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Re: Bike rides

Posted: 30 May 2018 08:41
by bertvorgon
Hike to Mount Slesse Memorial

I doubt the pilots even had a second of warning, at 520KM, when they slammed directly into the main wall of the third peak on Mt. Slesse and into oblivion. They are still there to this day, along with 60 other souls.

As another part of Matt and I getting ourselves into shape for our big summer hike, we upped the ante on this one by donning a heavier pack and doing some serious altitude gain. We had wanted to do a different hike and elected to drive out the Fraser valley and up the Chilliwack Lake road, then right up the Nesakwatch Creek FSR, to a point that we could not get over a huge washout with the Tracker.

This hike was to take us up to the Memorial plaque for the Trans-Canada flight #810, which crashed on Dec 9, 1956. I was aware of this crash back in the mid 1960’s, as a good friend at the times Dad, was to have been on this flight as Chief Steward for Trans-Canada airlines. His wife had some sort of very bad premonition about this flight, and, with great family stress, he had his shift changed, as she was just so adamant the he not go. Then later in 1969 -1975, I hiked on the West side of the mountain, looking for the long lost Red Mountain gold mine which I have written about. (I would post it on here if anyone was interested)

Matt and I got to the washout about 8:30, donning packs which felt like a brick on my back. There was light cloud cover so the temperature was perfect for hiking, even taking my fleece vest off after a few kilometers of uphill walking on the washed out road.

After about four kilometers we came to a small sign leading to the start of the uphill grind to the memorial plaque. The trail dropped very steeply to start, coming finally to a new bridge built last year, to cross the Nesakwatch Creek, now in full flow with spring runoff, brilliant in the morning sun.

Now the real climb began, a sliver of a trail carved out of the forest. As we got higher, incredible vistas of the mountains to the east were before us, thick wisps of fog and cloud swirling about the tops. This mountain across from us is on the serious climbers list to do, Mt. Rexford. Soon we saw snow ahead along the edge of the trail, letting us know we would soon be walking on it. I was hoping it would not be too soft.

One component of our hikes is breaking in our relatively new packs. It is like breaking in a new pair of boots. If you are a backpacker you will know what I mean. You need to get the hip belts and shoulder straps loosened up to really fit your body. Our packs have a pivot in the lower back so that when you walk, your hips can move without the shifting of the pack as you walk. Brilliant idea! I would buy a beer for the person at Black Diamond who came up with that idea. I finally retired my state of the art in 1970, external frame pack, for this new one and must admit it is quite nice.

We now were on about two to three feet of snow and thankfully it was still firm in the morning sun, which was slowly disappearing in clouds that kept rolling in from down the valley. Ahead was a sign requesting that this area was now legally a protected site due to the bodies still being here and the wreckage, none of which was recoverable due to the severity of the crash and the remoteness, let alone the avalanche danger.

We finally came to the memorial plaque and, one of the most incredible vistas ahead of us I have experienced, of Mt. Slesse, the peak shrouded in mist, shear walls of granitic rock, three small glaciers, waterfalls galore and the odd rumble as small avalanches tumbled down in the warming air of the morning. I must say for me it was quite the experience to think of those lost souls on the mountain, life over in a blink. As the plaque says, the MOUNTAIN is their memorial.

In reading the accident report, the pilot(s) made a fatal error and turned right, when they should have turned left, after reporting an engine fire issue. The weather was bad and requested traffic control to route them back to Vancouver, where the flight had just originated from. Both of them either miss heard Control and neither checked their compass headings. So by turning right, it got them right into the end of the Cascade range and they lost altitude to below the top of Slesse, at 8,000 feet, hitting the face at about 7,000 feet.

Matt and I stood there for quite awhile, just contemplating the entire vista before us, both for the natural beauty and the disaster that happened.

There is another memorial up higher from where we were, a cairn with wreckage and a propeller blade, which is even closer to the base of the actual wall of Slesse. We decided to head higher, but, ultimately turned around as the snow got deeper and with some bush whacking, was getting tough, the snow having flattened the clump maple over the trail. We will try to go back up there in another 3 weeks when the snow is gone. We headed back to the plaque for some much needed lunch, having burned up some serious calories to get to this 4,000 foot level.

The day had moved on so the trip down was just a case of put it into 3rd gear and down we went. That last 4 km back on the road was a bit of a slog and it sure felt good to get those boots off, we had just walked 14.2 km and did just over 4,000 feet of elevation change.

I have attached the link to the crash site info should you be curious. There was also the rumour/legend/myth that there was an Asian fellow carrying $80,000.00 dollars on the flight, that supposedly was never found or recovered.

Keith Law
May 27, 2018 ... Flight_810

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 30 May 2018 08:44
by bertvorgon
Some more

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 30 May 2018 08:46
by bertvorgon
More pics

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 30 May 2018 08:48
by bertvorgon
And final

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 30 May 2018 18:51
by gooned
Great day out guys.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 07 Aug 2018 11:29
by bertvorgon
#2 Hike to Mt. Slesse Memorial

I could not get the bug repellant out of my pack fast enough! In two seconds Matt and I were covered in black flies, some trying to rip a chunk of skin out.

This was hike number two up towards the Slesse Mountain Memorial, this time going past the memorial plaque and heading further up the mountain to the Propeller Cairn.

We were able to 4 x 4 over the big slide area that stopped us last time, as it had been beaten down over the last few months, lots of big tired trucks pushing the rocks back into B.C.. This saved us the long and tiring walk after exiting the trail at the end of the day, which turned out to be a good thing.

With the snow long gone the trail had really grown over again, even at a few places making it hard to see our feet and what might lurk under the bush. There are places where the dirt has washed out and left a nice ankle breaking hole for the unwary.

The smoke from all the forest fires made the mountains muted in colour, which was too bad, yet still spectacular.

We stopped at the first memorial for a quick snack and that is when the brutal attack came from the bugs. Wow, were they thick. I dragged the Deep Woods OFF out of the pack, spritzing my exposed flesh. I hate that stuff but, at times like this, chemical warfare is necessary! All the citronella, so called “green” stuff, just plain does not work. You need good ole’ 25% DEET to do the job, and that it did. The bugs would land then jump right off. A young couple showed up as we were leaving and they had not brought any bug spray. We took pity on them and shared our Deep Woods with them, the relief instantaneous.

From this point, last May, we were walking on 3 feet of snow, now it was just a bit of a bushwack, we could not even recognize the trail it had grown up so much. The trail then started to get really steep as we entered the tree line, following a narrow ridge. The day had rumbled on at this point, and after four hours of hiking we realized that we were not going to get to the Propeller Cairn, as a final, very steep push lay before us, at least another forty five minutes. If we factored in a lunch stop and a hike back, we would have been very late getting home and would have a couple of people worried.

We had our lunch in this alpine meadow, the heather in full bloom, mountain blueberries ripening in the hot sun. They were a bit tart but soon would be at full sugar content. While the bug spray was doing its job, we were still swarmed by them anyway, so sitting for any length of time was a bit tough.

With Mt. Slesse looming over us we headed back down, the afternoon shadows showing the day had moved on. Thankfully a good chunk of the trail is actually in the shade, as the heat of the day was cooking us in the open sun. I was smoking hot when we got down to the river again as humidity in the forest was very high.

The kilometer slog back to the vehicle had our feet DONE for the day, some 12 Km hiked and a 4,000 foot elevation day behind us.

One thing I really was glad that I did was take extra water! All the freshets were dry. I pity anyone that did not bring enough water as even above where we stopped, the snow was long gone. I packed 3 litres of water and sure felt that additional weight on the way up.

We lucked out on the drive back on #1, traffic flowed smoothly with no holdups!
Traffic was a nightmare on the Monday as everyone came home from the long weekend.

The Propeller Cairn still awaits us, just under the 6,000 ft level, surrounded by vertical walls of granite and glacier.

Keith law
August 7, 2018

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 07 Aug 2018 11:30
by bertvorgon

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 08 Aug 2018 11:37
by KiKiIchiBan
Never get bored of looking at stunning scenery like that.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 10:13
by bertvorgon
Mt. Cheam Hike

The road heading up to Cheam was just brutal, virtually 4 x 4 the whole way. As an unmaintained road suffering B.C.’s rain and winters, it sure showed it.

It was a really cool morning and as we got higher, we disappeared into fog. So much for a view I thought to myself.

The clouds were really swirling around as we headed away from the Tracker, a hint of rain in the air, then, finally a light misting rain. Just as we started up the steep climb the skies opened up, starting to really get my fleece top wet. I quickly dragged the rain jacket out, not wanting to be wet up top, as the wind was really cold.

The mountain blue berries were just incredible this year, the whole side of the mountain was covered in them, natures plenty for sure. There was sign the bears had been along this trail too, getting ready for winter.
It took us about 2 hours to climb the 2,700’ (750 m), the rain having stopped as the fog mist blew away, the sun popping out on occasion.

Arriving at the peak had us graced with a quick 5 minutes of clear view of the Fraser Valley and Harrison Lake, some 6,500 feet below. The clouds also cleared off behind us and to the east, so we had a good view of Jones Lake, which I had no idea it was as big as it was. Matt also told me about an old mine over on some other mountains, The Lucky Four Mine.

Luckily the sun came out as we hunkered down for some lunch but the wind up there was still very cool.
That was a long grind back down, the ole’ knees sure feeling the braking required.

The Tracker gave us a bit of a scare when Matt went to put it into drive, it would not go. I think what happened was when we parked, it loaded the transfer case in a weird way, as we had it in 4 low. I pulled hard on the transfer case shift lever and it finally got out of the low mode and everything was fine.

Arriving at the Chilliwack Lake road had us put on the traffic report, which lets us know of the mayhem going on, on # 1 at the Vedder Canal, massive back up. We just did the back roads to the south and had a very nice drive back without the frenetic pace of #1 and totally missed the stupid traffic on #1.

Another great 5 hour hike with 5,400 feet of elevation change under our boots.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 10:22
by bertvorgon

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 13 Sep 2018 06:22
by abisel
Not many images of bike rides lately. And not to put down any of the images, they are all great stuff. So I thought I would post a video of a bike ride:

Megavalance alpe d'heuz:

and this ride is of the 2018 winner for his class:

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 14 Sep 2018 12:52
by KiKiIchiBan
abisel wrote:
13 Sep 2018 06:22
Not many images of bike rides lately. And not to put down any of the images, they are all great stuff. So I thought I would post a video of a bike ride:

Megavalance alpe d'heuz:

and this ride is of the 2018 winner for his class:
I've done the Megavalanche, twice. Love AHD, spent a lot of time there summer and winter. I'll dig out some pictures...

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 14 Sep 2018 13:05
by KiKiIchiBan
ImageUntitled by Kieron Ash, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kieron Ash, on Flickr

the old Commencal Meta 6 AM

ImageUntitled by Kieron Ash, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kieron Ash, on Flickr

I can't find the other pictures but this was in Les Arcs (I used to live in La Plagne)

ImageUntitled by Kieron Ash, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kieron Ash, on Flickr

I miss riding bikes, the U.K. SUCKS!!!

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 16 Sep 2018 09:31
by bertvorgon
Thanks for posting those up, cool you did that! We run basically the same Fox shock up front, love mine, so nice to tune it to trail type.

I have not done much riding lately, did get out last week week for a ride with my son. Trails here have changed to more flowy type now, stunts are not as common, at least for my local rides. I must admit I do not miss the stunts and really crazy stuff, I hurt myself enough as it was trying to "keep up" with the gang. My ego finally had to say ENOUGH!

I have not done Whistler now for a few years as the traffic on the Sea to Sky highway is just stupid now, specially at days end.

Re: Bike rides

Posted: 01 Oct 2018 19:11
by bertvorgon


A month ago Matt and I decided to do an explore off road in the Tracker, this final weekend of September the date. We wanted to go far enough away from the Vancouver blast zone, but, not spend seven hours driving to Bralorne and beyond. One area that I have not been back to since the 70’s was the area up in the Tulameen, lots of mining history there. Placer gold, some hard rock and coal were the mainstay. It is also one of the only few places where platinum nuggets are found!

With the Coquihalla highway going through it opened up access off that, instead of the traditional approach through Princeton. We had an area in mind to try to head to, some 60+ Km back into the bush, following some new and old logging roads. There is a confluence of a whole bunch of 1800’s pack trails from the Hudson’s Bay Brigade, First Nations, Trappers, and of course miners here. We wanted to also see where they met, as a potential Hiking area, again out of the blast zone of Vancouver. We were tickled to find a wonderful sign that someone put a labour of love into, out here in the bush, showing the old trails.

With the spectre of changing weather and rain on Saturday night, we really geared up for the worst, just in case. We had our GPS, my old topographical maps and our Garmin hand help GPS, just to cross check data for fun.

Not much traffic on the Coke early Saturday morning, having us at the top in 2.5 hours and making our right turn onto the Tulameen Forest Service Road, which was hard packed and quite rough after such a dry summer.
About 20 km down the road we checked out a very narrow 4 x 4 road up to what would be a trail head to an alpine area, for future hike consideration. The Tracker negotiated it no problem.

Our first potential stop was one of two back road recreation sites, for our potential camp. We had found out about some waterfalls and thought we would check them out if time. The site was ok but not what we like, same with the second.

To say the fall colours were spectacular is an understatement, the high alpine was a blazing red and the alders and maples just a golden yellow and brilliant in contrast with the pine trees.

The next site we decided to head to was at a small lake, another 30 km down the road. We past a road leading up to what was an old silver mine and as most of you know me, I love old mines. The property goes back to the turn of the century, with a small mill even being put in. With the low price of silver right now, let alone the environmental issues to be addressed, it would be a long time before it ever got rolling again.

The last site was to be our camp for the night, no one around, it looked like it had not been used in awhile. One comment too, at all the sites we stopped at, there was NO garbage..NONE. Which again speaks to me of the type of people that Vancouver spits out into the local “front” country. True outdoor people always leave sites clean I have found. Even the fire pit(s) had nothing in them. Anything close to Vancouver has cans, garbage, broken bottles, you name it left in the fire pits.

It did not take long for us to cool down after getting out of the warmth of the Tracker, it was 6C. with a threatening sky, the odd rain drop hitting us. We were at 4,800 feet so we knew we could get hit with anything. Priority in this situation is to “tarp up” as most B.C.’ers know. We picked some strategic trees over the picnic table and I brought my adjustable poles.

Next was to get a nice warming campfire going to take that chill off.
Was it ever quiet, and I mean quiet! No birds, no wind, just pure silence. We took a small walk along the edge of the sub-alpine lake, taking note of any game tracks. Moose, maybe a deer, no sign of bear.

The lake was a mirror, finally broken by a small muskrat cruising along the shoreline, wondering what we were I’m sure.

With such cools temps we booked it back to the fire to warm up, throw another layer of clothing on and get a nice bed of coals prepared to cook our steaks over.

Finishing dinner had the rain really start to ramp up so we battened down the hatches and got things organized for the night and the possibility of packing up in a storm in the morning.

The rain was really noisy on the tarp and around midnight it got quite quiet. I got up for a nature call and to check out the tarp situation. As I crawled out of the tent, I immediately saw it had drooped a lot and the temperature had gone down also. I could see in the red glow of my headlamp that it was snowing and that it was freezing on the tarp, temperature was around 2C. That is a worry as to how much weight if it keeps going, will the tarp and ropes hold!?

It survived the night but had come down almost to the table, I could not stand up fully under it. I did the red neck fire start just to get it going quickly and got a pot of coffee going, the heat slowly melting the snow. We still had to really whack the tarp to get the final ice and snow off.

After a few nice cups of hot coffee we loaded up and hit the road. The snow was coming down hard as we climbed higher to get over a small pass before the logging road dropped down to the Similkameen river. Our plan was to drive all the way through to the small town of Coalmont and then out to Princeton and back the Hope/Princeton highway.

Coalmont as the name suggests, was a base for the small community of Blakeburn, which was the actual coal mining town up the hill. In 1930 there was a tremendous explosion in the mine, trapping and killing some 45 miners. Back in the 70’s I went up to where Blakeburn was, the ghost town scattered in a forest, the town long taken over by nature. It was kinda weird to wander through the trees and have buildings there. In the mid 90’s I took my kids to where the open part of the coal seam was, looking for small bits of amber in the coal, sparked by the interest from Jurassic Park. We did find amber but had no success cloning any dinosaurs in my basement.

A lot of history here, going past the site of Granite City, where lore has it 300.000 troz of platinum was buried in a bucket not far from the finder’s cabin. The cabin burned down with the city in 1907, the reference point was lost, and leaving the bucket buried there somewhere. The value today would be around $312,000.00 CDN.

Sure nice to get back on pavement again, rolling to Princeton, the golden fall colours lining the road. There was virtually no traffic all the way to Hope, we stopped for a quick lunch at the Lodge in Manning Park.

We did some 570 Km, scoped out a couple of really neat trails for hiking, burned some good steaks over a fire, and saw some great scenery.
Keith Law
Oct.1, 2018