Thursday, July 6, 2017

Canada 150.... Strong and free since 1867....



This Canada Day week-end was the big one. Celebrating this amazing country and it's special back-country wilderness was high on my list for our 150th birthday. We live in such a young nation and in terms of the global spectrum we are just getting started. If I were asked to pick my favourite thing about Canada it's an easy answer. Space! We have vast amounts of open and unspoiled space. All you have to do is head north from most major Canadian cities and you'll find almost nothing all the way to the arctic circle. I try my best to visit these remote places as often as possible. Our Canada Day tradition usually involves a big week-end of riding South Chilcotin single-track and this year would be no different. Friday night we headed north from Squamish to begin our adventure....      
         
                 

Sarah and Alex joined us at Tyaughton lake in preparation for our big ride. Summer nights at the cabin are tough to beat....


Saturday morning Shaun met us and we were five riders strong headed up the Relay Creek drainage. The skies were clear and the temps were hot....    



Along the way we found some evidence of other Canadian's using the same trail....



From the Relay Creek cabin views of the golden coloured hills begin to open up....  


Nice Antler's Sarah....


We got inked for the occasion....


We hit Big Creek and got some views of the Western summits near Lorna Lake....  


Lunch at the historic Graveyard Cabin....




The Graveyard Creek crossing was higher than usual but mellow nevertheless....      



It's always cool to spend a moment at the Graveyard Valley War Memorial Protectorate and consider the Canadian history that took place here....      


Onwards toward Elbow Pass with the flag flying....






Without fail I usually see or experience something new in these mountains on every trip. This day along Tyaox Creek we witnessed a bunch of Rainbow Trout spawning in this small alpine stream. Amazing to see this at 2000m above sea level!      



Shaun took a turn flying the flag in some nice evening light!



I would argue there's no better place to fly the flag than in the shadow of Elbow Mountain!  




We took in some evening sun and enjoyed a few beverages at the pass....



And caught a glimpse of a mother Grizzly and her cub on the high ridge above us. We usually this family each season in the same spot....



The wild flowers along Manson Creek were outstanding....  



After an 11.5 hour day we rolled into Tyax Adventure's Bear Paw camp where we had reserved accommodations! If you want a world class back-country experience make your own reservation now!      



Jazz watched over us night and day....  


Busy parking lot....




The trail from Bear Paw is always energizing and a good way to wake up the legs....



The previous day I knew the 5 crossings of Tyaughton Creek would be challenging given the high temps and snow melt water levels. This time of the year these crossings can be tricky or not even possible which would have altered our route back and added more climbing and hours. Thankfully they were just okay and the group managed the water well....        




At Spruce Lake we made a pit stop for a well deserved swim and took in the views of the Dickson range.

     
Just a couple of months ago we stood on Mt Dickson's summit (in the background) and got this view of spruce Lake....



Shaun was practising his beer modelling pose....    


Our final push back to Tyaughton Lake was fabulous as always. We made a decision to ride the Gun Creek trail based on some good intel from the fine folks at Tyax Adventures Spruce Lake camp. We would reserve some more high alpine riding for the following day....        

 

I took this photo of this exact spot from Mt Dickson's summit in late April! You can see this piece of single-track at the bottom left....



Gun Creek corner....










And just in time for some late day sun we were in the lake and enjoying some beverages!



The next day we decided to take it easy and do a 20km ride with a 1300m climb and descent. The views of Truax and Dickson helped ease the pain in our legs....  







We managed to put in 122 hard back-country kms over the three days. It was a fabulous way to celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday. Great friends, great trails, great mountains and a GREAT country! Strong and Free....         

2 comments:

  1. Awesome way to celebrate this great country of ours! We were next door in Paradise (all those pesky logs will now allow bikes through ;-) ).

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  2. Cheers Ina... I'll check out your hard work in Paradise this week-end.

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