Dummies' Guide; Gott & Gotcha Peaks nr Duffy Lake - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-22-2012, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Default Dummies' Guide; Gott & Gotcha Peaks nr Duffy Lake

Gott(2511m) and Gotcha(2459m) Peaks are located about 75km drive & on foot from Pemberton, and bordering Stein Valley Heritage Park on their east side. Both peaks are super fast access from a blowdown pass, which is about 15km on 4x4 alpine gravel road from Duffy lake road.


Left photo; Gott Peak(left) & its sub peak(right) from Goctha. Right photo; Gotcha Peak from Gott.


====
INTRODUCTION

Scrambling to Gott and Gotcha peaks are probably the easiest of all alpine peaks I experienced so far, yet view and thrilling feeling of being in high place is very present. Gott peak has a very exciting ridge route from sub peak to main peak. This ridge is not very narrow but other side is cliffy and quite exciting to experience as a beginner scrambler. Highly recommend as a quick outing on your way back from more robust ascend hikes. Beyond each peak is a route to connect to further peaks along the ridge for advanced hikers. Also note there was no water in this short route. There was a snow field at Gotcha.



Their trailhead access itself is equally or possibly more exciting process for many visitors. The road takes you to gorgeous pure alpine views while you sit in a car! Even if you don't get off the car at all it is well worth heading there for some people(like myself 5yrs ago). If you are not used to do off road driving, it requires careful maneuvering of a high clearance 4x4 vehicle with good approach and departure angles. It would be also helpful to have limited slip or locking differential as there are sections one or two wheels might detach from the ground. But the road itself to the Blowdown pass was in relatively good shape overall without any scary or super challenging spots. I don't recall any waterbars either. Even Subaru type AWD might be able to make it with chance of several bottoming out & scraping bumpers.


====
BACKGROUND

The place was busy, I met 7 parties and later a convoy of 4 wheelers showed up with 10 or more cars and enjoying their prowess with jacked up nice looking trucks.

This trip is a sort of a consolation prize as I got lost and couldn't make it to Hurley Silver Mine peaks. It sure is different from the West side of Duffy lake and much drier and far less snow is present.

====
TIME

This is a very short distance basic trip so if one is wanting to do trailrunning, the routes to Gott/Gotcha might be a good place to practice challenging rocky terrains.

From the parking(about 250m from the pass) to Gott Peak; 33mins. Return 28mins including photo stop 6mins. All runnable on ascent. I went zigzag to increase the grip.

From the parking to Gotcha peak; 20mins. Return 18mins including photo stop 3mins.

Black moss covered rock grip on Gott peak route is decent. Gotcha has a large portion of bare rock boulder fields & more unstable rocks so not suitable for fast running. Fast runners can do 25-27mins to Gott, 17mins to Gotcha on ascent.


====ACCESS TO TRAILHEAD ====

Turn right at first Pemberton intersection and take hwy99 onto Duffy lake road.

At Mt Currie turn right here and set odometer to 0.


As the hwy ascends towards Duffy lake, you would see a beautiful transition of forest species as well as many glacier peaks. After you go past Duffy lake, you will see Duffy (Cayoosh) Creek going fast on your left(left photo). Then at 44km you see this gate and signs(right photo).


At these signs turn 135 degrees to right. Set odometer to 0 again here. You see a Blowdown road sign in the photo. Currently active logging going on.


In about 1k or so there is a major fork to the left. Keep going straight


At 2.4k, major fork. Take left.


I noticed least three sections of avalanche clean ups (left). At alpine part of the road someone trimmed off a bush(right). I thank them for the great work to keep this exciting road passable.


There are many other turn offs but it is easy to remember to ignore all of them until at 10k. Then here turn off to the right. There is some parking space available. Less confident drivers are encouraged to park here.


After this point, the parking space is infrequent until the pass. Also there are 2-3 spots where one or two wheels comes off ground- helps to have locking dif or limited slip gear here. In a way, driving to Blowdown pass was the most exciting part of the whole trip including scrambling.



Some narrow sections where you really want to keep going straight.


Then it gets really realy alpine. In far right photo you see two rocks; right one looks tame but actually you need a careful approach as there is a big rock on the left.


These are the views from the car window!


The Blowdown pass there is a blockage made(left) but some convoy of 4wheelers showed up later and went over(right).


Looking back.


Looking around from the parking. Left is Gotcha Peak.


Again the route maps.




====
TRAILHEAD TO GOTT PEAK

First I headed to Gott Peak. Take slightly right side of ridge at the beginning and then slightly left side of the ridge after the sub peak. There is a trail at start.


You can see a trail on heather slope on climber's right of the ridge.


Continue on heather or some kind of growth area. Centre right photo is close to the top of sub peak. Far right is looking down.


Cairn was seen only on this sub peak of Gott.


Half way point between sub and main peak of Gott. Ridge running at its best!! Ridge photos are facing the parking area. Fantastic feeling.


Getting closer to the main peak of Gott.


Gott peak!


GOTT PEAK SHOTS;
The ridge extends to Moomin all the way and beyond.


Towards South East; where I came from. Looking towards Stein Park.


These I don't remember which direction as I am new to this area...




====
TRAILHEAD TO GOTCHA PEAK

Then I went to Gotcha Peak.
The line is easy and obvious. Take near the left edge of the mountain from the parking, then turn slightly to right after ascending the steep wall as you reach near the peak.


Starting up point(left) to reaching the final hump transition view(centre & right).


Looking down towards the parking from different levels.


No view when raising steeply to the final hump


Almost at the peak


There seemed to be two peaks. Looked almost the same height with 50m apart. Left & centre shots are of South East peak, right is North West peak facing Gott.


GOTCHA PEAK SHOTS;

East towards Stein Park.


Towards north west ish.


I cannot remember directions now but good views.. hazy ones are looking either south or south east.



CONCLUSION;

This is an exciting alpine drive access to past 2000m in elevation and anyone can immediately experience what scrambling is like. Gotcha peak offers more of scrambling from the very start while Gott peak offers an exciting ridge line to ascend between main and sub peaks. Highly recommended place whether you are just driving up there, or short scrambling, or going beyond Gott & Gotcha to advanced level ridge scrambling. Going down to Stein valley side from the pass is another option.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-23-2012, 01:24 PM
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trailrunner, I love all these dummies' guides you do, thanks for another one. :-)
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 07:26 AM
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The "blockage" on the road is there because it's the boundary of Stein Valley Provincial Park and motor vehicles are prohibited. How far were those guys going (you can go quite a distance on that road). I would have been taking licence plate numbers and been on the phone to Parks on Monday morning.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-24-2012, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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seboyle; thanks and glad you enjoy it. In fact, I really enjoy reading this myself to pump up inspiration/excitement for the next expedition.

Bill Kinkaid; Is that right!? Apparently they came up from where I came from, and just parked at the pass itself and stay on Blowdown creek side of watershed(according to the hikers I talked to at the pass). I sort of vaguely remember seeing clusters of cars at the pass.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by trailrunner


seboyle; thanks and glad you enjoy it. In fact, I really enjoy reading this myself to pump up inspiration/excitement for the next expedition.

Bill Kinkaid; Is that right!? Apparently they came up from where I came from, and just parked at the pass itself and stay on Blowdown creek side of watershed(according to the hikers I talked to at the pass). I sort of vaguely remember seeing clusters of cars at the pass.

In a couple of the photos it looks like someone (a red Land Cruiser?) is coming back around the barrier from what I presume is the Stein side, the photos being taken from the final switchback on the Blowdown side. If you do cross over, the road continues for several more kilometres including a spur to the Silver Queen mine.

While the access they provide to the area is appreciated, the roads are a long-established scar on the land and will take many more decades to revegetate. When we spent a week at Blowdown five years ago there were some interesting plants on the road itself but it's an uphill battle for them. A couple of vehicles here and there isn't going to do a lot of damage especially if they stay on the road and out of the meadows, but I'm pretty concerned if they can drive around the barrier that easily. And I'm pretty sure nobody from Parks is patrolling anywhere near the area.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 07:37 AM
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post the pics on bc 4x4, they would be identified quickly. only problem is that they may be defended and hikers looked at as a bunch of whiny granolas
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Bill Kinkaid; I see what you are saying. I wonder if someone is actively maintaining this road...

Aqua Terra; I spoke with one of the drivers. Sounded quite civilized.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-25-2012, 09:19 PM
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most are, and do maintain acess to certain areas, seems goin past the blockade is is not that exiting, likely harder to get to the pass, but should still be restricted as originally planned. perhaps a new official sign is in order.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah if there is a sign no entry, then drivers would know to stay out eh? And I thank them for keeping up with the road.

Thanks for the info AquaTerra.

That driving sure is was a memorable experience....
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 10:33 PM
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The furthest I went (on foot) on the Stein side of the pass was maybe a kilometre to where you pick up a route up to the Three Summits before the road begins to descend more steeply. But from what I can see there is no real destination further along unless you take the spur up to the Silver Queen mine, and that's probably the only real attraction since once you drop down from the pass your views start to diminish. I'm not a 4x4 person but it strikes me that the most interesting driving is from about km 10 to the last cutoff below the lake, so to me there's no real purpose to driving across the divide except to see what's on the other side and to say you did it. But I'm a hiker and I'd just as happily hike over. Aquterra I agree that most 4x4 people are decent and respectful, it's the 1%/10%/whatever who are jerks that give the whole thing a bad name. If we ever move to the interior I'd likely get myself a quad to shorten the trips to some backroad trailheads.

How much more of a barrier can you put there? All you could do really is put more rocks there, and some yahoos would still go further up to go around. It's not as if you would want to run a fence along the divide from Gott Peak to NotGott, even if it was practicable. It really comes down to the honour system. And in three trips there (once for a whole week) I don't recall seeing anyone drive over the other side. It's probably not worth making much of a big deal of it (though I'm the one who brought it up in the first place) but it's the precedent - one or two vehicles won't hurt it - but when everybody in the world drives "one or two vehicles" over there is when it becomes a problem.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-27-2012, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like the other side of the road is not that exciting, perhaps going beyond Gott and Gotcha would be more interesting though it looked rather scary to me.

I am imagining even super adventurous 4x4ers would more and more pick up a sort of feeling of staying within the legally allowed portion.

Thanks for the area information Bill. Interesting to know.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 10:51 PM
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I am a hiker and a 4x4 user. Off-roader, jeeper, whatever title you want to give me.... LOL.

a tire aired down to 10 to 14psi has less pounds per square inch less that a human foot print. That's no joke.

Majority adhere to tread lightly and we always educate fellow off-roaders to stick to the trail. Obey signs. Putting up a barrier does nothing. We will just crawl over it. We do that as their is no official sign saying no entry. A sign will always be more effective than any barrier. Two posts and a chain plus a sign will do nicely for most. The other percentage, 0.5% of off-roaders, a fine will fix them.

Thanks for posting up the info. It is very nice of you to provide. We like to keep our lands open for everyone to enjoy. Off-roading is twofold - see the country and to feel the thrill of being able to get to areas no one else may be able to in a day. My wife and kids come with myself often to drive as far as we can for a nice hike at the end of the trail. Maybe one day we can share those experiences together. Looks like you all are starting to be off-roaders right now by the looks of things.

Have a great day.
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