Oregon Jack, Ashcroft BC
Oregon Jack is a very amazing micro-climate only 10kms from the areas notorious dry, sweltering desert of Cache Creek and Ashcroft. It is the more obscure area compared to Roche or The Beach but maybe the 80+minute drive from Kamloops is the reason why – nonetheless it is certainly worth a visit but will be much better when more bolted routes dot the multi-pitch walls above the boulders. No info for the walls are to be supplied here and most of it looks pretty intense but there are some more moderate bolted lines the further SE you walk along the wall’s base. Even from the base of the large limestone wall, you can get back to the car in under ten minutes.
However the bouldering is pretty cool- no pun intended- but the mossy north facing forest is shaded and certainly takes the thermometer temps down a few degrees while Ashcroft would be a summer oven.
From Kamloops go west on the Trans-Canada to Cache Creek and if you have binoculars you can check out some of the unclimbed rock to the north of Kamloops Lake, but these walls are best seen from the Red Lake Road that goes up behind Tranquille in the Lac De Bois Natural Area and some may not be on Crown Land, best to confirm this with the locals.
About 10km before Cache Creek is the sun-baked sport area called Prickly Pear Canyon which can be seen easily from the road and has a half dozen or so moderate short routes.
Once in Cache Creek, turn right to go wolf down some Hungry Herbies monster burgers and sit in the booth where a scene from Hard Core Logo was filmed! Our family ate here lots in the early 80s while my dad was running a propane truck to nearby towns and farms, and is a great classic roadside burger joint.
But to get to Oregon Jack, make a left at the traffic lights in town and continue south as for Hope on Hwy #1 for about 18km passing the Ashcroft Manor but before the Red Hill Rest Area. You will see Hat Creek Road on your right and to the east is a hill with a distinctly red slope. Turn onto Hat Creek Road and follow it up for about 12.5km leaving the desert and going west into cooler, lush bush very shortly. The gravel road loops through private farms and eventually the road will make some hard turns and at a sharp bend in the road you should spot the Oregon Jack climbing area(named after a local homesteader from long ago). Turn into the small loop and park. The boulders are seconds away, the furthest boulders covered in the downloadable Kamloops Climbing Guide being no more than 5-10 minutes from the car. There seems to be still a few dirty unclimbed lines to do that are not in the guide, and a easy VB slab that can be found about 40m west of the car.
To get into the boulders either download the topo or follow one of the obvious trails. The majority is clustered SE of the parking area and below the main limestone wall, however following the trail westward, you will pass the VB slab and a triangular tall mossy boulder with some highballs on it. This westward trail passes the limestone wall and continues back into the forest with more rock to go explore.
Pics or It Didn’t Happen V0/R
cleaned/climbed by G.Cornell Aug.2016
A SE facing boulder with an obvious mossy tail-like feature that nearly touches the parking lot.
Best to have a few pads here below the slab. This minor crack was filthy and the top covered in wads of dirt so if anyone says its climbed, well, as some folks like to say these days “Pics or didn’t happen!” I cleaned this exciting problem on lead which made it all the more exciting.
A few photos are added to the end of the gallery showing some unclimbed rock near Kamloops!