Cairn and Blustry Mtns 13/06/09

Chris on Cairn and Blustry Mountains:
“It was just Cara and I on an initial exploration of Cairn the Blustry Mountains in the Clear Range. The McGillivray FSR is immediately north of the easily-missed unsigned McGillivray Creek crossing on Hwy 12. The sign is hidden by the cattle gate (unlocked). We followed the directions in the Lillooet hiking guide book (turn left at the 3-km mark, follow the main road to the road end at 9.4 km) encountering 2 other gates along the way. The surface is 2wd but there is some minor rutting and lots of rocks. And there were cows on the road on the way back. The trail is easier to follow up than coming back down (many cow trails leading everywhere). Water is important while hiking in this area and McGillivray Creek seems reliable for at least 2/3 of its length – you lose the better part of the flow near a horse camp. It took us 4 hours to hike to a camp site just beyond the McGillivray headwaters at 2100 m. Water here probably dries up later in June. On the middle day, 8 hours was just enough to traverse Blustry (sometimes on a strong horse trail) and reach the top of Cairn (2300 m) – barely time to sample the vast possibilities of the area. The ridge just to the south of Blustry looks nasty but there is a safe route weaving between the ridge teeth (avoidable by dropping down into Pocock Creek headwaters). By July, this area will be filled with cows and the water will be gone.”

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