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Day 2 did not have the luxury of the float plane.  So we climbed….and climbed…and climbed.  About 4 hours total of climbing.  But what goes up, must come down and the down was pretty epic.

I mentioned in the previous post that we were shouting for bears.  Not trying to lure them in, but hopefully scare them away.  This area of BC is known for BIG grizzly bears.  None of the pack trains we came across had seen any, and while I was hoping to snap a pic of one, not running into one is always a bonus.  But we did follow these prints for well over a mile.

Yep.  That’s a grizzly bear print next to Lesley’s hand….and her hands aren’t small.

Yelling “BEAR…GO AWAY BEAR” while climbing really gives you a workout.  Luckily there were some pretty incredible views on this climb.

Less than half way into our day of climbing we came up on this cabin.  It looks a bit scary, but in a big mountain downpour or sudden snow storm, this baby would be awesome.

 

This sweet panorama is the top of the first climb of 2 for the day.

Then we hit a sweet descent that lasted about 20 minutes or so.

If you look carefully in the pic you should be able to see the single track and some the gang of four on it.

More descending.

This is the looking down at the second climb of the day.

We did a bit of hike-a-biking to top out on our last climb of the day.

Then it was all downhill….which was really great until we hit some blow down that seemed to be in a mosquito nest.  That sucked.  Literally.

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IF you look at a map of British Columbia, look for a small town north of Whistler called Pemberton.  Draw a line about 40 miles northwest of Pemberton and that puts you in the Chilcotin Mountains, an amazingly beautiful range that is loaded with single track….that’s not much over 8,000 feet.  I think the highest peaks were only about 9,000.  We drove for about 2 hours on some really steep dirt roads.  It gave the 4 wheel drive a good workout and it raised the temp of the Alison tranny to the highest level I’ve ever seen.

We set up camp on a small lake near the TYAX lodge where we would be taking a float plane flight at 8 am up to Warner Lake.  At 8 sharp, we rolled onto the dock and began loading the plane.

After handing over some cold Canadian cash to the pilot, we took off and headed into the backcountry.

The scenery was really intense.  No drugs need here.  The pilot was really smooth.  This de Haviland Beaver was built in 1961.  The fleet of Beavers helped develop the BC backcountry into what it is today.  They continue to service hunters and backcountry travelers like ourselves.  This plane looked brand new.  Rumor is that one of these beauties is worth around half a million.

We approached our lake, checked to make sure the wind was blowing up canyon, and banked a hard right in the canyon to make a silky smooth landing.

After unloading the plane, we walked 20 feet up the hill and hopped on insane single track.  Yelling for bears almost the entire ride, we ripped scree slopes, blooming meadows, and miles of wooded single track.  It seemed to never end, but after 6 hours, we popped out on a dirt road, climbed for about 20 minutes, and wound up back at camp.

Here are some more sweet pics of the ride.

      

  

  

Day 2 consisted of Matt and Lesley taking us up to Checkemus Lake.  This is a sub-alpine lake that feeds an insane river.  On the way we saw some of our racer pals finishing up the BC bike race.

Here’s Tinker…without his partner.

One of Matt’s buddies….the Dingo…came through and visited with us for a while.  He was flamin’ pissed off cause his partner was sucking so bad.  He dropped f-bombs for about 15 minutes while he waited on his buddy.  He really wanted to go ride with us instead.

Then we headed up to Checkemus Lake.  We did some awesome climbs and crossed over the creek that is fed by the lake.  There is no dam for this thing.  It’s really incredible.

We then got to the lake and took a break near the exit.   The water was flowing really fast at this spot.

We then rode out to the end of the trail were I took this great panorama of the area.  Unbelievable.

Stay tuned as we will be heading slightly north for a float plane shuttle ride.

Our first day in Whistler was an epic.  But not really.  We hit a trail called Comfortably Numb….

24 km, but 4+ hours.  Unbelievable!  I definitely did not take enough pics on this one.  Jen got sick half way into the ride and left some gifts for the bears.  I did get one descent pic of Jen dropping a nutty rock that was covered with roots.

There were other “standard” style bridges too that kept you out of the muck.

Here’s a great view of Whistler.

We actually finished this ride well under 4 hours.  I loved every minute of it.

Our drive from the Cream Puff up to Whistler was very disappointing.  We did get to see some really neat stuff, but trying to conserve fuel meant not taking every side trip available to see things that could normally be seen from the main road.  What am I talking about?  Well, the forest fires in California are/were so bad, that we could barely see any of the big volcanic peaks unless we were right up on them…..such as Mt. Bachelor.  My camera has this rad panorama feauture and Jen took this cool one by this lake below Mt. Bachelor.

The highway up to Whistler was insane.  It is cut into the base of the mountains and follows the coastline closely for quite a ways. They are doing tons of construction on it due to the upcoming 2010 Olympics.  My dad warned me saying that there weren’t any lines, but we hit it during the daylight hours and made it without incident.

So despite not being able to see Helens or Ranier, we had some great views of the Sunshine coast.