A Batchelor Hill Stomp – Kamloops Trails
Posted on: April 6, 2019 8:34 pm
by: Doug Smith
In late winter when the snow still lingered in the hills, we stomped across the ice and through the snow to explore the three hills that make up Batchelor Hill in the Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area. The trailhead we chose is the “Upper Barren Hills trailhead”, off a short side road just past Batchelor Hill itself. The double track has a fence, but a gate there makes easy access. We followed the track for 700 m to a three-way junction.
The double tracks had some ice and there was some mud around the sides, but for the most part, we kept our feet dry.
All of the slopes that were on the north side of hills were still covered in corn snow. Mount Mara was 3.7 km to the west above the Barren Hills.
We climbed up the steep north side of Batchelor Hill near the old gold mine site. Much of our hike involved “postholing” up and down the hills.
Near the top of Batchelor Hill the snow thinned out and the sun shone down through wispy clouds.
Batchelor Hill is actually 3 separate summits. The old mine was on the easterrnmost hill. The southermost hill has the telecommunications towers overlooking the river valley.
To the northeast is the highest part of the Batchelor Range, 6.2 km away, more remote and a longer hike from Deep Lake or through the Lac du Bois Grasslands.
Our hike was a loop traversing between the three summits. We descended the north slopes into Batchelor Pass below. The steep slope had lots of deep winter snows still in mid March. This is a much easier route in dry conditions, but we were pleased to enjoy a sunny day of hiking in the hills.
In 1899, a claim was staked on Batchelor Hill by two brothers from Paris, France, but by 1901 the claim was owned by Owen Batchelor. He worked the hilltop for many years. Vertical and horizontal shafts were dug and gold was mined out of the quartz vein between 1905 and 1916. The site was worked again in the 1950’s and in the 1970’s.