Bike rides

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gooned
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Re: Bike rides

Postby gooned » 14 Jun 2017 19:48

Interesting, thanks for that!

In looking at G maps up past the lookout I think I may see the traces of some trenching aways North along that road.

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bertvorgon
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Re: Bike rides

Postby bertvorgon » 05 Sep 2017 15:52

Here is a small story and pictures from Sundays Epic day hike. We beat the smoke that has now totally socked in the lower mainland. In one of the pictures, which I will note, we could see the smoke billowing up from the Diamond Creek fire just south of the border, between Cathedral Park and Manning Park. The wind has now brought that and the Okanagan fires into the mainland, I did not even see the sun at all today.

Needle Peak and Beyond

Not much of a story on this one, hopefully the pictures make up for it. Matt and I decided not to drive for seven hours, then, drive seven hours back at the end of our Labour Day weekend and fight the insanity of #1 Highway.

We made a decision to try a new trail, something just outside of the blast zone of Vancouver, grabbing altitude FAST! It only took us two hours to the trailhead, arriving at 8:00 AM in cool morning air, perfect for hiking.

Now, trail descriptions can be very misleading we have found, and this was one of them. STEEP is a relative term depending on how good a shape you are in. We had light day packs and wisely brought 3 litres of water each, which turned out to be a good move.

Leaving the Tracker had us winding though a nice dense forest, with gentle but short switchbacks, seeming to get some elevation quite quickly, nice I thought. After about fifteen minutes…we came to the WALL…..the term STEEP I threw out and called it damn near VERTICAL.

This trail just headed straight up, like someone took a giant rootwacker and drew a straight line up the mountain. Talk about gaining altitude…my heart thought it was going to explode. Nothing worse than sitting for two hours, get out, and go flat out. Yikes.

Our goal was to head to a peak at just under 7,000 feet but after climbing for an hour I’m thinking there is no way, my legs feel like jello already. We broke out of the trees into our first vista of the valley below, truly spectacular. It was onto some “slick” rock type terrain, so walking was a bit easier now. I promised myself I would eat and drink regularly, as we were burning up some serious energy on this climb.

The trail at this point was steady and steep, not the vertical we had just spent and hour on, with ever increasing views around us. We could see the peak that was our goal, but when I looked at the final scrabble we would have to do, it looked very sketchy over the final kilometer with scary steps of rocks and boulders..I do not do heights very well any more, where it falls off 1,000 feet next to you.

At the fork on the trail a sign said it was 1.5 kilometers to another peak that we decided to follow. Stopping for some much needed lunch had us with an almost 360 degree view of amazing peaks and valleys. We could even see the smoke flume from the forest fire just across the Canada/U.S. Border, some 150 kilometers away.

After lunch we had to drop some altitude, my mind going we have to come BACK UP this. We dropped down into a small saddle between peaks, then, ended up on some huge sheets of glacial ground rock, climbing again to a wonderful alpine lake, still being fed by the last remnants of snow from winter. The vistas from here are hard to describe and I hope the pictures help a tad. We were now at 6,000 Ft., with a light breeze blowing thankfully, keeping the air temperature at 26C. (78F.) It was only another 500ft to the next peak but as the day was wearing on and the spectre of going down CAREFULLY was not lost on us.

What a grind going down, that type of terrain is really hard on the knees when you do not do that all the time, muscles that in day to day use never get used. When we got to the “vertical” part again, Matt and I were really feeling the effects, the last half an hour just felt like it took forever. We did run into a real Park Ranger heading up, a species almost decimated by government cut backs years ago. We chatted for awhile, all the time thinking this guy is doing this trail late in the afternoon and likely will do another hike before the day is done. Those guys are in crazy shape! He was doing the trail to check on conditions and make any recommendations for maintenance. I suggested a gondola!

The drive back was busy, almost coming to a major slow down on #1, I predict insanity today ( Monday) as the flush of people hit the Fraser Valley after the weekend.
As tough as it was, it was worth the effort, the vistas being right up there with only a few other climbs we have done. I think in a few days I will be able to walk again!

Keith Law
Sept.4, 2017
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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Bike rides

Postby bertvorgon » 05 Sep 2017 15:56

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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Bike rides

Postby bertvorgon » 05 Sep 2017 16:00

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Smoke from Diamond Creek fire, Wa. behind Matt
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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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KiKiIchiBan
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Re: Bike rides

Postby KiKiIchiBan » 07 Sep 2017 15:38

Still looks like you've got decent weather over there and are able to get out and enjoy it. Lucky. It's all miserable over here, cold and wet and getting darker. I'm off down south somewhere with sunshine. Going to ride a bike on a small island in Indonesia next week. Still think I'd rather be in Canada.
My Bluebird SSS Coupe #25
http://www.the510realm.com/viewtopic.php?t=26929

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bertvorgon
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Re: Bike rides

Postby bertvorgon » 02 Oct 2017 04:56

Here is another small story from August,finally cleaned the pictures out of my camera,seems like it was a busy summer. We hope to do one more trip back into this area in October, maybe get to see the mountains this time. Snow is definitely a concern, as even the Connector got some yesterday.

I think I will call this story.......


Into the Smoke

We were almost at the end of our journey, six hours of driving, then, a forty five minute drive on a dusty road, climbing switchbacks for eight kilometers and finally getting to the start of the Truax alpine valley. There, across the trail, was a broken grey black tree, killed many years ago by the pine beetle epidemic, finally falling across the road, blocking our path. My first thought was:….”…. And WHERE is my chainsaw…??!!”

On the August long weekend we thought we would head back to Truax, one of our favorite high sub alpine valleys, set up a base camp, then hike to the old Gray Rock mine for an explore. The smoke from the forest fires was EVERYWHERE in Southern B.C. and the Bridge River valley was no exception. When we went up the Fraser Canyon, you could not see the other side. In driving along Carpenter Lake, we could hardly see the lake below the road.

This fallen tree is a major issue, about a foot in diameter at the broken spot, with the full weight of the base still bearing down on part of the top. And where was my chain saw…why it was nice and warm upstairs at my work, three hundred miles away. We pulled the come-along out of the Tracker, plus our tow rope, try to see if it would budge. No way and I did not want to risk really giving at a hard pull and maybe have the cable break on the come-along.

After a bit of a discussion as it was getting late in the day, we just decided to camp right there and hike up the valley the next day. Fortunately I had brought 5 gallons of water as we were a long ways away from fresh water, the hot dry summer drying everything up but the bigger creeks. The smoke here at five thousand feet was thick, the smell tangible. After our dinner we took a small hike up the valley, where we could see nothing, making us realize that there was no point in hiking to the end of the valley, we had been there many times before and the views are what make it, so why hike for eight kilometres in heavy smoke.

Two years ago, at the top of another mountain, the bugs were so bad we decided to get bug hats. We do bring them on every trip and this year was another reason to have them, the mosquitoes, no-see-ums and horseflies were brutal.

As we lay in the tent, it was decided to go somewhere else the next day, either Mud Lakes or to the Yalakom River and follow it up the valley. A flip of the coin would decide.

Fortunately the card lock fuel depot was working in Goldbridge, so with a full tank of fuel we did not have to worry about how far we went. The coin toss had us heading to the Yalakom, doubling back along Carpenter Lake, then, left up the Yalakom River. It had been twenty years since Matt and I were up here last; when during the 510 Club 4 x 4 trip, Jamie Mitchell suffered a very serious head injury and concussion. This required an emergency run by Noel Koehn in the middle of the night to get Jamie to the hospital in Lillooet and the rest of us to bail out the next day. (that story has been written)

We took our time heading up, realizing there was NOBODY in this area, the campfire ban putting off most we thought. We were able to get over a rock slide that had blocked us a few years ago, enough 4 x 4 traffic had leveled it enough.

By early afternoon we came upon a meadow, with fresh water on one side, deciding to camp there. This is where the trail splits; one direction would go back to Mud Lakes, the other to the route out through China Head, which is now cut off due to another earth slide, not passable by vehicles.

Camp was set up quickly, nice to be out of the Tracker. A good walk was in order so we headed out the trail to Mud Lakes, just to see what it might be like. A very steep climb came right away after crossing a creek, making us contemplate could the Tracker get up this? We thought so but it would sure be nice to have another vehicle along for support. We hiked till the trail leveled out, planning to do this another trip.
As a side note, this area has a returning grizzly bear population, one of which has claimed the Truax valley as his territory. Without exaggeration, he is as big as a new Fiat 500. With that in mind, I had brought along my Winchester Defender shot gun..just in case. What I had never noticed before, as I took it out of storage, is where it was made. James Stewart would be rolling over in his grave if he knew where his Winchester 73 is made now. I always thought of Winchester as one of THE American icons. My shot gun is made in Turkey and the “Gun that won the West”, the re-pop, is now made in Japan. Dear America, and you wonder where your jobs went.

After a nice steak dinner we just set up our lawn chairs, looking out into the meadow, the air brown with the smoke haze. It was beyond dead quiet, the small stream making no noise, no wind, nothing. At the edge of our vision, to our right, Matt spotted movement. At first glance, we thought it was a deer, just seeing the back of the creature. Then, as it moved into our sight line…IT WAS A LYNX!!! He seemed as fascinated with us as we were with him. In all my years in the bush, I had never seen a Lynx before. He just stood there looking at us then disappeared in the bush. In a minute he came back out, then hunkered down in the grass and just watched us for maybe five minutes. He then just got up, looked at us, turned and walked away. Too cool!

The next morning ebbed into being, where the sun did not even show through the smoke. Our plan was to do a side trip on the way back, to check out a mine that I had heard about, very, very high on the flank of one of the biggest mountains in the area. On the way we saw a huge owl fly out in front of us. The road was lined with fire weed in full bloom, the purple contrasting against the muted forests around us.

Seven years ago a massive forest fire swept through here, annihilating everything in its path. As we headed up to the mine the starkness of the landscape is hard to describe, the beginnings of new life just starting to show. Rounding a corner had us stopped by a large cross cut ditch, a bit too sketchy to try to go through with the Tracker. I was disappointed as I knew we would not get right to the mine on this trip. A five kilometer hike was ahead, to the mine site, which at a ten km rounder would have taken too long with no time to explore the mine. We did hike for a bit, just to stretch the legs, where we came up an old cabin, likely an old hunter’s base. The last of the mountain flowers were also in bloom, the area around the cabin a green oasis in the burnt forest. Some really great rocks too, there are some jade mines in the area. I picked up some nice samples of serpentinite, massive boulders of the stuff surrounded the area. We topped up our water bottles with some ice cold water from a rushing creek, likely still being fed from snow high above us, the smoke hiding the 9,400 ft high mountain next to us.

At this point it was time to head back to Vancouver some six and a half hours away. We hope to get back up into this area some time into October if the snow and weather holds off.

Keith Law
August 30th, 2017
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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Bike rides

Postby bertvorgon » 02 Oct 2017 04:58

The above pictures are at the beginning of the TRUAX valley.

The pictures below are the meadow we stayed at up in the end of the Yalakom Valley, this meadow is at 6,000 feet.
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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Bike rides

Postby bertvorgon » 02 Oct 2017 05:02

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The sun at 3:00 PM
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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Bike rides

Postby bertvorgon » 02 Oct 2017 05:05

Here are some pictures of the meadow and the fire devastation on the way to the Elizabeth mine.
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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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bertvorgon
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Re: Bike rides

Postby bertvorgon » 02 Oct 2017 05:11

In the picture with Matt standing by the Tracker, image 2666, Big Dog Mountain is off in the distance, some 9,000 feet high.
"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer

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Byron510
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Re: Bike rides

Postby Byron510 » 02 Oct 2017 10:34

Very cool - thanks.

I would like to join you with my Xterra and the kids - it works well for this type of thing and the kids need to see more of this.

Byron
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DADZSUN
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Re: Bike rides

Postby DADZSUN » 03 Oct 2017 05:24

bertvorgon wrote:... this area has a returning grizzly bear population, one of which has claimed the Truax valley as his territory. Without exaggeration, he is as big as a new Fiat 500...

...After a nice steak dinner...

...The next morning ebbed into being...


Jesus I wish I had you & your son's bravery. No figgin' way I'd relax on just a regular hike, let alone one with cooking meat for a meal, and then (I assume) sleeping in a tent that night? :shock:

Somewhat similar, I often wonder how surfers can continue to practice their sport knowing there's likely a shark within a few hundred meters at any time, and if they truly want you there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm hugely envious of where you go. I'd LOVE to hike/run/ride those trails but I'm just too risk adverse to expose myself to potential danger that's frankly completely out of my control - even with precautions taken.
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Re: Bike rides

Postby Byron510 » 03 Oct 2017 07:34

Apparently it's still safer odds than going to a concert these days.... very sad.

I don't hike nearly as far back as Keith does, but I did spend my childhood in the back country, and the rules are simple. Generally animals hate us, no matter how big we are. That being said, the most dangerous animal I feel is a cougar/mountain lion. You take your odds, but for some reason we take even lesser odds every time we step into our cars and drive down the highway. There's a significantly greater chance of being harmed in your car yet we all feel safe. It's perception I guess. Having lived in the back country and having seen many bears, the odd wild cat, wolves, coyotes and lots of other furry critters, I've been harmed more by poison ivy than anything else in my lifetime :-) It's what you're comfortable with. You certainly need to keep you witts about you, and be prepared. But in the end, the rewards of being in the back country are absolutely wonderful, and Keith I thank you for your open sharing of it.

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Re: Bike rides

Postby DADZSUN » 03 Oct 2017 11:20

Byron510 wrote:... having seen many bears, the odd wild cat, wolves, coyotes and lots of other furry critters, I've been harmed more by poison ivy than anything else in my lifetime :-) It's what you're comfortable with...Byron


I total agree with your comment on perceived comfort. I went to private school that was fairly deep in the Quebec Laurentians. From grade 4-8 I spend countless hours by myself deep in the woods. As a result, I really couldn't care about (Algonquin) wolves/coyotes, cats (mountain lions rumored to be here now), wild pigs, Moose, and even Black Bears - which I consider to be just a big dog. In those situations at least I (believe I) have a chance, either climbing a tree or whatever.

It's the size, speed, and devastation that a grizzly can unleash, and the utter helplessness we'd have if attacked that creeps me out.
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Re: Bike rides

Postby bertvorgon » 03 Oct 2017 12:51

I can address this from some of our firsthand experience. I only take that shotgun for the odd chance, that we surprise a grizzly. On the one or two trail’s that we take, where we both go through bush and follow a rushing mountain creek, we do not want to surprise bear, specially a grizzly. In the Truax valley, a resident grizzly has taken over the valley as his territory and he is the size of a new Fiat 500. Most of the bear population in this area is well fed and want to avoid any encounters as much as we do. The spring trips are the most dangerous potentially, as that is when a mother grizzly with cubs ( even black bear for that matter) you just do not want to surprise.

That being said, this past spring, not far from this valley, at a cabin my wife and I stay at, we ran right into a grizzly with two cubs. WE went out for a walk, well aware that there was a TON of fresh poop all over, so were watching out. We came around a corner of the small road from the cabin and walked right into them across the road from us!! We froze, they were eating fresh spring grass, and as she lifted her head up, saw us. Moving very slowly backwards, maintain eye contact, we just faded right back around the corner, once out of site we booked it back to the cabin. No issue! We posed no threat.

One morning In Traux, while cooking breakfast in the meadow, we look up and see the monster grizzly walking on the other side of the creek. Maybe he smelled our bacon & eggs, at any rate, he just looked at us and continued on through his empire.
At night, we do all the proper protocol for camping, NO food in the tent, we cook AWAY from the tent, dishes washed AWAY from the campsite and if car camping ALL cooler(s) and food into vehicle. If wilderness camping, we either make our own food cache and lift into tree, or use the available strong box food caches. We both carry parachute cord for that.

I have had a black bear snuffle around my tent one night and motored on. We did see him the next day, that is another story.

Matt and I one year, when he was very young, headed up one of our local mountains at the crack of dawn. We were doing a side trail to the peak of Mnt. Seymour. There had been no one else up there this early in the morning, the wind was coming DOWN the mountain. As we came up over a small rise in the trail we walked right into a huge black bear, his head down in the mountain blue berries. He heard us at the point and stood right up, looked like he was 12 feet tall but likely 6 feet standing. I grabbed Matt as he started to run,( worst thing you can ever do is run, you cannot out run any of these guys) he was truly shaking like the proverbial leaf. I instantly took my pack off and held it up in front of me, both to present a large object and to protect us if he charged. He gave a bit of a “gruf”, likely thinking: “crap….my breakfast is ruined!” then bailed down the hill like a freight train. We composed ourselves and continued on.

One funny story, one year my brother and I were camped out at the very top of a 7,000 ft peak, choosing to sleep under the stars, no tent, just a trap over us to keep the worst of the dew off us. He had his shotgun between us. Later that night, I awoke, startled that I had heard something BIG. What is was was the bloody deer mice, running over the tarp. My brother came out of a deep sleep, startled by my reaction and started fumbling for the shotgun. I yelled don’t shoot…thinking he was going to blow our toes off.

Laying in a tent in the middle of nowhere, listening to every sound, as it can be beyond dead quiet in some of the places we go, can drive you crazy with the deer mice running around, as every sound they make can feel quite magnified. I have had them get inside the tent, where the three zippers came together, now that is scary
Our encounter with the Vancouver Island wolves had that one just curious as to what we were doing in his land.

Speaking of Vancouver Island, as Byron said, my biggest fear is of the cougars. I have had two run-ins with them. They can wait in trees or stalk you. I had to fire my pistol once, as we surprised one and had blocked it’s safe exit point and I was just unsure as to what it might do. Thought I would send a message to it!

Worst ever wildlife encounter was a bloody buck decided to charge at me beside a river one time, now that was scary. I have been kicked by a deer so I know how strong those legs are.
When you look at most grizzly attacks, they are due to surprising them, which we try to do our very best at not doing. On some of our wilderness trails, where I do not take the shotgun due to its weight, we make noise, whistle and talk loudly when entering a covered or blind part of a trail. I hate bear bells, see them in Grizzly poop all the time!!!

Last year, on our rained out expedition, we had a grizzly just opposite the valley from us on the hike in, just a huge animal. It is too cool to see these animals finally coming back into southern B.C and into this area again.

So, we don’t really worry too much about our wildlife encounters and try to be as diligent as possible in our environments of camp and hiking.
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Cape Scott wolf
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Truax grizzly footprint
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Keith's food cache
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Hummingbird Lake food cache
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"Racing makes heroin addiction look like a vague wish for something salty" - Peter Egan

1973 2Door Slalom/hill climb/road race / canyon carver /Giant Killer 510
1968 Vintage 3HP Mini Bike
1971 Vintage 13' BOLER trailer


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