North Stein, 13-15 Jul 2013

Chris N. in the North Stein Valley:
“Colleen and Cara joined me on a 3-day trip into the Brimful Lake area of the North Stein. We used the Texas Creek Road for access which is in rough 2wd condition in spots though good AT tires would be needed for traction and there is a fair amount of loose rock on the road which may need moving if you have low or average clearance. The waterbars start around km 17 or 18 and there is good parking at a meadow around 19 km (it’s obvious). After this point, the deeper waterbars start in earnest and even in a short wheel-base 4wd the going would be slow and annoying. We walked the rest of the road following some new Road Centerline tapes (indicating plans for new logging) up the western fork to the trail. Don’t follow the tapes into the forest beyond the last landing; the trail starts on the west side of the landing – look for cut logs places to avoid the boggy bits. The trail starts wet but improves to a good footbed and quickly emerges into meadows. At the pass entering the Stein, head south up the ridge to gain about 50 m elevation before the trail turns right again and sidehills, maintaining elevation. There’s plenty of cairns through a rock field and the trail is visible all the way to the lake. It took about 3 lollygagging hours from car to camp. There’s a bear cache and a green throne-style outhouse (open to the elements but with a good view) and plenty of good camping in the massive meadow south of the lake. On our middle day, we headed south and caught an old trail south and east to explore some nice ridges and meadows that bordered Cattle Valley. We attempted a traverse of the mountain to the east of camp but the ridge got pretty nasty. We also did shorter hikes out on the ridge to the south-west of the lake and around the lake to the pass to the north. One of the highlights was spotting a wolf that was hanging out about 500 m south of the lake on the first evening who gave us a thorough barking-at. There were also plenty of marmots and smattering of pika, a couple ptarmigans and assorted other birds.”

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