August 21, 2016
A 'John and Katie' version of a Deeks area circuit. Not up to oldmatt's standards, but it was a great day through some new terrain for us. : )
Pulled into the Porteau Rd. lot just off the hwy. and saw 12 cars in the lot at 7am...yikes. Gate was wide open, and looks like it has been open for some time. Having 2wdr, we parked in the Porteau Rd. lot.
Somehow I ticked off a wasp along the road up and got stung through the sock. Perhaps keep and eye out for a nest about 15-20 minutes up from the hwy.
We have been up been up in the Deeks/Windsor area quite a bit, but never via the Deeks Lake Bypass Trail, so up we went. Steep, buggy, faint footbed, and not terribly well marked. The flagging you do manage to see is old and tiny, so keep a sharp eye (we lost it a few times). Would be a complicated route without the markings that are still there. Bushy in places. Came across several bear scats, some very large.
Topped out on a bench around 1450m and wasn't sure which way to go from there. Left went to the plateau of tarns along the Kallahne route, straight up looked very steep and right went nowhere (we went right at first). We ended up going straight up, basically following a shallow, but steep gulley. Some minor bush and use of hands. No flagging or trail, so I assume we were not on route, but we eventually connected with the marked trail to the peak. When reaching Deeks Peak, we decided not to summit, as we have been up there a few times already and we were on a mission to complete the loop down to the lake. One we have not done on our own or without snow.
Dropped down south off the ridge and came across that tricky spot down into a gully. We have been turned around here before, but with some snow still around. No snow this time, but it still wasn't going to happen. It's just a 4-5' step, but not a dog friendly step. Awkward to help her down as well.
We back-tracked and tried to find a more suitable route for us down into the gully. Everything down was so steep, but we kept trying and thankfully found a way down for us. Still some very steep terrain, but it was more of a dry needle covered dirt slope that was no problem for her, but a few slips and slides down for me. Some good trees and bush to grab onto helped keep me in one piece.
Made it down into the gully and then ascended it back up to the ridge on the east side of Deeks Peak, where I was pretty sure we would connect with a marked route. We did.
Looking up at the east side of Deeks Peak once we were back on the ridge. We did not come down that, but from the left and out of picture.
Gully leading down the north side from the same vantage point.
A view of Mt. Windsor from the east ridge of Deeks Peak.
Another gully leading down the north side. Still some snow around these parts.
A good marked trail leads along the east ridge and down to the Deeks/Windsor pass. Trail does fade to no trail just before hitting the pass, but still well marked, and then we were back in familiar territory and settled for lunch. Bugs were still plentiful and aggressive, so we didn't sit for long. Had time for Windsor, but there were a lot of clouds around and it was starting to sprinkle. Being up there a few times, I couldn't motivate myself for more and I was quite satisfied with finding our way up and along this route snow free and on our own.
Here is a shot of our track from where we topped out on a bench around 1450m. Deeks Peak is incorrectly labelled...the actual peak is the bump under "range'. Frome there you can see how we wrangled our way down the south side of the peak and up to the east ridge. As mentioned, the trail is well established and marked from there down.
She done good, again. : )