The previous day I was up Ford Mountain with my parents and upon getting back into cell range I started to make plans with Katie for a 2 day trip up North somewhere. It wasn't until later in the evening that we would agree to do Mclean first and then Seton the next day. They are both on the prominence list as well and they seemed like nice non-bushwack trips which we felt we deserved for once.
We met at the usual park n ride in Abby at 6am and started the long drive up the canyon towards Lillooet. Between gas stops, beer stops, and finding out that the first nations have decided to close off our initial access point under the name of "Covid-19" we then had to look on Gaia and see how we could link up with the upper road system. Gaia showed across the creek there appeared to be a series of trails leading to a view point and carrying on past linking up with where we wanted to be, so we decided to give it a go.
We parked on Victoria Street which is the trailhead for the Red Rock viewpoint. It starts off as a road, and then turns into more of an ATV width track. Within 15 minutes of hiking I had to ask Katie if it was hot and humid out or if it was just me. It was hot and humid, I don't normally sweat too much and my whole shirt was soaked already. Not a good feeling when you know it's going to be a 25km + day and 2100m gain day. There were a few different trails, mainly dirtbike ones now and we ended up on one that seemed to be taking us away from where we wanted to go so Katie lead the way bombing straight up the ridge getting us to the Red Rock lookout. We were basically right beside it so we went over to check it out. There is now a memorial up there for a local.
From here we were back on the old logging road system and on the one that would lead us across the creek and back on our initial planned route. We now crossed the creek and started heading up the valley with the next stage being the old burned out section that Steve Song and another report said was very annoying and slow going. We found a small water supply running so we stopped to fill up, when 2 people with 3 horses appeared. They were heading to moon lake and the horses were fully loaded. The reason why the other reports hated the fire section was because they didn't find the trail that takes you to "Moon Lake" The horse people let us go infront and we didn't think we would be faster than horses, it seemed like they were catching upto us but eventually we pulled away from them. Finding this trail was such a blessing because off it was tons of blowdown and fireweed and just nasty terrain.
We ended up staying on the trail too long because it was too nice, it started traversing when we wanted to be going up, so we had to accept it, head back abit and start bushwacking the way we wanted to go. The schwack only lasted 15mins maybe less, except it was pretty thick, until we busted out into a giant opening of cut trees. We tried to figure out what the hell this giant straight opening was and eventually the lightbulb in my head went off. It was a fire break to try and contain the fire. It worked cause it was burnt on one side and green tress on the other.
We followed the clearing up into the alpine, the bugs were getting nasty and we could see a patch of snow in the distance with our mountain up above. Katie was heading straight for the snow, she rammed her poles into the ground and then flopped face down in the snow. It was so hot out, like 33 degrees hot and no wind.. We would have loved to enjoyed the snow more but the skeeters ruined that party.
All that was left was abit of of scree or talus and then gaining the ridge to the summit. 4.5hrs of hiking and not really many views, but as soon as we crested the col and started up the ridge the views were quite nice. Brew was dominant was always, and the canyons all merging into Lillooet stood out.
We reached the top in just under 5hrs, it was loaded with 5 big green dildos. There was a slight breeze, just enough to keep the mozzies away. We sat on some lumber and shoved food in our face and took some pics. We started hiking at like 10:10am abit later than anticapted and both wanted to have abit of time to relax in the evening and still had to find a place to stay so we cut the summit stay short and started down.
The food and water worked wonders for us, our time up was good and we weren't pushing too hard in that heat, but we were making really really good time down, we followed the fire break all the way down to where it intersected the horse trail we were on. It was very very steep at times and loaded with mosquitoes at this time of day. Back at our water filling stream we filled up again and cooled off and started the long road walk down. It was such a tedious walk out it was the first time I said we need to play a game to pass the time.
We got lazy and saw we had to go back uphill, it wasn't even that much uphill to get to Red Rock, but also saw that the road system would go down lower and then hook up with our morning track. So we decided to take a different road down. Dumb move on my part, the road walk was fine, it was long and switchbacked but then the connecting road was overgrown, luckily we found a dirtbike path that was following a hogsback down the way we wanted to go, but then of course Katie spots a bear up ahead just to the side of our path eating. Thankfully it was a black bear that didn't give a shit about us. We yelled banged poles, he just kept eating. We made more noise and he slowly lumbered into the bushes. We slowly carries on yelling more and that was the last we saw of it. Long story short, just go do the small uphill and go back the way you came.
We got back to the car 9hrs after we started, didn't hang around, jumped in the car and started to head for the Duffey Hwy in search of a lake to clean off in, and place to sleep. The hydro site and Seton lake day area was closed due to Covid so there goes that place to rinse off and sleep, the next site was closed as well so fuck it we agreed to just drive to the Downton trailhead and check out the Cottonwood Rec site which is right beside it. We rolled in, there was 1 spot that backed onto Cayoosh Creek, we parked, we jumped out of the car, and then we jumped straight into the creek to clean off. Afterwards we got into some comfy clothes, cracked some beers, Katie made a fire, had some grub and then fell asleep around 11pm for a 7am depature time for Seton.