Terrace Mountain


elevation: 1906 m.
height gain: 675 m.
area: West Kelowna,BC
map 82 L/4
2021-May-08


There are several ways to access Terrace Mountain; one way is described by BearLives. We explored two different routes. I don't recommend our way up unless you're an experienced off-road driver with a high clearance vehicle but here's a brief description. From Westside Road, find Terrace Mountain FSR just before Fintry, 206544. The first stretch of this road is deeply rutted and very rocky. At 191516, turn right; the road is better but there's a steep drainage crossing that precedes the bermed landing where we parked, 147538. We returned on a good road. From the landing, we backtracked a short distance and took the right fork at 154533; we kept straight at 155530, and 155514. We continued on the road avoiding spur roads; this may help, straight at 159499, 163484, 159472, left at 158471, and 141427. This road took us to a well-signed intersection, 153405, on the well-travelled Bear Lake Main Road described by the link above. The hike lends itself to multiple variations as there are roads all around the mountain. From the bermed landing where we parked, 147538, we crossed a washout on a log; we veered left on a road shortly thereafter. We followed the road which switchbacks to the top on the south-east aspect. We came down the north-east ridge to its end then went straight down the north-west slopes to join with Terrace Mountain Road on the west side of the mountain. We followed the road back to the washout.


the objective

Driving to the objective.

washout


Negotiating the washout that prevents further driving on Terrace Mountain Road.
Hike: RT 5.75; 2.25 up. I spent this weekend with Milan; we planned a road trip including a couple of short outings. The Okanagan Valley offered the best weather forecast so we headed that way. We left Salmon Arm saturday morning intending to climb a mountain en route to Penticton. While driving in Kelowna, Milan noticed a peak with a sheer face jutting above the surrounding landscape. Intrigued, I researched it on my laptop while he drove. Terrace Mountain happens to be a prominent peak on the Thomson Plateau; additionally, there's information on the access and the top boasts a 360˚view. On the spur of the moment, we decided to make this our objective. The adventure started when we missed the Bear Lake Main Road turn-off. After turning around near Fintry, Milan noticed Terrace Mountain Road and veered onto it after checking Google Map. In little time, the narrow road deteriorated; we drove on very loose angular rock, negotiating deep ruts. We wondered about road conditions further up and were just about to back down when we saw a truck coming our way. The driver informed us that the road got better so we pursued this access. We drove to a bermed landing which precedes a washout, that's where we parked. We casually hiked on the road that switchbacks up the mountain; when it became snowbound, we elected to climb straight up bare cutblocks. We reached the upper mountain fairly quickly and eventually stepped on the road again just before gaining the summit. We took pictures then found a sheltered place to sit and have lunch. While it seemed to be raining all around us, we enjoyed sunny periods. In the spirit of adventure, Milan suggested we descend via the north-east ridge and north-west slopes to join the road which loops back to the washout. The ridge walk was nice but the descent to the road required caution to prevent postholing; travel could be challenging without snow covering deadfall and undergrowth. Once on the road, a mindless plod back to the truck ensued. We drove down a different way; the road was in good shape and wouldn't require high clearance. Terrace Mountain is an enjoyable early-season destination with great views.




height gain is negligible

Distance and height gain are negligible.

snow covered road

Sections of road are still covered with snow.

straight up the cutblocks

We decide to go straight up snow-free cutblocks.

looking back

Looking back.

climbing firm snow


Ascending a steep sliver of firm snow.


back on the road


Higher up, we joined the road again.


charred trees from wildfire


Charred dead-standing trees are a testament of Terrace Mountain's 2009 wildfire.


on firm snow


Enjoying sun overhead and firm snow.


summit ahead


Summit ahead!


lakes to the west


Esperson (left), Duo Via and Christie Lakes west of us.


south-eastern view


The south-eastern view behind Milan.


view north


View north.


telemetry


Humble telemetry.


view east


Due east is Monashee Provincial Park (left) and Pinnacle Peak to the right.


enjoying the sun


Enjoying some sunshine while it appears to be raining elsewhere.


leaving the summit


Leaving the summit.


okanagan lake


Beautiful view of Okanagan Lake.


savouring the ridge walk


Delightful ridge walk.
Picture courtesy of Milan Kubik.


precipitous face


Precipitous east face.


about to drop down


About to drop down the north-west side towards the road.


through the forest


Making our way through the forest.


along the descent


On a ridge-like feature along the descent.
Picture courtesy of Milan Kubik.


isothermal snow


Isothermal snow is the bane of every hiker.


back on the road


Back on the road.


signs


On Bear Lake Main Road, these signs indicate the secondary road we drove on our way down.
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