Blowdown Aug Long, Cottonwood, Notgott, etc... - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-05-2017, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Default Blowdown Aug Long, Cottonwood, Notgott, etc...

I didn't get to spend much time in the BC mountains this summer. Last time I went to Blowdown Pass in '09 the Stein burned. The fires and billowing cloud made for some dramatic photos. This last long weekend, now my fourth time there, Carley and I went to escape the smoke and smog that's engulfing so much of the province. Being a long weekend, we certainly weren't the only ones in the area.

We arrived Saturday afternoon and camped at Blowdown Lake. We weren't alone, but it was quiet and we had perfect access to the water. Carley just wanted to chill, which I later admired her for, and I wanted to take in some new views of the area. So at about 3pm off I went, following the old mine track over the pass and into Stein park. After a while I ascend to the low point in the long ridge system that connects Cottonwood Pk to Gott Pk and beyond. It's pretty easy rambling along the ridge and soon I've topped out on the first of the so called "3 Summits".

Cottonwood on the left. First of "3 Summits" on the right.
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From the second peak the route up Cottonwood looks straight forward.
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Some nice scenery from the col...
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I reach Cottonwood about 2hr15min after leaving the lake, just after 5pm. I realized I forgot both my headlamp and my first aid kit at the lake, so my summit stay had to be short. Some views from the top...
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I like this picture showing a lot of the route from Blowdown Pass. Gotcha, Notgott, and Silent Hub all visible.
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As it's getting into the evening and my shadow is elongating, I retrace my steps. It's not much fun going back up and over the minor summits, but before long I've dropped onto the old mining track and am slogging uphill towards the pass. I try to hurry because I'm sure my wifey is wondering if I fell off a cliff. I drink my last water. But wait! Mmmm yummy! Mountain sorrel, or Oxyria digyna (I had to google that...), my favorite alpine snack!
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Anyway, back at the pass I take a parting shot before dropping down to the lake for the night. Cottonwood in the middle.
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Next day we are up at the crack of 9:30am and on the move by 11am. I wanted to head toward Notgott via Gotcha. Carley was game for all the boulder hopping, despite realizing she forgot her hiking boots 3 hrs into our drive the day before. She wore some oversized old tennis sneakers I had in the vehicle. What a trooper! We made it up Gotcha in good time and chatted with a Czech couple whose map said the small peak to the north of Gotcha was Gotcha. Well they headed over to it to make sure, and Carley and I had a snack and contemplated the route to Notgott.

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We drop down off Gotcha (moderate scrambling) and look down on Kidney Lakes.
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Up again and along the ridge between Gotcha and Notgott before dropping down again. Lots of beautiful lakes! The ridge up Notgott is straightforward.
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We made the summit pretty easily... mostly just a grunt up talus slopes. Views were nice!
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I continued along the ridge for better views of Cirque Lake, but they never came. Looking back at Carley on Notgott summit.
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Lo and behold... sometimes the mountains bring strange occurrences... and sometimes strange people! We shared the summit for a time with some old BCMC acquaintances I'd done some trips with a few years ago. It was nice to say hello.
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Most good things end, so off the top we go back down to the col. We decide to take the "other" way back by dropping down toward the colorful lakes and taking the big boulder bench west of Gotcha. That was a slog... and actually kinda sucked... Some nice places to relax though:
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That was about an 8hr day for us. Back at the lake we had time for a swim before dinner. And I played with my camera before bed...
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Next day the smoke rolled in from somewhere... judging by the wind, the south. So we lucked out in that regard.
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Last edited by Candy Sack; 09-08-2017 at 01:03 AM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 06:27 AM
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[QUOTE=Candy Sack;811218 The fires and billowing cloud made for some dramatic photos. [/QUOTE]
I agree.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 12:08 PM
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Awesome report and great photos. Definitely an area I'd like to spend some time in.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 03:24 PM
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Great pics .... I love that place, used to ramble around up there a long time ago when the road was good enough for my old pickup to get to the height of land. Such great ridge hiking.

Where did you park your vehicle? Last time I was up there, three years ago I was able to get my jeep wrangler all the way up the road to near the park boundary, despite the really ugly eroded part 1/2 way up the road . What's it like now?

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 08:26 PM
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Gotcha, Notgott, Gott... I fail to comprehend the naming convention. I would name them Gotta, Catchem, All from west-to-east.
Wow, you had a perfect weekend for that trip with those incredibly clear skies! I was there in aught-nine during the Stein burn as well. My friend and I slept in the truck at the "trailhead" (indicated in 103 Hikes) and biked up to the pass. We hiked up Gotcha and summitted just as the rain came in, so our photos were lousy compared to yours. I love the shark-tooth shaped mountains in that range. Thanks for posting!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the looks.

^Ya I don't know... I think Gott is the only officially named peak in that immediate area.

xj6response: I don't think your Wrangler would have any trouble.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by xj6response View Post
Great pics .... I love that place, used to ramble around up there a long time ago when the road was good enough for my old pickup to get to the height of land. Such great ridge hiking.

Where did you park your vehicle? Last time I was up there, three years ago I was able to get my jeep wrangler all the way up the road to near the park boundary, despite the really ugly eroded part 1/2 way up the road . What's it like now?

The road is still pretty similar
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 11:48 PM
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I'm pretty jealous, but also impressed you chose such a prime location. Some day I'd like to visit those peaks.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2017, 12:45 AM
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Sucha a great area, way to make the most of it rambling all over the place, that's the way to do it for sure!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2017, 08:08 PM
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Thanks for the TR!
Were there any water sources (even a trickle) nearish the ridges or only in the lakes and tarns down below?

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 09-09-2017, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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^Na the ridges were pretty dry. There's a trickle near Blowdown Pass and a stream in the meadow on the other side, but not much up high that I recall.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 09-10-2017, 12:14 PM
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I had a good taste of the Blowdown Pass area a few years ago and really enjoyed it a lot, Between your trip and Simon's recent excursion it's given me some good new ideas. Thanks for the post!

Here's a few of my faves from 2013, I think it was
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 08:24 PM
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Thanks for the trip report! I attempted Gott and Gotcha Peak last year as a winter snowshoe, unfortunately with all the logging and all the snow we lost the trail. I hope to attempt this again next summer. Any recommendation as to when is the best time to experience this area? We tried in October and while the weather conditions off the highway were summer-like, it quickly turned into a winter wonderland by the time we reached the end of the road.

Looks like such an awesome area, congratulations on spending the last long weekend in nature's splendour!


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post #14 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2017, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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^ I reckon summer is best time. Unless the road is plowed, it would be a long haul in. There's lots of avi danger along the road and under the slopes of Gott, as well.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 09-13-2017, 12:02 AM
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Great TR. that open terrain looks great for days of rambling. I've only done short, fast trips up there to bag the scrambles. Your TR shows I need to spend more time up there.

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