Much of our backcountry is not well-mapped and it takes many hours of exploration to link up routes. Wheeler Mountain is a large highland area with a few tracks that don’t link up well, but there is an opportunity to find these connections. A number of explorations have been done already:
We tried a new route on the east flank of Mount Wheeler on an old double track that ended on a bench above the grasslands.
The route climbed through the leaf-littered forest in mid-fall
There also appears to be a reasonable route that climbs 100m over 1 km to a higher viewpoint on the mountain in a SSW direction. This will be flagged on the next exploration. It would appear that we could link into the trails that go over the top of mountain in a 1.1 km open-forest, off-trail hikers route. A loop of about 12 km is planned over the top of the mountain.
The whole area is part of Lac du Bois Grasslands Protected Area (BC Parks) or of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. A section of the lower south slopes is private land so we veer west to go around them. There are some grazing license rights in the area too, so we respectfully avoid cattle, close gates, and are careful with fences.