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Tatsquan Ridge

A beautiful hike through steep timber from downtown up into the alpine. Either climb the '100 stairs' to the reservoir, immediately turn left towards the creek, and follow a well-tracked steep trail upwards to briefly join a logging road; OR follow same logging road up switchbacks right from the highway. Both starts will bring you to the beginning of the Tatsquan Ridge route, marked with flagging and a sign. Enter the forest following a well-flagged route. Continue steeply through timbered benches past a couple viewpoints (380m and 970m) and a seasonal water hole (750m), through open, old-growth timber, all the way into the alpine of Tatsquan ridge and beyond. A sustained and enjoyable hike with many points of interest.

Note: there is NO running water along the trail in dry conditions; bring enough water to enjoy the day! There is standing water in many alpine tarns throughout the summer.

The route is cut and flagged.

Tatsquan Traverse

Incredible natural circuit following the ridgeline of the Tatsquan watershed. Start and finish from downtown Bella Coola.
+/- 3600m of elevation gain/loss and ~30km of distance. Recommended time is 3 days.

The circuit can be done clockwise (east to west) or counterclockwise (west to east). Which direction you take will dictate how you interact with the main crux of the route, which are a few exposed 4th and low-5th steps on a section of ridge about 7.5km in if starting from the east. Clockwise involves a down-climb or short rappel, where-as going counter clockwise would mean climbing the section.

A recommendation would be to bring a lightweight rope kit for this section and do a small lower or rappel. The rope can be used for glacier rescue if needed as there is one crossing on a mundanely flat glacier. If you plan to solo climb this section, going counterclockwise feels more comfortable than down-climbing it.

Overall the route has a lot of hiking and simple but fun scrambling through 3rd class terrain. Route finding skills are a must for navigating the scrambling and rock steps but overall navigation is simple as you just follow the ridge for the near entirety of the route.

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