After doing Mount Mclean the prior day with Katie and then driving to the Cottonwood Rec site to sleep, we awoke at 6am, ate some grub and started the drive up the Downton Creek FSR.
The road is in really good shape to our trailhead, and it's still good up Branch 2. It's a hot spot right now with everyone going up there to camp at the lakes but where we are going is higher and has lakes of its own but as usual nobody around. We started at 7:30am and right away it starts off steep in the cutblock. There is a footbed and it's flagged but higher up it got alittle vague.
Once out of the cutblock the trail now starts to traverse the slopes and follow the creek up the valley. At times it's an amazing trail, with the odd blowdown to contend with. Enough people are using the trail that new blowdown bypass routes are starting to slowly form. Even though the footbed is in place, due to the blowdown, and some avalanche paths it can be tricky to follow fully. We lost it in an avy path for abit. Higher up in the grasslands we lost it as well but by this point you're in the alpine and can pretty much see the direction you want to go.
We took an extremely steep grassy gully up the headwall, while going up this you could just sense once you crested Seton was going to be right up in your face and it sure was. We carried on and the alpine lakes slowly started to appear. Of course the skeeters were bad this time of year for everyone and same thing here. We hiked past the lakes to the other side and had a break at a fast moving stream hoping to find a downdraft from above. It worked enough to keep them slightly away.
It made sense to fuel up here because the next stage was the steep ascent to the summit. The rock lower down was okay, but slowly turned to shit. It was steep loose scree, the treadmill kind of scree. We had to search out the rock ribs to follow up and scramble up to make things more enjoyable. With every step the lakes below looked better and better.
Once on the upper summit ridge things mellowed off and it was a nice cruise to the 9th highest peak in SWBC. We looked in the register and recognized alot of names. CULATER ( Vlad ) and TMC off of Clubtead were in there during the forest fire season. Katie likes to play with words and signed our names along with the caption about a bluebird day and being able to SEE-Tons of mountains. har har har.
The scree surfing down was fast, but we searched out some leftover soft snow to plunge down to be kind on the joints. Terrible runouts so we had to stay close to the edges and bail onto the rocks when things got too dangerous. We had only 1 thing on our mind and that was jumping in the lakes. The bugs were even worse than before. We had planned to lounge around but that was out the window. I was a big baby and slowly walked in the get used to the coldness. Katie is part mermaid and just dove in. Cold as fuck, it was more of a dip than a casual swim.
Feeling refreshed we bombed down the trail back to the car in no time. It was scorching hot out, there was no good spot to drink our beers so back to the Cottonwood rec site where we were able to lay in Cayoosh Creek with the sun blazing down on us. It really doesn't get much better than this for a way to end a trip laying in a creek when it's 30 degrees out, drinking beer and eating slabs of meat. Team Cariboo tries to do it in style.