In 2007 I drove the Upper Coldwater FSR and hiked from the end of the road up the flagged route to the col between Alpaca and Llama.
Went up there yesterday with a friend, with the idea of an impromptu overnighter. Well, the long dry spell has finally had a respite and it rained lightly as we got a late start from Vancouver. Got up to the Upper Coldwater and drove to about 10 km. After that the road was mostly too rough for 2wd.
Light rain fell as we started to walk along the alder choked road and soon we were getting pretty soaked. Got to the end of the road and there were six cars parked there (including one 2wd that had somehow been driven over the rough patches).
When we got to the cutblock below Alpaca the deactivated road was a lot more overgrown than it was eight years ago. The trail uphill alongside the block was almost completely gone and was basically a huckleberry bush bushwack. More rain, everything is soaked and the shoes are squishing. Mosquitoes were really relentless and the water keeps washing off the Off. Lots of big juicy huckleberries though!
From the old growth forest used to be flagging and a rough trail leading up to the base of the cliffs. We only found two flags though. Wandered uphill and side to side looking for flagging but couldn't find anything. Maybe someone has removed the flagging since the trail is heavily overgrown at the start?
From last time I was up there, on the return trip I missed the flagged route on the way down and followed the creek bed through mostly clear forest and the remnants of an old, old trail along the creek bed. So I knew we could bushwack up to the meadows without too much difficultly, but it was already 6:30 pm, the bugs were relentless, the alpine was in dense cloud and we were soaked to the bone. So we beat a hasty retreat off the mountain in pursuit of dry warm beds.
So a bit of flail trip, but it was still great to be up out in the forests of the Coquihalla. Next time I think I'll try going up via Ottomite/Zupjock mountain though.
I took video for those interested in conditions along the Upper Coldwater FSR and Alpaca/Guanco route: https://vimeo.com/133295155