That banner photo was taken at the edge of the Stein Divide on the western edge of Stein Valley Nlaka’Pamux Heritage Park. The view peers down from Van Horlick Pass to the valley that forms the headwaters for the North Stein river. When taking the photo, I was standing approximately where the green arrow is on this map.
The route in required a fair bit of bushwhacking. This was information I had in-hand before starting the journey. I do not own a machete and decided this would not be a substantial obstacle. The most abundant barrier was a tall broad leafed plant. It grew very thick in places but was reasonably easy to push through. Unfortunately it was also very good at hiding stinging nettles and thistles. This combination was a substantial barrier. I fashioned a weapon out of a section of willow tree and cut a hole where needed.
It was also gorgeous everyplace. The overgrown logging road had more than just obstacles. The wild flowers made me smile lots and being surrounded by mountains always seem to make me happy too.
From the outset I considered this adventure to be an investigation: reconnaissance to drive a future adventure. I took the following photo while exiting and I have marked it up to show some of the places visited.
Here I am fueled by lunch and ready to descend.
Boot skiing down was, in a word, rad. Some of it was super steep adding to the gnar.
I intend to revisit this place within a month on a more focused journey to the top of the mountain at the center of the top banner photo, Elf Peak.