Red Plateau Escarpment Traverse – Kamloops Trails
Posted on: March 15, 2019 7:48 pm
by: Doug Smith
This is not a route we recommend to anyone. The plan for the day was to solo hike up into Red Canyon to see the frozen waterfalls at the end of the hikeable section, but then I decided to traverse under the lava cliffs for the views of the hoodoos, gargoyles, air pocket caves, and ragged outcrops Once I traversed the steep slopes, I saw some more interesting features so I crossed steep scree slopes to a chute and then decided to go to the top of the north-south ridge for that view. That required some careful scrambling. Once on top, it was cliffs on three sides so there was no way down except by the difficult route I took to get up there. I decided to continue my climb to the top of the Red Plateau Escarpment, pick up the Dewdrop Trail over the top, and then come down that way. The whole loop was difficult and took about 4.5 hours.
At the end of Red Canyon were 4 frozen falls, well worth a hike up and back.
On the way up the steep and challenging chute, gargoyles and a window rose overhead as I scrambled up the rock.
Once I crested the narrow ridge, views of the Dewdrop Range below made the effort seem worthwhile.
Over the top of the Rim, at 1117 m (3665 ft), there was lots of snow. A view of Jag Hill to the southeast showed that snow blanketed the shoulders of Red Plateau. I “postholed” my way through the unbroken snow over to the Dewdrop Trail. I was pleased to find that it had been hiked so it was well-stomped in by boots.
Once I started coming down the Dewdrop Trail, the surface was all ice so I put on my microspikes and carefully followed the track,
When the trail started to come down the exposed south-facing lower slopes of the ridge and then the gully below that, the ice disappeared but was replaced by mud, all thick mud all the way down. Not fun, but it was amusing.