Saturday, March 14, 2015

Big wheels keep on rollin....

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I awoke at 2:00am and received a text that read "Who's idea was this anyway?" Fifteen minutes later we were loaded up and pulled into the 24hour Tim Horton's looking for some fuel. I asked for a breakfast sandwich and the woman on the speaker said "We don't serve breakfast until 4:00am". You learn something everyday I guess. 
                     
At the trailhead 30 minutes later we went through the list. Fat Bikes.... check, High power lights....  check, Avalanche Beacon, Shovel, Probe.... check, Crampons, Rope and various glacier travel equipment.... check, Water rescue throw bags.... check, Enough time in the day.... not sure?
Most of the items on this list were a first for all three us when setting off on a bicycle ride.  
                      
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After a couple of hours pedalling on dirt we found ourselves on some very ridable crusty snow conditions.      
An hour later we were greeted by a beautiful alpine sunrise. The weather looked to be shaping up for a good day out.      
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The next couple of hours we rolled along and basked in our glory of this mission even though we were barely a quarter into it. The previous days worries were all melting (or freezing) away. The mountain conditions in terms of snow type and temperatures had to be exactly right in order to travel efficiently to cover such a great distance. They were turning out to be just right!   
             
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We all wondered "was this really happening?"

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45NRTH tires were our crampons....  

After 6 hours the glacier travel portion of the ride presented itself.... It looked amazing.  

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Other mountain travellers track's provided us with a straightforward route.   
   
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There was some very steep pushing that required alpine boot crampons.    

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And lot's of high alpine glacier riding. Learning to ride with crampons on platform pedals was interesting....    
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There were some sketchy ice and dirt sections as we transitioned between glaciers....

We got some spectacular views of some familiar friends....
  
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And enjoyed some riding on the terminus of a very large glacier....

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At about 4:00pm the weather took a very quick and unexpected turn for the worse and we found ourselves navigating crevasses with fat bikes in a whiteout. The snow was flying....   

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At 6:00 darkness fell and the camera went into the pack. We spend the next few hours navigating familiar terrain with our bike lights and arrived safely at my front door in Squamish. We just pulled off a massive alpine traverse in our unbelievable backyard. 15 hours and 58km later we revelled in what we just accomplished. Another glorious day in B.C.'s  Sea to Sky backcountry!