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Re: Bike rides

Posted: 03 Oct 2017 13:34
by bertvorgon
I just was down washing one of my vehicles...and you know what animal I am MOST afraid of...????

The HUMAN one!

Matt's 1st Tracker was stolen and wrecked, from one of the local trailheads here on the lower mainland.

Go look at the warning posted on the Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park's not about bears....

July 4, 2017: Break-ins at the Post Creek trailhead parking lot
Due to a recent influx in break-ins at the Post Creek trailhead parking lot (Lindeman-Greendrop & Flora Lake Trails), visitors are reminded not to leave any valuables in their vehicles, including in glove boxes and center consoles. Instead – leave them at home or carry on your person.

I realized we worry most about the human shits out there, when we park and leave our vehicle for days on end. Not what animal we might run into. Every trailhead now has signs posted about not leaving anything in your vehicle and many times you see all the broken window glass lying on the ground.....

The local 100 miles radius blast zone of Vancouver is a cesspool of garbage and waste on most trails, why we drive 300 miles and 7 hours to get away from it. The last hike we did, which was a major work out, had not one piece of garbage, not even a wayward power bar wrapper. That says something to us, the serious outdoor people still respect the wonderful places given to us. The weekend warriors of Vancouver hike so they can post some stupid picture on Facebook or Twitter, then use their phone to call for help..because they are too tired to walk their sorry ass back down.... in their flip-flops. I feel for the North Shore Rescue people.

My rant for the day!

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 04 Oct 2017 21:48
by iceD
Well said

ice D

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 05 Oct 2017 13:05
by jason
Errr help?

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 08 Oct 2017 11:22
by bertvorgon
After this discussion of grizzly's, there was an attack up in the Fernie Valley, where Jake Blackmore was attacked and bitten by a sow and her cubs. He surprised them, he is lucky, as he was able to hip shoot and grazed her head, scaring her off. Lots of heavy ground cover there and that is the worst scenario.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 21 Oct 2017 13:02
by bertvorgon
Quiet day on the site..must be least in the Pacific Northwest.

This is what my brother contends with on occasion, living in a remoter area of Northern Vancouver Island. At least this time it did not throw the barbecue off the porch.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 07:32
by bertvorgon
Matt and I decided to head to another spot that I have not been back to for 50 years now, the end of the Skagit Valley at Ross Lake. In the 60’s they were logging their way down the valley, with a brutally rough logging road only taking us about half way to the lake then.

We wanted to go check out the Provincial Park at the Border, see the fall colour's and burn some smokie's over a fire. This Park was created in 1973 along with the Park on the U.S. side of the border.

The road was again just brutal with washboard for the last 20-30 KM, just shook our fillings loose.

At the Park though, not a soul insight, none at all, quiet, everything a brilliant golden yellow and orange. We pulled into a campsite and went for a walk, even crossing into the U.S., as it is one of only 3 un-manned crossings in the North. It would be a massive hike to get to HWY 20 from here so I guess they figure the drug guys would be too lazy to do that.

The lake had been lowered over the summer so it was a sea of stumps in front of us now.

It had been torrential rain in Hope but the weather cut us some slack and opened up a window while we walked. A wind came up so we moved further back into the campsite to build our fire and roast some smokie's.
I think Matt and I will attempt a camp out here in November if we can again get a break in the weather.

Enjoy the pictures, they only kinda capture the radiance of the colour!

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 07:34
by bertvorgon
Few more

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 19:17
by gooned
That has been a go to spot for us with the trailer for several years now, there is a nice hike up to a mountain lake there just across the border, lots a Bears though...more at this camp than any other place I've been.

Just about lost the boy in that river on our first visit, he came out with both rubber boots full carrying his wet hat :shock:

Couple years back we camped all weekend with nothing more than a spring shower only to find out the Hope end of the road had completly washed out from major storm, it's neat being in the East Cascades without passing Hope 8)

Not sure why it's so hard to get the fall flours to show in a photo, never looks remotely as brilliant.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 25 Oct 2017 21:04
Thanks for the pics Keith and Matt. It looks beautiful up there. If I close my eyes I can smell the smokies cooking.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 06:57
by bertvorgon
My digital camera is getting old now by today's standards and if it is anything but BRIGHT, it seems to mute things, oh well.
Matt heading back up there on Saturday for a photo shoot with a fellow who was on the CDN Fly Fishing National Team.

We will be curious to access now, as I sent the Parks Operator an e-mail to see if the main gate ( which looked non functional) is really closed over the winter. If so, that would block any Americans that came up this way, at least till the snow blocks the road. We do want to go up in November for a quick camp out. The Parks guys said it was closed, yet we of course had zero problem going into the main campsite, which is not even gated.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 26 Oct 2017 13:01
by KiKiIchiBan
bertvorgon wrote:Quiet day on the site..must be least in the Pacific Northwest.

This is what my brother contends with on occasion, living in a remoter area of Northern Vancouver Island. At least this time it did not throw the barbecue off the porch.
What. beautiful animal. Not sure how I'd feel about finding one in my garden though :lol:

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 18 Feb 2018 15:03
by bertvorgon
To the Sky and Beyond

This story will be an evolving one over the next six months, as Matt and I prepare for our epic wilderness hike in August.

This past long weekend we headed out for our first real hike of the year, doing some good elevation change and some 14 Km under our belt. This same hike last year had us on three feet of snow, this year nothing; trail was dry as a bone and the snow level some six hundred plus feet above us. We go far enough up the valley that we get away from the later day hikers so have the place to ourselves basically.

I never did write the story of our attempt in 2016 to do our epic hike, so here is a brief re-visit of that.
We headed out at the end of the August long weekend, 2016, brilliant blue sky and warm. The weather report said there was a faint possibility of some rain coming into the Caribou, but that was it. As you can see in the pictures, it really was nice.

We felt we had our gear and food really dialed in for this trip, although breakfast is still being fine tuned. As you start your day, you need lots of calories and something that is palatable first thing in the day. I will be working on that this spring.

Our original plan was to not sleep at the vehicle the first night but do a 5 km hike to a small creek that came in for our water needs. My pack was some 32 pounds and it is always tough to get that weight distributed ok. My new pack has a rotating pivot on the lower back so the hips can swivel independent of the pack itself. BRILLIANT! I would like to buy a beer for the person that developed that.

Even after gaining some elevation to the first camp site, we felt so good that we decided to do another 5 km to the next meadow with water. On the way we saw a large grizzly bear on the opposite side of the narrow valley the trail cut through. Fantastic to watch as it just motored up and down the steep side hill like it was nothing. The mosquitoes here were brutal, finding us in 2 seconds after stopping.

Not long after this we had the you know what scared out of us as we spooked a large buck that must have been sleeping in the grass beside the trail. It fired straight into the air..our brains went GRIZZLY..before they went DEER…YIKES!

With 10 Km under our belt after a long day, it sure felt good to drop the packs. What a nice little meadow, water was a 2 minute walk away, fresh and cold. We brushed out an area and set the tent up, I started on boiling some water for a freeze dried dinner of Pad Thai. Freeze dried foods have come a long way since I started hiking and are really quite tasty with lots of calories.

I found a suitable tree for our food cache, taking me a few tries to fire my rope over a suitable branch. Our next destination the following day was to be another 10 km to a site we stayed at in 2015, where there was a metal food cache container. This site is at the side of Hummingbird Lake, which is below the 8,000 ft. Mnt. Sheba that had planned to traverse over in the following days.

I slept reasonably well that night, considering we drove for 7 hours, then hiked for 10Km. When I woke up, I felt that the temperature had dropped big time and that the light in the tent was quite grey…..HMMMM.
I flipped the tent door open and peeled the fly back….wow…gray fog right down onto the river, clouds low around us. I put on all my warm clothing and crawled out of the tent, my mountain senses going..”This is not good, it is going to rain!!”

We fired up the stove and got some hot coffee and chocolate into us and had some food. This is not good, feeling the temperature drop even more. Then, it started to rain! Slowly at first, but then ramping up. We packed up as quickly as we could, never good to pack up damp or wet.

Then the skies opened up, hard cold rain, Holy Mother of God Crudmucker! This is when we just stood under the trees, trying to stay dry AND make a decision. Even with good clothing you can only not move for so long before you chill down and we were getting to that point. We had our pack covers on and our light rain jackets. We decided to press on, which was a hard decision, hoping we might see a break as a weather system moves through.

You must imagine this trail from here; it is worn into the ground in some places a foot deep and maybe a foot wide, 70 years of miners, hikers, horses, game, and recently mountain bikes that do a fly in thing. Here we are trying to navigate these deep pools of water, which have filled up in the space of an hour maybe, horrendous rain.

We went 3 km further in, then stopped under a large fir tree. We were soaked right through our extremities and really chilling down. This is when the hard decisions have to be made. We had planned this trip for a year, time put aside, etc.. Now we faced do we keep going or head out. We were wet, really cold and the spectre, if we went to our next destination, of setting up camp in the rain, gear getting wet. I have been there before and it is virtually impossible in torrential rain like this to not get your sleeping bag and night clothing wet when transferring from pack to tent. And, the biggest thing, how long will this storm sock in???? There was no wind, no indicator that the storm was moving through.

With the hint of hypothermia not lost on us, we made the decision to pack out. The Tracker was some 13 Km away now and we are in one of the worst mountain storms I have ever been in. And I have been in some bad ones.

We really tried to pick up the pace, to get some internal heat going, hard to get those big leg muscles warm. After about 6 km we had to stop for a snack, breakfast such as it was had burned off and we needed some calories.

The last 7 km were just a slog, seemed to take forever, our muscles rebelling at the heavy packs and cold.
What a relief when the last bridge to the Tracker was crossed, we were BEAT!

We now faced a 7 hour drive back to Vancouver and upon getting down to the main road out; found tons of slides had come down, where we had to dodge boulders on the road. Then, when we got back to Lillooet, the highway was closed due to a massive washout. We had to go back via the Duffy Lake, putting us into Vancouver rush hour..CRUD!

Bottom line to the story, we did make the right decision. The cold front sat over those mountains for 4 days, dumping 2” of snow on the August long weekend, just above where we camped. I ran into the Ranger for that area a month later and he said it did no end of damage to some of the back roads with slides from the heavy rains.

Basically Matt and I looked at it that we drove some 15 hours, hiked 26 Km…all to have dinner in the mountains!

The plan for 2018 is to try again, hopefully watch the weather window as much as we can. Mount Sheba is our goal to cross and maybe summit. We are allowing a week in the wilderness, but hope to do the whole loop in 5-6 days. While the trail gains elevation from the Tracker to the last lake, 2,000 feet to, 6,500 Feet, over 20 Km, the climb to the peak is crazy steep over a short distance. The peak is 8,740 ft.. We are going to try to camp at the base, then do a day trip to summit. This is my bucket list trip and as I hit 68 this year, it is not getting any easier.

To be continued…..

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 18 Feb 2018 15:07
by bertvorgon
Here are some pics of this years hike, if you get tired of seeing smokies being cooked, let me know..... :lol:

That snow covered peak is the backside of Golden Ears, the trail to the top goes up from this side.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 24 Mar 2018 10:00
by bertvorgon
Hike # 2 had us heading back up East Canyon Trail again, with the plan to cross at the new bridge and then head across another creek to head up the West side of Gold Creek.

We were surprised to say the least that there was 2 feet of snow there, the small foot bridge had been washed out, making crossing too dangerous to try and rock hop.

The snow was a bad mix of kinda slush and ice so we donned our ice crampons which made things a lot better, but what a work out walking likely about 5 km in the snow.

We headed back to the main trail and continued on up to the first rock beach. There we fired up the stove and made some nice hot chocolate which took the chill off. My old Optimus 80 stove is now some 50 years old and never misses a beat, “old reliable” we call it. The new stoves by MSR with all their “O” rings and pumps and other silliness just plain fail on the trail, I do not get it at all. Can you imagine being on a major hike where you have to boil water for the freeze dried meals…and the stove does NOT work!? Matt has encountered that on two trips with friends where their stoves failed. Thankfully they all use the same fuel as he had to cook for everyone with his Optimus 80 stove.

After our hot chocolate it did not take long to start to cool down so off we went back down the trail with another 12 km under our belt.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 24 Mar 2018 10:02
by bertvorgon
Nice hot chocolate