The goal was to head up Bear Creek FSR and try for Mount McNair and maybe Parker too but I didn't know the status of the road so a plan B was kept in mind. East Harrison FSR is in pretty good shape and so was Bear Creek FSR when I turned on to it just past the Bear Creek Campground.
At km 2.3 I get to a closed gate but there is a camp trailer just past so I approach to talk with the gatekeeper. He said roadwork is going on up to km 8 so I can't proceed but things should be finished up within a week and the gate will be open. Could be logging later though so things could change...
Plan B was literally right next to me as slopes of Field Peak rise up to the east. Driving back down the road to a junction (see maps) at 225m elevation I park and get ready whilst enjoying a nice view of Harrison Lake.
Looking at the start of my hike which isn't as good as the view of Harrison Lake.
I enter mature 2nd growth forest and start upwards. Some areas have good travel and some were tedious. Things weren't too bushy for the most part but there was a lot of rottenness - logs that disintegrate when you step on them, postholes through loamy ground and plenty of snags that want to fall down when you grab on to help with ascending. Lower down was better and I passed a few old overgrown roads and some minor bluffs along with finding a couple of leg bones from some creature.
Further up I got into spindly and close together trees with lots of blowdown and other rotten stuff. Some meandering to find a way through and after getting rather tired of it I see blue sky ahead and all of a sudden I'm in a new cutblock at the edge of a new road.
Bit of a "huh" moment here as all the maps I'd looked at (Caltopo, Google Terrain and Satellite) did not show this. However, this was a nice present after the spindly section so I followed the road to its end (almost 1000m elevation) and take my first break. Checking Bing Mapping a couple of days later their satellite view is more up to date and shows the road/cutblocks.
The Bing Map and rough idea of route taken.
Walking back down the road a little to where mature forest touches it I then continued upwards through nicely open forest for a while with a couple more bluffs and some bush but things were pretty good.
Idea of the terrain somewhere up there.
Reaching a small plateau on the southwestern ridge of Field the terrain isn't as steep and some snow is stepped on - I lugged snowshoes and iceaxe all this way but they were not required. This ridge got me to the south side of the peak then it was a bit steep at times with some snow travel (easy to kick in steps) up towards the peak area.
The true summit (1563m) gives you a nice view of trees so I dumped my pack and wandered north a little in search of a view. There are a few viewpoints to find (east and west) with the Old Settler not too far away (ENE). Couple of decent views towards Breakenridge too.
The Unsettler and Old Settler with Talc Creek (Scrambles SW BC approach) Roads below.
Harrison Lake (kind of SW view) with Robie Reid distant far right.
I got back to the high point then retraced my steps to another nice viewpoint of The Old Settler then down a little to open ground with no snow to settle down for a bit. The summit area is still well covered with snow but it's mostly consolidated.
Long Island in Harrison Lake with Chehalis Peaks behind.
Old Settler to Baird and Emory (centre) with McNair (and distant Parker) far right.
Zoom on Stonerabbit/Ratney area and Clarke Group with Judge Howay (centre left) in the distance.
Me with McNair behind.
Southern view with Slollicum and Lookout nearby with The Cheam Range and Baker as a backdrop.
The Bear Creek Valley.
Old Settler in Black and White.
After a good hour of lounging, food/drink and photography I pack up and start back. Field is named after a WW II serviceman as is McNair (not part of Grainger Mountain Project I think as these names were done in the '50s).
The descent went fast but I missed the mature forest down to the logging road and came down through the cutblock where I had a slip but just got a few cuts and grazes on the tangle of branches lying all over the place. Back on the road my mind was set on following it all the way down to Bear Creek FSR then hopefully experiencing no grief from the gatekeeper guy.
However, I figure the road walk would be longer and partway down when the road was going the opposite direction of where I wanted to end up and the forest here looked somewhat pleasant - I went back in (if you'd looked at the satellite map above you'd already know this anyway).
Zoom towards Nursery and Grainger Peaks from the logging road.
Forest travel was okay and I even found an old trail and a couple of pieces of flagging. The trail was lost a lot due to it disappearing a lot but I found it again many times for a while. Lower down I hit a cliff band, taking some ramps down and the Google Satellite map was handy here to see where I was in relation to the road below.
In the end I hit the road just south of the gate and after a five minute walk was back at the car for another Starbucks Doubleshot (out of beer at the moment).
View up Harrison Lake from the parking spot. Breakenridge area at right.
As a Plan B, Field was all right. It gave me a brush-up on my bushwacking skills (and plenty of cuts and scratches) and would probably fall into the "desperate peak baggers only" or the "I like bushwacking and getting scratched up" categories (especially starting from low down) but if you could drive up that new spur road it is a relatively short trip with some nice views.
Map of area and route.