Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Powerline Route to Rhododendron Lake

Took off with Paul last weekend to take a look at the disused gold mine on Mt. DeCosmos.  There's still plenty of snow on the summit, but the mine is at pretty low altitude and we figured it would be easily reachable.  We took the lower Blackjack Ridge logging road to Nanaimo Lakes Road and continued west towards the mine turn off.  Surprise--the large gate was locked and blocked our entry towards Second Lake.  (I knew there must be a reason $2 Hitler wasn't in his bunker as we entered the lakes area).  I wish they'd at least put a sign up to let you know the area is locked-up before you motor all the way to the gate!

Anyway... a freshly concocted plan #2 seemed like a worthwhile venture:  We decided to try getting beyond the deep pools on the power line route that leads from Blackjack Ridge to Rhododendron Lake.

The powerline route (yellow line from right to left).  Elevation profile (l to r) represents the yellow line.
I tried to get through this road earlier but the pools of water were very deep back in December and many large problematic rocks were too difficult to see.  It was much lower now and quite a bit easier to get through.  The route stays mainly within the confines of the power line clearing and only leaves occasionally as the terrain demands.  We crossed a few bridges, one of which had a really great river winding beneath.

Further on we came to a grinding stop when we discovered that the snow isn't quite done yet at 580m.  We got off our bikes and walked on for a short distance just to confirm that there was little point in continuing and then made our way back along the same route.  Here's a panoramic photo taken from a service clearing along the power lines.  (View full size for the panoramic effect).

Two-thirds of the way back along the power lines, we crossed a newer logging road and decided to follow it.  It was well worth it!  It turned out to be a great trail, (cyan line), that lead back to the intersection that begins Blackjack Ridge's lower road.  (I'm calling this "Intersection D" since I've slowly been creeping south with my intersection names, busily renaming everything I find as any good flag planting Brit should).

    So that was it.  Finished off with a bit of fishing at Boomerang Lake as a matter of course.  It was a really good ride and I'm looking forward to doing the entire power line road in a month or so when the snow has gone completely.

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