Mountains, Ridges & Plateaus
The presence of Dickson and Leckie sub-ranges purport to this areas mountainous character. Many ridges act to connect the numerous Southern Chilcotin Mountain summits. The abundance of gentle ridges here facilitates some of the best ridge walks in SW BC.
LAKES, RIVERS & CREEKS
Several of the creeks in this area are more deserving of river status. Glacier and snow melt feeds these creeks as well as the lakes to create fast flowing torrents in early-mid summer. The larger lakes include Vic Lake, Lorna Lake, Warner Lake, Hummingbird Lake, Trigger Lake, Leckie Lake, Spruce Lake, Tyaughton Lake, Gun Lake and Carpenter Lake. Canyon and gully features reside within the various drainages – ‘Leckie Canyon’ being a good example. As well, several ponds and significant wetlands provide for an exceptional variety of terrain.
Six major drainages lie within the map area: Tyaughton Creek, Gun Creek, Big Creek, Bridge River, Churn Creek and Taseko River.
Within the map boundaries, these drainages could be further subdivided as follows:
– Tyaughton Creek drainage: Tyaughton Creek, North Cinnabar Creek, Taylor Creek, Noaxe Creek, Mud Creek, Paradise Creek, Relay Creek, Lindsey Creek, Little Paradise Creek, Bonanza Creek, Spruce Lake Creek, Lizard Creek and Manson Creek
– Gun Creek drainage: Gun Creek, Pearson Creek, Lick Creek, Freiburg Creek, Roxey Creek, Eldorado Creek, Slim Creek, Leckie Creek and Warner Creek
– Big Creek drainage: Big Creek, West Nadila Creek, Nadila Creek, Graveyard Creek, Tosh Creek, Grant Creek and Sluice Creek
– Churn Creek drainage: Churn Creek, Dash Creek and Lone Valley Creek
– Taseko River drainage: Taseko River, Beece Creek, Powell Creek, Battlement Creek and Denain Creek
– Bridge River drainage: Bridge River and Nichols Creek
Glacial features abound in the Southern Chilcotin Mountains, especially in the W portion of the map area. For thousands of years a thick ice sheet covered the Southern Chilcotin Mountains (except for the tips of a few of the highest peaks) until about 10,000 years ago. At this time, ice cap glaciation diminished and was ultimately replaced by alpine glaciation.
Alpine glaciation, in turn, has diminished to what exists today. Evidence of this reduction in glaciation is easy to find – many glaciers have either retreated considerable distances or have disappeared altogether. Look for signs of this in the W portion of the map area near the pass and ridge areas – one example of this is the main alpine glacier on the N side of Sorcerer (mountain), which is visible from Slim Pass area.
Differences in glacier positions between that shown on 1:50,000 Energy, Mines and Resources Canada NTS topographic maps (last updated from aerial photographs taken in 1979) and what exists in the field today are quite significant. Many believe the reduction in alpine glaciation to be the effect of global warming.
Glacial features which can be easily identified within the map area (W portion):
|– Big U shaped valleys like that of Tosh, Grant and Slim|
|– Hanging valleys such as the valley containing Leckie Lake|
|– Drumlins (small tear drop shaped hills) on the plateaus|
|– Ice free, water filled cirque basins|
|– Eskers such as those found in upper Grant Creek valley|
|– Glacial moraine of various types found near many of the passes and N slopes of high ridges|
|– Erratics which are out-of-place, large, rounded boulders found usually along valley bottoms or plateaus. These boulders were transported and deposited by glaciers|
Other weathering features:
Numerous talus/scree slopes exist which are created through freeze-thawing processes. Ice crystal growth in fractures/joints causes rock pieces to break apart and fall from the outcrop to rest nearby. Anyone mountaineering in the Southern Chilcotin Mountains will certainly become acquainted with scree which frequently provides the only non-technical routes available to ridges and mountain tops. The scree in the Southern Chilcotin Mountains is often a welcome mix of fine and coarse rock (due to the abundance of easily weathered sedimentary rock) which certainly helps to give more traction and control when ascending and helps to cushion your descents. However, boot-eating coarse scree does also exist here, so beware!