My friend, Michal, suggested doing a trip to nearby Kinnear Lake (marked with an "A"):
The lake looked attractive from the satellite images
What made me particularly curious was that Googling didn't come up with much, other than basic stats. There was one obscure reference on Bivouac to approach from the NE from Sloquet FSR, and another entry from Dru about a possible trail from the Stave River Valley.
The drive is a long one (5-6 hrs). Up through Pemberton, and down the Lilooet FSR, and to the end of the Sloquet FSR. The Sloquet FSR is in very good shape (low clearance 4wd) until about km 17.5 at which point there is a slide which stops all trucks, although a bike would be fine.
We were happy with getting to within a few kms of the end of the road, and set off on foot. After 3.4 km we observed an old road. This was a good sign, since topo maps indicated an old road system which crossed Sloquet creek and would undoubtedly make for fast travel. Following this for a few hundred meters we reached the creek. It was gorgeous water, with a charismatic waterfall. And a serviceable bridge! The creek could be forded here as an alternative to the bridge.
From here, the route teased us with easy travel along the overgrown road. Excessive optimism crept in: "If we can keep this pace we will have time to bag a peak" (ha!).
The old road system gave us a total of about a km of easy travel. From there, it was time to gain some elevation. We could try to gain the NE side of the creek exiting Kinnear Lake (call the creek Kinnear Creek for this report) or continue along the south side. Travel looked quite reasonable from where we were, so we proceeded up without crossing to about 800m. While sometimes steep, it was pleasant enough and made for good travel.
At this point we alternated contouring to the left and going up as obstacles presented themselves. The bush got heavier. We hit a heli-logging clearcut, which we skirted below. Eventually we met up with Kinnear Creek but kept some distance as it got steeper down in there. Several small creeks presented challenging microterrain, which we bypassed by gaining elevation. It was now becoming harder travel, but there were sections of large trees and interesting fungi to keep us going.
It was a pleasure to eventually run into a boulder field. We skirted the base, which made for some variety and good travel.
There was another section with some big trees, but that was followed by a destruction zone where everything had been mowed down by a recent avalanche. This was OK, but it was followed by a bushy slope that made for very slow travel. We decided to tough it out because the bush extended far up and going down had possibly steeper/harder terrain. I didn't take any pictures here.
Finally we came to a meadows. Elation!
All we were left with was a short grunt through an attractive forest.
At our objective, we were rewarded with views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Nice. There was no trace of anyone being at the lake. Michal set about swimming (pleasant water) while I kept busy taking photos.
We found space among the logs for two bivouac sacks. The mosquitos settled down a bit after the sun set, and there was a fine show from the meteor shower (well, so I hear -- I was tired enough to fall asleep after the first meteor and didn't wake up again until the moon was up. better luck next year.... ).
The next morning we got moving by 8:20. We elected to pass lower down the bushy section which made travel much easier.
Aside from that, the return followed a similar route. We enjoyed cooling down in the pool at the base of the waterfall as we left. Awesome on a hot day!
Stats for the ascent: 9.7km each way, 6hrs, 1100m gained, 300m lost. (descent took about the same amount of time and is in solid grey)