how to get there and check it out).
It's one of those things where on one hand you want it all to yourself and a select few but if all of a sudden some sort of gov't sanctioned activity happens that could potentially destroy the area (it's been known to happen), the fight to prevent such a thing would be all the stronger if a number of people had already been up there and learned to appreciate it's beauty and uniqueness.
It wa sfor this reason that it was included in the 103 hikes book.
BillyGoat is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-04-2008, 11:46 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chwk, , Canada.
Posts: 5,318
Default

Beautiful area...I'd like to check it out, but I have no idea where you were so I guess your secret is safe from me!
TheShadow is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 09:08 AM
Summit Master
 
Flowing-Brook's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Popkum, BC, Canada.
Interest: Hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, tai chi, meditation.
Posts: 6,099
Default

Great report, beautiful area, and your new camera takes great pictures! Thanks for your report.
Happy trails,
Lynn
Flowing-Brook is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-05-2008, 07:39 PM
Super Moderator
 
KARVITK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Abbotsford, B.C., Canada.
Interest: Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Photography. Enjoying the outdoors fresh air and fitness experience.
Posts: 17,919
Default

Nice shots, and love those open spaces.

You are going to have a lot more fun with that video function. I beginning to think perhaps a camcorder might be the next step.

K
KARVITK is offline  
post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 10:18 AM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: , , .
Posts: 705
Default

tell me more about the road/ parking area. i've only driven part way a few years ago, but i recall that there seemed to be a fairly roomy parking area. Has the road been cut by a slide?
mrultralite is offline  
post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
happiestoutdoors's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Raincouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Posts: 869
Default

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mrultralite

tell me more about the road/ parking area. i've only driven part way a few years ago, but i recall that there seemed to be a fairly roomy parking area. Has the road been cut by a slide?
There is a fair amount of parking on the side of the Tulameen FSR before the spur road. There is parking for maybe 10+ vehicles at about the 2km mark on the spur road - this is the end of the 2WD high clearance section. At the end of the 4WD portion of the road (the washout) there is space for one vehicle easily, another could fit, but turning around to get out would be difficult.
happiestoutdoors is offline  
post #13 of (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 01:36 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: , , .
Posts: 705
Default

Thanks for the info, so how ong is the 4WD section?
mrultralite is offline  
post #14 of (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 03:08 PM
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 719
Default

Interesting report, with pretty pictures

Is this in the area that may or may not be impacted by a resort?

This is an interesting place to go to check out 'official' names for geographical features in BC:
http://ilmbwww.gov.bc.ca/bcnames/
Eryne is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1