TR - Bikepacking BC's Chilcotins 2014

Discussion in 'Ride Reports' started by evdog, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    So.... @mike mentioned I might have done a Chilcotins trip in the past. I was able to find the TR, so here it is so all you cripples have something to do.... Pasting it straight in so ignore references to "recently"

    DAY 1


    406/Brian and I had the chance to do some bikepacking recently in BC's Chilcotin range after learning of a group looking to fill a couple seats for their trip. I've been wanting to ride this area for years but it is a tough trip to organize, and much harder now that I don't live up there anymore. In this case the flights in were already booked, we would just have to show up on time. There was a little more to it than that of course. To start we had to fly with bikes to Seattle and then drive 8 hours north. Packing/planning would have to be done carefully as this would also be our most challenging bikepack - unsupported for seven days in prime grizzly country and no easy bail out for bad weather. Fortunately the weather was looking really good with only scattered showers on a couple of the days.

    Chilcotins are an interesting place. You see them a lot in MTB movies and magazines, and the area looks incredible. Incredibly remote, beautiful scenery. But after being there it is obvious the trip reports seem to gloss over the hard work involved in riding here. Sure you will see Matt hunter shredding trails but they never show the heinous hike a bikes you will have to endure to get to the goods in certain areas. There are three lakes that most riders fly into and most simply ride straight out. But you could easily spend weeks up there touring around. Vik, the guy who set up the trip, planned a full week for us starting from Lorna Lake that would then take us on a decent tour through most of the park.

    Starting point for the trip is Tyax lodge on Tyaughton Lake. We arrived later afternoon and got the bikes put together before hitting up the lodge for dinner

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    pic by Bruce

    Campground was hopping when we showed up, bikes everywhere

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    pic by Bruce

    Lake front dining

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    There were six others on the trip, including Vik from Victoria in the middle here, who organized the trip.

    John, Vik and Scott load up the 830am flight

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    Taking off for our starting point at Lorna Lake

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    Soon enough it was our turn

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    Brian, Sandy, Evan. Bruce is out of sight sitting behind Brian

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    The flight was around 30 miles as a plane flies, not as a crow flies, which meant we followed a series of valleys many of which we would ride through during the week.

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    Almost every valley has a sizeable stream flowing down it

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    Many of them have trails, though they are hard to spot from the air

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    Lorna Lake

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    I figured the landing could be cool to film so I tried a short video. Turned out pretty good



    Touchdown

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    A bucket brigade formed to unload bikes and gear and then the plane was off

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    No turning back now

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    Bags had to be re-mounted on bikes and then we were off

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    Going seemed slow with heavy loads, and we soon came to our first obstacle

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    Some sections of trail were swampy or too rooty to ride, but others were very nice. We made pretty good time until the climbing started

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    Low swampy section next to Big Creek

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    One more creek crossing and we started to climb away from the valley bottom

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    Our route would take us up along Grant Creek

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    Brian and I would each use a couple bottles rather than a regular bladder since there would plenty of streams to filter water from. It was nice not to have to carry a ton of water since our loads were heavy enough already.

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    The trail was nice for a ways, which was unexpected as at least one trip report I'd seen said this valley was overgrown with slide alder.

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    We did get into half a mile of thick brush but it was much less than expected. Looking back from where we came.

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    We had a pretty big range of speed in our group so we tended to spread out.

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    Regroup shortly before setting up camp

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    pic by Bruce

    Rather than try to get over the top of the pass we decided to camp near the head of the valley and cross over first thing in the morning.

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    It wasn't a huge day mileage wise (none of them would be) but given the heavy packs we were still adjusting to, it was a lot of work. There was no wood for a fire that high up so we made our dinner and then retreated to tents to avoid getting chewed on my all the mozzies who showed up in the evening.
     
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  2. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    DAY 2


    Days are a lot longer in BC so we awoke well after the sun was already up. Unfortunately our new friends were awake as well.

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    The goal for the day was to get up and over Iron Pass which was now just above us, down into the next valley and then over to Warner Lake which would require making another pass later in the day. Our progress would depend on trail conditions beyond Iron Pass which was off our map and somewhat unknown.
    We did a little hike a bike to wake up the legs

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    Nice view back down the Grant Creek drainage

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    Bruce and Sandy hit the snow

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    Iron Pass

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    Doug drops in toward the tarn

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    We faced a steep loose descent at the top which turned into a flatter rocky traverse as we dropped further

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    The further we went the harder the trail was to follow

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    Not much chunk here

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    Eventually the trail petered out completely. Vik, Scott and Brian had started earlier than the rest of us in the morning and were somewhere ahead, bushwacking through the slide alder. We tried to follow their path but lost it soon enough.

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    Our group stayed low, close to the stream and eventually picked up the trail again on the opposite bank at a turn in the stream. The trail had apparently crossed to the other side earlier which would explain why we had lost it.

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    Brian sniffed out an old mining road which was up above us on the slope and would be our ride down to the main valley bottom. The GPS base map on Dougs GPS confirmed the trail ending here. Normally I'd rather be on singletrack but after bushwacking for an hour we were all happy to make some unimpeded distance.

    Checking out the sights before dropping down.

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    When we reached the valley bottom we turned left and picked up an ATV trail that soon turned into singletrack and then started a gentle climb up the next valley toward Warner Pass

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    It was great to be on trail that was easy to follow

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    Though we weren't the only ones using it

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    An hour and a half into our climb we started to hear thunder, which got ever closer until the skies opened up on us. We waited out the storm under the trees before continuing on.

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    Vik and Scott were up ahead again and found a decent looking campsite with fire pit next to the trail. After another bit of rain moved through we got a fire going to help us dry out. We didn't make our goal of Warner Lake but as we would find out the next day we wouldn't have made it anyways, even without the rain delays.

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  3. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    DAY 3

    Vik's original plan was to do a short out an back after landing at Lorna Lake on day 1, and a much longer second day from Lorna Lake over Iron Pass and Warner Pass to camp at Warner Lake on day 2. Drawing that route into Topofusion I got 23.5 miles, 4,500ft up and 4,700 down. Seemed like it should be no problem as long as trail conditions were ok. But in reality it took us 2 days to get half way up the climb to Warner Pass, which would prove to be some of the toughest going of the trip. Since we skipped the out and back Day 1 we were really only 1/2 day behind schedule, but we definitely wanted to get moving and make some distance on day 3.
    The rain which moved through the prior day cleared out and left us with sunny skies

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    A short climb brought us above tree line but we still had a long ways to go to reach Warner Pass

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    The pilot described this trail as "mostly climbable" but we seemed to be doing a lot of pushing

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    Looking back down the valley - we started our current ascent right at the valley bottom just before the furthest range of mountains

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    Water stop

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    And also a swimming stop. Water was too cold for many takers though (that is not me in there!)

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    We soon transition to scree slope riding

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    Our group got really spread out by this point with Vik and Scott way out front, and Doug and John way behind

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    The trails are faint enough that it is impossible to tell from any distance exactly where you are headed. And since we didn't actually have a map for the route from Iron Pass to Warner Pass there were lots of "oh wow, it goes up there" moments.

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    Wide shot of the valley

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    We certainly can't see the trail, hopefully brian can from there. It got chunky enough that a few parts were not obvious and you had to look for cairns.

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    This was a long tough climb, it was good it was broken into two days as I would not have wanted to be caught out in the rain and thunder up here above tree line

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    Most of us re-group at Warner pass, have lunch and try to dry some gear out

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    And then it is off down a sea of rock

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    The rock made the most amazing noise as it shifted under your wheels, a clinking sound that was almost musical as the rocks shifted under our wheels

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    Views really started to open up as we dropped into the main valley

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    Then Warner Lake appeared in the distance

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    Initially I figured it would be a quick ride down to the lake but the trail had other ideas, and there were lots of short hike a bike sections where the trail was too steep or sketchy to ride. Brian had a tumble crossing a gully as a couple rocks on one bank came loose under foot.

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    We eventually dropped back below tree line and while our views disappeared the trail was a lot more rideable

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    We finally reach the floor of the valley

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    The lake looked real inviting for a swim

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    We were aiming for the lower campsite for a break but somehow missed it and ended up taking a break by a nice stream instead

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  4. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Day 3 Continued...

    A lot of riders fly into Warner Lake and then ride down the Gun Creek Trail which we are now on, all the way back to the Tyax Lodge. We would end our descent 2 miles past Warner Lake though, and climb up Deer Pass Trail. The goal was to make it up and over the pass and down to Tyaughton Creek on the other side. Sandy and Bruce caught up to us just as we were about to start up the hill and let us know that they weren't up for another big climb. They would continue on and stay near Spruce Lake where we would meet up with them in 2 days time.


    Deer Pass Trail was not that long, but it was brutally steep in places. It was interesting that someone had come in and built some very recent re-routes around some of the steepest sections. Unfortunately what they built was just as steep, and then would flatten out and traverse across to connect back to the original trail. Seemed kind of pointless and unsustainable to me, and we could only figure it was equestrians who intended for the flat spots to give the horses a breather.


    The lower trail was all in trees with no views. Above the tree line the views really opened up.


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    After a short rideable section we were back into more hike a bike to the pass. Brian was wanting to camp down below here, but after 2 days of not making it over passes we had intended to make, I wanted to push on and catch up to Vik and Scott.


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    Cresting up to the pass


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    The valley bottom down the other side looks a long ways away


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    It was windy up top so we didn't hang around long


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    Checking out the views


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    There were a few short sections we had to hike but overall this was a great descent


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    We definitely did this one the right direction. This side flowed really well and you could let go the brakes in places whereas the other side which we came up would be full on brake dragger most of the way down.


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    Brian was ahead and made lots of bear calls on the way down since we were in prime griz habitat during their most active time of day. No sign of any though aside from a few tracks.


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    We caught up to Vik and Scott who made camp right at the base of the trail. With long days we had plenty of light left for a swim, food, camp fire and laundry. I had hauled an ultralight fishing rod with me and caught a few small bull trout nearby as well. Was hoping for some extra dinner food but no luck.


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    This one was a tough day, but by far our best scenery and best riding. The HAB up Deer pass was especially tough and my legs felt pretty hammered. Vik and Scott were asleep not too long after we got in, and we weren't up too long after them. We had another big day coming up...
     
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  5. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    DAY 4

    As with Day 3, Day 4 would cover two passes. Although these ones wouldn't be as high or have as great a distance between them.

    The trail stayed low out of camp so we were able to ride some and warm up the legs. It didn't go where the map said it should be however, so after a wet crossing we ended up riding through a couple of horse camps.

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    Both camps were deserted mid week

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    It took a bit of looking to find the trail. Vik and Scott, the early risers had left before us again so we were able to follow their path in places. Soon enough we were back to doing steep HAB up Little Paradise Creek trail

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    The valley we came up started way in the distance, and after a mile or so of riding it was onto some mega-steep HAB. The kind so steep you can barely hold your feet without slipping while you lift the bike up and past before locking the brakes to hold the bike while you take a couple steps up.

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    I wouldn't say the trail flattens out here, but the grade mellows a bit as we head straight up the nose of the ridge. There was no obvious trail except for bike tracks left by those just ahead of us

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    We can see Vik and Scott in the distance way up the side of the valley

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    Looking back down the views are still great. Ironically the views often get worse at the top as some of the passes and valleys are quite flat in places

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    We reach the summit around 11, time for lunch

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    The trail off the far side was not obvious but Scott soon picks it up

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    It does not last long before disappearing again. Rather than create new tracks across the slope we headed down this gully, which made for a series of nice bermed turns

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    We would not be descending far before turning left onto another trail and climbing up to Graveyard Pass. The map showed the trail near this intersection as a "route" and not as a main or even secondary trail. This meant it could be hard to find, and it was definitely that. There was no sign of it, just a wall of thick brush at the valley bottom. We decided to see if we could push up and around it. Brian found a campsite on a hilltop which one would expect to have a trail lead from but no dice. We were able to see the trail below us though down in the valley so we knew where we needed to get to. We found a steep gully to make our way down that would avoid a major bushwack, and would drop us within 100ft of the trail.

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    The trail was good from where we picked it up and was pretty rideable except for a hundred yards of insanely steep HAB. Every time you'd think they can't get any steeper than the last HAB, they did!

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    JRA

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    Throwing horns

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    That is the pass up ahead. Normally they are wide and flat, this pass was a steep narrow slot at the base of adjacent hills. Very cool

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    Wolf paw vs Fox paw

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    Descent off the pass was pretty fun

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    We had caught Vik and Scott again up top so I was able to get some rare pics of them riding

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    The trail dropped right into the creek which made for some interesting riding

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    It would get a bit overgrown for a while

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    Yes, there is a trail there they are riding on...

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    The trail would be clear for a while then all of a sudden disappear. The place just doesn't see enough traffic to keep it clear. Places like this we would just fan out and eventually one of us would find it wherever it reappears.

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    We had a few miles of awesome flowy riding through the pines at the bottom of Graveyard Creek trail, and a left turn onto Big Creek Trail brought us to...Big Creek

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    It was our biggest crossing yet but not as big a deal as it looked. From there we had about 5 miles of tough xc to get up to our next camp at the base of Elbow Pass trail. We had to cross back over Big Creek to where there was a campsite, but the Elbow Pass trail was nowhere to be found. We would look again in the morning, and if no luck have to head back to Lorna Lake for an alternate route. No pics the rest of the day as we were in the trees and a bunch of smoke had rolled in which obscured most of our views.
     
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  6. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    DAY 5

    After consecutive two pass days we were all looking forward to an "easy" single pass day that would take us to the third of the main lakes, Spruce Lake. Only problem was, as mentioned, no trail. I shouldn't say that.... we pretty much knew where it was, but no one wanted to go slogging through a swamp to find it. Vik and Scott decided to take another look for it in a couple spots in case we had simply missed it (easy to do) but that didn't work and they headed off toward Lorna lake where there is another pass that can get us into the next valley. We took our time to get going and enjoyed the view which had opened up again since most of the smoke blew away overnight.
    You can see the swampy meadow behind the tree left side of this pic on the far side of the creek, with Elbow pass in the upper corner. Lorna Pass is the next pass over.

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    Not sure how hard they looked. The flat brown area each side of the creek is nasty gooey mud

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    Once the bugs woke up we got out of there and made our way back to Lorna. The Lorna Pass trail was obvious with the turnoff marked by a cairn. Apparently most riders dropped off at Lorna Lake take the first pass rather than pedalling a couple miles to Elbow Pass.

    This makeshift bridge bowed unevenly making it tricky to talk across. Brian almost loses balance here. Like any good friend I was ready to take a pic should he fall off the side

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    There is a mountaineering route straight up the scree slope on the left side. That is not where we were going

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    Like all the other passes Lorna had some uber steep hike a bike. We did get to ride *a little*

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    Checking out the sights up high

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    We hit the pass and stop for a snack. The route we have taken thus far has crossed in and out of the park numerous times. Here we are headed back in

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    This descent looked very promising and would not let us down

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    We soon approached tree line

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    And got into the flowers as well

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    And some nice meadows

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    Heading south we passed by our camp from a couple days ago, just off the right of this pic. We found the correct route around the horse camps this time, so as a bonus we were not duplicating what we rode that day.
    Not too far from here we ran into the only person we would see the whole trip - a lone backpacker who was only hiking because his frame had a crack and he hadn't got a replacement yet. Talked to him for a while. He told us he had once done Elbow pass from this side. When he later tried to find it again from the other side as we had, he couldn't find it and had to bushwach from Big Creek up to the treeline where he was able to pick it up. No reason for us to feel bad now?

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    It was all xc the rest of the day, contouring south along Tyaughton Creek

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    There were some tough climbs and a series of four creek crossings in half a mile. This one was deep enough it was worth separate trips for pack and bike

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    Eventually we crossed Tyaughton one last time before taking on our last climb of the day up towards Spruce Lake

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    One of the cool things about the Chilcotins is you can change forest zones frequently and quickly. One minute we were in the dark, thick spruce forest above, the next we were in the wide open pine forest below

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    And not long after that we were swimming in the lake :)

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    Spruce Lake is the most used lake in the area complete with two pack stations and a number of private, fly in cabins. We had it all to ourselves Thurs-Friday however

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    We enjoyed a relatively bug free evening with a nice fire and some extra food. Now that we were getting close to the end of the trip everyone was reassessing their remaining food and trying to reduce weight. No junk food was left to carry out.
     
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  7. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    DAY 6

    Our original plan called for going back up and over Deer Pass on Day 6 rather than starting from Spruce Lake. Given our location and some dark grey clouds most of the group decided to ride back to Tyax lodge rather than do more riding up high. Brian and I originally contemplated an out and back high country ride from Spruce but doing so would either be a simple out and back to Windy Pass or a very big day if we dropped down beyond the pass. Given the uncertain weather we decided to follow the group out and then re-evaluate conditions for a ride from Tyax the next day. There are plenty of worthy ride options from the lodge. So our new plan was to ride south along the lake and connect to the Gun Creek Trail which promised some fast miles back to civilization.

    We were an hour or so behind the others in leaving, and as we were packing up the float plane made a landing.

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    We figured he would drop off riders but the plane didn't seem to have passengers, and the pilot pulled up near the dock, did a 180, and took off again. Maybe he was picking up and the riders were a no show?

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    My new favorite piece of bikepacking gear - ultra light 2oz water filter which can attach to platypus soft bladder, plastic water bottles, or can even be run in-line with your hydration pack hose. We opted for frequent bottle fills on the trip rather than carrying a full hydration bladder, to save weight.

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    Finally packed up, we were off.

    Trails around the lake have seen a lot of trail work and were in the best shape of all the trails we had been on thus far. Often, low spots on trails in the valley bottoms would hold water and the soft dirt would get hammered the horses to the point we'd have to get off and carry bikes around them. Here, low spots had been filled in nicely to drain water so despite heavy horse traffic the trails were in great shape.

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    Notice the difference in BC Parks yield signs? Perhaps a little common sense is all people really need.

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    Connecting to the Gun Creek Trail things opened up - both the views, and the flow

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    A series of meadows led us into an aspen grove

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    And then into some fun, twisty singletrack in the trees

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    Fortunately we would not have to wade across Gun Creek

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    The trail changed many times from heavy spruce forest to open pines, to aspen and others

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    It also dropped down and then climbed up from the creek frequently

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    Occasional hike a bike was needed for rock falls or climbing away from the creek

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    A few side slopes were tricky if not sketchy to ride

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    Eventually the singletrack turned into an old overgrown road, and then into real dirt road. It was a 6 mile dirt road ride back to Tyax, of which 2 was climbing.

    Tyax Lodge

    DSC08444_zpsc9351aba.jpg

    We were staying in the adjacent campground which is a steal at $20 rather than $300 a night for the lodge, especially since I'm pretty sure the hot tub is included in the campground fee as well :D

    We took a walk around the property and made a friend after dinner

    DSC08467_zps343c7627.jpg

    Heli drop, anyone?

    DSC08453_zps46f73e4e.jpg

    The Gun Creek Trail doesn't have the remote backcountry feel we had on the other days but it was still a great end to a phenomenal week. And if the weather gods would cooperate, we would get in some bonus mileage our last day! Campground was surprisingly empty for a Friday, I guess everyone was still driving up from Vancouver. We had a great time hanging out with the crew one last time as they were all planning to head out first thing in the morning.
     
    Derkderkall likes this.
  8. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    DAY 7

    We had a few options for the last day with plenty of high country and fun descents within riding distance from Tyax.

    We chose to climb up an old mining/logging road to the High Trail and up to Camel Pass, and then traverse over and drop N Cinnabar Creek trail back to the lodge.

    It wasn't far into the ride our choice of climb was no longer looking so great

    DSC08475_zps7d627e2d.jpg

    But it ended up not being so bad. Came across this guy at one point

    DSC08491_zps549268cc.jpg

    Our first destination was the High trail

    DSC08492_zpsbdcc9b7b.jpg

    Once through the trees we broke into an open area that had fantastic views

    DSC08509_zpsa7159ae0.jpg

    Views would keep getting better the higher we climbed. Again there was some steep HAB but a good amount of the climb was rideable

    DSC08515_zpsa067c0e1.jpg

    Camel Pass. The Camel is on the left. Looking down into the Taylor drainage

    DSC08520_zps991cb2a4.jpg

    In past trip reports I'd seen there were prayer flags strung up but they appeared to be gone

    Taseko+Mega+Traverse+Aug+2+to+6+2012+++-143.jpg
    Pic by Pat Mulrooney

    We were starting to get pelted by raindrops driven by a stiff wind, so we did not hang around

    DSC08524_zpsf0afdef1.jpg

    The ride back down to the High Trail was a lot faster, of course

    DSC08529_zpsc94e74a3.jpg

    And we got to enjoy all the views we'd had our backs to on the climb up

    DSC08531_zpscf2b047c.jpg

    DSC08532_zpsd86bb6dd.jpg

    DSC08534_zpsaf968fe2.jpg

    We headed back to our steep mining road and climbed up a few switchbacks. We came around a corner and were confronted by this:

    DSC08543_zps29ef70fd.jpg

    At least it got us up the hill quicker. Have I mentioned how awesome the views were yet?

    DSC08544_zpsda37795b.jpg

    Carpenter Lake

    DSC08550_zps7fe79212.jpg

    We had to climb another insanely steep section of road that brought us up to the highest point on the ridge.

    DSC08555_zps3bb1c894.jpg

    Now we just had to find the Cinnabar trail. We spotted it way below us and then just had to connect the dots over to it

    DSC08556_zpsdafe6d16.jpg

    That was easier said than done. Seems we may have missed a turnoff at some point

    DSC08563_zps2f635f3e.jpg

    But soon enough we were on the trail, dropping into the main valley in the pic above

    DSC08578_zpsd1d57f1d.jpg

    The trail was obvious and well travelled at one point, then spotty and hard to follow the next

    DSC08587_zps2e5c0fb8.jpg

    Then it got ridiculous. The trail passed a camp as shown on the map, but it turned and went down hill into a steep drainage before disappearing. That couldn't be right so we hunted around for a while trying to find an alternate near the camp. No luck, it has been a long time since I have been stumped that badly.

    DSC08593_zps2baec535.jpg

    We finally concluded we missed a turn higher up in the meadow that would have gone to another camp, and that the trail should be somewhere in the steep drainage below where we turned around at first. Sure enough....

    DSC08596_zps90894728.jpg

    It was getting on toward dinner time so we made quick work up some switchbacks to a saddle

    DSC08598_zps26eeb57e.jpg

    Should be all downhill from here

    DSC08599_zpsa23aa158.jpg

    The Cinnabar descent was definitely the best of the trip

    DSC08600_zps17bc7228.jpg

    OK, one small climb

    DSC08603_zps389450ed.jpg

    Views open up briefly before we dive into the trees again

    DSC08604_zps52297a07.jpg

    And then finish with some high speed twisty singletrack through the pines

    DSC08607_zps42e99310.jpg

    A definite happy ending\

    DSC08609_zps94d62484.jpg

    That was it for a great trip. Now we just had to get to Seattle for our flight by 6pm the next day!

    I think we will be doing more airline assisted bike trips in the future. Will open up some more distant possibilities, as travel with the bike cases was not a huge hassle.
     
  9. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    TFPU, Ev. What a trip!!!!!! :thumbsup:
     
    evdog likes this.
  10. Danimal

    Danimal Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    Rocky Mountain Altitude
    Really enjoyed reading this RR. Thanks for taking the time to post it .
     
    evdog likes this.
  11. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Day -1: After work flight in to SEA with checked bikes. Rental car pick up and spent night at sketchy Edmonds hotel.
    Day 0: Drive to Tyax Lodge, via Hope-Lytton-Lillooet. Assemble bikes. Dinner at lodge. Camp at resort.
    Nice place, but pricey:
    P7120002_zpsc8351e7b.jpg

    Day 1: Float plane ride to Lorna Lake. Bike to camp site just below Iron Pass.
    You can pack a lot of gear in the Beaver:
    P7130007_zpsbfb50be5.jpg

    P7130010_zpseed0fa43.jpg

    P7130015_zps5ea0e21b.jpg

    Lorna Lake comes into view:
    P7130024_zps05fe88ce.jpg

    Goodbye Beaver:
    P7130032_zps2c73a722.jpg

    The trail up Grant Creek:
    P7130038_zps518e1103.jpg

    Nice stream for a regroup:
    P7130041_zps01a73784.jpg

    Camp spot:
    P7130044_zps821e0ad1.jpg
     
    mike and kioti like this.
  12. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Day 2: Iron pass to West side of Warner Pass.

    Near the top of Iron:
    P7140045_zpsb12e5373.jpg

    Down we go:
    P7140046_zps4faab46a.jpg

    P7140049_zpsf218f95a.jpg

    Trail got faint, lower down and then we got really lost:
    P7140050_zps9260ff9a.jpg

    After a few hours of bush whacking I found a mining road that connected to the trail we wanted:
    P7140052_zpsd89ee36d.jpg

    Rain started so we made camp for the night:
    P7140054_zpsa342a08d.jpg
     
    kioti likes this.
  13. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Day 3: Warner and Deer Pass.
    Only the Griz puts down a better track than the Ardent:
    P7150055_zpsc022f272.jpg

    A bit of hike a bike:
    P7150058_zpsd9f8270c.jpg

    P7150060_zps454d0932.jpg

    Cool pass:
    P7150063_zpsf3d78fdd.jpg

    A little loose on the downhill side:
    P7150067_zpsafc4d3bb.jpg

    P7150069_zpsc0dc27c4.jpg

    Views got really good:
    P7150072_zps1d3462be.jpg

    Warner Lake comes into view:
    P7150078_zpsfdd7c14a.jpg

    Nice trail around the lake:
    P7150082_zps14f651e2.jpg

    All hike a bike in the 95 degree heat up Deer pass:
    P7150084_zps6e142b56.jpg


    Getting above tree line there was a breeze:
    P7150088_zpscbd54ce4.jpg

    pano:
    P7150089_zpsaa96dd5a.jpg

    Self shot with camera on backpack:
    P7150090_zpse2a0d643.jpg

    Deer pass:
    P7150092_zps95c0d609.jpg

    Trail down to Tyaughton Creek was really nice:
    P7150094_zps0b5c5fa0.jpg

    Best camp of the trip. Nice swimming in the creek and very few bugs:
    P7150097_zps9c394d9f.jpg
     
    kioti likes this.
  14. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Day 4: Little Paradise and Little Graveyard Pass

    Second two pass day started with some nice easy riding up Tyaughton creek trail through some horse camps:
    P7160098_zpsaac66da5.jpg

    That didn't last long before the mostly hike a bike up Little Paradise pass started:
    P7160100_zpsccde9cfd.jpg

    Hike o bike on the horizon ( top of the pass):
    P7160102_zpseb9f8dd8.jpg

    The trail was faint but fun dropping down the east side:
    P7160103_zps4011566b.jpg

    P7160106_zpsf79032d9.jpg

    No luck finding the "route" that started up Little Graveyard, so I talked everyone into going up some grassy slopes rather than the thick brush. This got us a bit above the trail we needed, but I think it was better than fighting slide alder and small trees with bike and gear. I found a gully down to the trail:
    P7160108_zps46bd4e33.jpg

    P7160109_zpsb9a74cc0.jpg

    Then some really steep hike a bike:
    P7160110_zps44fc4369.jpg

    Fox paw next to wolf paw( I think):
    P7160111_zps2f6b7a44.jpg

    This pass was very narrow:
    P7160114_zps62029fe6.jpg

    Going down was fun at first:
    P7160117_zpsc867d0fe.jpg

    Next bit was a bit brushy...then got really fun up until the crossing of Big Creek. Going up Big Creak trail was a bit rough, lots of roots with deep troughs. We camped near what we thought would be the location for the start of Elbow Pass trail. I slogged around in the swamps for a couple hours and couldn't find the trail. Bunch of smoke came in, so no views from camp:
    P7160122_zpscac5363d.jpg
     
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  15. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Day 5: Lorna Pass to Spruce Lake

    Awoke to nice views and less smoke:
    P7170125_zpsf9eca283.jpg

    I almost lost it crossing Big Creek:
    P7170129_zps62beb1fd.jpg

    Going up the pass is all rideable (wink):
    P7170131_zps88f55711.jpg

    P7170133_zps6589b3f0.jpg

    The trail down the east side was a blast:
    P7170135_zps10373f7f.jpg

    P7170138_zps7422941f.jpg

    I want to ski that line off the plateau:
    P7170140_zps9124f5fe.jpg

    Tons of flowers:
    P7170142_zps2132d712.jpg

    Some fishing before the final push to Spruce lake:
    P7170146_zps11242ee8.jpg

    P7170147_zpsc483167f.jpg

    3 Loons in the lake, the water was nice and warm:
    P7170153_zps04c39d8c.jpg

    We rejoined the rest of the group, at the nice camp ground on the lake:
    P7170155_zps14307eb4.jpg
     
    kioti likes this.
  16. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    The only map you need for planning a trip in the Chilcotin:
    P7170154_zps137bf6ea.jpg
     
    CBone and kioti like this.
  17. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Day 6: Back to the lodge

    Evan and I considered going up over Windy Pass to bag another pass, but decided to take the popular Gun creek trail out and spend day 7 doing a ride from the lodge without gear. The Canadian crew wasn't sticking around for the bonus day and they got an early start leaving Spruce Lake.

    Gun Creek was fun...and mostly down:
    P7180165_zps6bec6952.jpg

    P7180169_zpsfb507158.jpg

    P7180173_zpsed805978.jpg

    For dinner we went to the town beyond Gold Bridge called Bralorne at a place called Sally's. The cook wasn't in, but Sally fried us some food...sure was tasty, beer tasted very good after 6 days in the woods also.

    Returned to the lodge with lots of beer (wow beer is expensive in Canada) and got really drunk and found our way into the hot tub:
    P7190232_zps2017131d.jpg

    GPS track of the bike packing route, sure seemed like a lot more work than the numbers suggest:
    gps_zps1503cc41.jpg
     
    CBone, kioti and Old&InTheWay like this.
  18. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Day 7: Camel Pass and Cinnabar pass
    Sure was nice to hike a bike without camping gear:
    P7190177_zps06ffeda2.jpg

    P7190178_zps747d9858.jpg

    Up to Camel pass:
    P7190186_zps96490dc1.jpg

    I don't see the Camel:
    P7190190_zpsf50d6aed.jpg

    Down was fun and all on the bike:
    P7190191_zpsdf5b5050.jpg

    P7190195_zps646e34f6.jpg

    P7190200_zpscd42cb26.jpg

    Enough riding, time to hike a bike up to Cinnabar:
    P7190202_zpsf06d7650.jpg

    Awesome views from the top:
    P7190203_zpsfc745fbc.jpg

    A bit of exposure:
    P7190205_zps8490159a.jpg

    Very fun trail down:
    P7190214_zpsb6b3b987.jpg

    P7190215_zpsfe01dbba.jpg

    Then we got really lost for several hours. Considered retracing our path back over the pass and down the mining road, but figured that would really suck. Evan didn't have the CA base maps on his GPS, but we used the elevation info to find the elevation along the stream that the trail crossed after bush whacking though the forest for a couple miles. I find maps in meters very confusing...but we found the trail and put in our final hike a bike of the trip, I made sure to get a photo of it, as it was a big momment:
    P7190224_zps611644e5.jpg

    After that it was a couple thousand vertical feet of down on smooth moto track...very fun:
    P7190226_zps5aec4951.jpg

    End up eating at the lodge again, really good food, because we were later than expected. Drove to just outside Lillooet that night to camp almost hitting several deer. Rained most of the night...but Tim Hortons for breakfast in Squamish made up for the hot and wet night.
     
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  19. 406

    406 Member

    Location:
    San Diego
    Name:
    Brian
    Current Bike:
    Ripmo
    Day 8:
    I figure the peace arch will be one of the first things to go when the USA invades Canada for their water:
    P7200233_zps3fc7f882.jpg

    frances farmer will have her revenge on seattle:
    P7200235_zpsc3b041bf.jpg

    The End!
     
    pperrelle and kioti like this.
  20. mike

    mike iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    Holy moly, how much beautiful scenery and trail can one viewer take?! I think this thread has broken me. TFPU, 406! Nice job all around. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
    pperrelle likes this.
  21. Derkderkall

    Derkderkall Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Covina
    Name:
    Derek Allison
    Current Bike:
    2012 Rockhopper 29
    Outstanding, thanks for resharing.
     
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