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Oct
21

Chilcotin Mountain British Columbia 2004

Chilcotins -British Columbia July 2004 

 The Chilcotin mountain range is to be found a three hour drive North of Whistler, as you head out of Pemberton the tarmac expires and your onto the graded road of the Hurley, ideally the territory of a 4×4, it can be done with some care in a hire car, a couple of hours will see you re join the tarmac at CarpentersLake, another 20 minutes and you arrive at Tyax Lodge, the largest log cabin around. 

 

Dale has been flying round here for years and will take four people, their bikes and luggage at a time to any one of the four or five lakes in the area on which he can land in his float plane.

We flew into Spruce Lake, 15 minutes up into the mountains, we could see the trail we would be riding below as we flew in, the scenery here is as big as it gets, snow capped peaks, dramatic valleys and turquoise green lakes.

This area has just been given national park status and is criss crossed by numerous trails originally carved out of the hillsides by horses.Horses are still found on the trails being ridden by city slicker types taking in the fresh air on arranged holiday trips.Think what you like about the horse versus bike debate but hit ones of these babies and I know who is going to come off worse, show a bit of respect and give way to the four legged beasts, the trails are narrow and the drops are heinous.

I have camped here in the past, riding out on day long trips to Warner Lake and over Deer Pass,

 

This is bear country, not the cuddly type either, grizzlies rome these parts so keep your wits about you, your average bear is going to keep out of the way of a bunch of noisy mountain bikers but when its time to make camp make sure you follow the rules, camp away from were you eat and store your food and use the hoists provided to hang stuff up in the trees, Cougar can be found too, encounter one of these playful kittens and make yourself look HUGE man.

Starting this ride from the jetty next to the lake we wind our way around the shore line trail before starting down towards Gun Creek, we will be riding above the creek for a couple of hours before crossing it a couple of times and continuing with the white water thundering alongside.

The trail is classic dusty singletrack, buff trails as featured in the collective DVD lead you across hillsides and through slender aspen woodland, making for great photo opportunities.

The odd strategically placed rock can catch out the unwary and the exposure in places could be unnerving, loose the trail here and you will find yourself arriving at the waters edge sooner than you had planned.

I keep looking down at the river trying to spot a route through the rapids, from up here it looks like there are long sections of continuous grade 4 kayaking with the odd 5 lurking, trees abound making for some must portage sections, the levels looks high, but its always difficult to tell looking down.

Jewel Bridge offers a camping spot next to the river and is another start / finish point for this ride but we continue to another graded road and a slog back to the truck at Tyax.

Its taken about four hours of riding to get us down along some of the smooshiest singletrack I have encountered anywhere, technically the riding is not difficult but any trip round here is always going to be an epic day out and provide you with memories for years to come.

It took us about 9 hours to ride up and over Windy Pass and out of Gun Creek in 2002 and as you can see if you click on the link, Jack still rates this as ones of the best days riding in his travels.

I cant disagree with him, each of the places I have ridden has its own quality and reason to be remembered but forscale, scenery, quality of trails and just that epic out there feeling riding in the Chilcotins has it all.