Blowdown Pass

September 16, 2017

To reach the trail head follow Highway 99 north to Pemberton towards Lillooet. About three kilometers past Duffy Lake you will see a mileage sign, this is the start of Blowdown Creek Road, which climbs up to the right.

New logging activity has shortened the trail 1 km. Drive on the main road for 11 km, high ground clearance is required in some tricky spots (you better leave your Honda Civic at home).

The parking lot is now on the right side and the road-hike is now on the left side.

Be aware your hike may be interrupted by 4WD enthusiasts.

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New Start

The road passes through alder, and rises steadily to sub-alpine meadow, crossing some wet areas and creeks along the way.

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Gott Ridge

At km 2.8 you will reach a S-Right, go right to reach Blowdown Lake, otherwise keep going on the main road.

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Compton Tortiseshell (Roddia Vaualbum)

As a site note, we saw a Compton Tortiseshell butterfly. Adults frequently overwinter in man-made structures like outhouses and garages. They are attracted to carrion, animal droppings, and fermented fruit.

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This place is a transition zone from the dry climate of the interior to the wetter environment of the Coastal Mountains.

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Gotcha Peak and Blowdown Lake

This is one of the approaches used when hiking into Stein Valley Nlaka'pamux Provincial Park.

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Blowdown Lake

The road itself descends the valley towards the abandoned Silver Queen Mine. The prospecting was mainly done by Urban Hicks (born April 20, 1881, died Jan. 31, 1972).

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Approach to Gott Peak

At Blowdown Pass there is a sign for the boundary of the Stein Park, motorized vehicles prohibited beyond that point.

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Valley of South Cottonwood Creek

From Blowdown Pass you will have views of the U-shaped valley of South Cottonwood Creek.

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Gotcha Peak

On the opposite site is Gotcha Peak. The peak is not as high as Gott Peak but the route is rockier and more scrambling is required. 

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Gott Peak (Left)

Gott Peak commemorates Frank Gott (c. 1850 - 1932), a noted Aboriginal fugitive who eluded the Mounties for several years in this area.

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Blowdown Pass, looking right

The foot bed for Gott Peak is clearly visible and the route is steep but minimal scrambling is required 

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Frank Gott managed to get into the 102nd Battalion to serve in World War I by dying his silver locks black.  

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But despite his sharp shooting skills, he was sent back to Canada in 1917, as overage.  

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Fifteen years later, Gott got into a feud with a game warden. When the warden tried to arrest him for possessing an untagged deer, Gott killed him by shooting him in the back.

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Notgott Peak on the background

It is said Frank Gott was repeatedly harassed and penalized by the Lillooet game warden.  

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Gotcha Peak

The 76 year old Gott disappeared into a rugged valley later named after him (Gott Creek), about 25 km from Lillooet.

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Gott Ridge

The authorities eventually caught up with Gott and demanded his surrender. 'I am a soldier and I never surrender' Gott reportedly replied.

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Gotcha Peak and Blowdown Lake

He was wounded in the leg and later he died in a hospital in Lytton, it is said that his dead was more from advanced tuberculosis, exposure and lack of nourishment than from the leg wound.

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Gott Peak on the background (run out of time)

Wardens and police officers aside, the public was in fact rather fond of Gott. He was given a military funeral. And a mountain.

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These mountains are part of the Lillooet Ranges, the southeasternmost subdivision of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains of British Columbia.

The range includes some of the highest peaks in southwestern British Columbia

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Hoary Marmot

If I had to pick my favorite rodent, the choice would be easy: the marmot.

Mountain marmots are furry, about two feet long, and weigh around 10 pounds. They're closely related to other large ground squirrels, like groundhogs, gophers and woodchucks.

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Blowdown Lake

Blowdown Lake is a very inviting lake that offers some camping spots and the occasional trout if you happen to know how to catch them.

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Blowdown Lake

Statistics

Distance: 5.42 km (one way)
Time: 2:20:00
Elevation Gain: 764 m
Max Elevation:2,452 m



Driving Distance from Vancouver: 216 km (3 h 6 min)