Exploring the Hills in the Snow

by Doug Smith

Exploring the Hills in the Snow

Doug Smith  January 13, 2022 at 9:00 am

At the upper end of the grazing lands forested hills rise up on the Interior Plateau.    Double tracks wind up the hills, providing access to ranchers, loggers, pipeline and gas line workers, communications tower workers, and a small number of hikers.    Most of the access routes are not plowed in winter and all progress is on-snow.    Some of us walk or snowshoe these less-used routes, often exploring.   From the upper end of the pastures, fenced areas give way to mixed grassland and forest, with aspens and pines first, then douglas fir higher up.    The transitional border area makes good hiking.  

The low winter sun broke through clouds on a day that would later darken with the approach of a snow storm.  

Old homesteads can sometimes be spotted in this higher country, below the douglas fir forested slopes.  

Gullies and stream drainages are often marked by willows, red ossier dogwood, and aspens.

Aspens grow in clonal clusters along the climb to the hills.  

On this day, the route was a loop, following old double tracks to the forest, then up through the hills.    To form a loop, the connector section was all off-trail, looking for a bushwhack route by dead reckoning, often following deer tracks.    After some time of winding down the hills, the route rejoined the track made in the snow on the way up, the last leg of another day of exploration, enjoying the beauty of a winter day in the upper grasslands and high country forest.  

 

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Doug Smith

Doug writes for Kamloops Trails, a not-for-profit (and ad free) website, offering information on trails, waterways, routes, featured spots, viewpoints, and explorations in the outdoors in the Kamloops area (and beyond).

Doug started exploring this area in 1976 and continues to follow tracks and routes wherever they lead, with the aid of map, compass, GPSr and camera. After many dead-ends, but also many discoveries, he chose to share this information.

The Kamloops Trails website has a massive number of interesting posts and would be of interest to anyone in Kamloops who enjoys the outdoors. Visit the Kamloops Trails website at: http://www.kamloopstrails.net/

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