Thursday, May 26, 2016

Single-track Season....




Each spring I count down the days when winters deep snowpack begins to melt out and expose the magical ribbons of single-track of the South Chilcotin mountains. I've spent most of my life in search of the world's best trails and I would put the ones that weave through these hills right at the top. The May long week-end usually marks the date when some of the rides open up but the big alpine passes remain under a blanket of snow until mid to late June. This particular trip would bring even more anticipation with our recent purchase of our own piece of paradise at Tyaughton lake. The past 20 years we've spent sleeping in the back of the truck or crashing at our friends cabins and this would be the first time we turn a key and walk into our own place.



On these May trips I almost enjoy the drive as much as the rides. The spring season's colour contrasts are spectacular....  



Mt Dickson always stands tall above Gun Greek....


The evening light highlights the last burn of the Bridge River Valley....


And Truax's dramatic North Face always dominates the skyline....


Our new place in the Chilcotins....


Saturday morning Brett and Danielle joined me on the classic Gun Greek trail that heads up to the Spruce Lake grasslands. It's always a great ride to warm the early season legs on....        


We were the first riders of 2016 so some trail maintenance was required. It was a pretty light blowdown winter and we only ended up taking out about 20 trees on the way to Spruce Lake. There were only 4 trees that were too big for our handsaws and we knew the horseback riders would be through very soon.          



One of my favourite classic corners....


The grass was already getting tall....


And to our surprise the Balsam Root was in full bloom. Last year on the same date there was barely a single flower out....      



The previous few days has some substantial fresh snowfall in the coast mountains and Sheba was even dusted....


May 21 2016....


May 17 2016....


We caught this black bear taking care of a post hibernation itch on an aspen tree. I've run into trees with bear fur so many times but never witnessed how it got there. Very cool to witness....          



The Indian Paintbrush was just barely showing up on the trail....




Three Norco Ranges in their natural environment....  




                                                   
On the way out we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this Billy taking in some southern exposure sun....


When we returned the real fun began. My friend Brett gave up his long week-end to help me take the cabin to the next level. We committed to putting in a laminate floor, installing fir paneling on the ceiling and tiling the bathroom and fireplace on the main floor. I can't put into words how much I appreciated his help. Watching him work and witnessing the quality and efficiency blew me away. It became very clear why he does this stuff for a living.... This place is as much his as it is ours as far as I'm concerned....                        




After some hard labour days we enjoyed the place with our friends....






While we were busy indoors King was busy working on a few trails on the property. He sessioned his handiwork when they were complete. Here he is ripping "Recycled Flowers" on his Charger 20 with custom RS Pike....          



I dropped into his double black trail he called "Rocky Rancho".    


Sunday morning Danielle and I headed up for a lap of Molly Dog / Pepper Dog....  


The Pearson Creek climb was brutal as ever and we hit the snow line....



The trails were in prime spring conditions with slightly damp hero dirt....




 


We spent the last part of the trip enjoying our first renovations and adding a few touches to make it feel more like our own.... This is the beginning of some amazing week-ends in the mountains! Long live long week-ends in the Chilcotins!            

7 comments:

  1. Great pictures as always Pat. I am curious what kind of mount are you using for your Garmin GPS on your handlebars? How well does it fare on rougher trails?

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  2. Cheers Scott... It's just the standard Garmin one that attaches with zip ties. It's not great and the GPS lives in my bag on descents.

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  3. I tend to carry mine in my backpack as well. Lately I have been doing longer rides and wanting have it mounted on the handlebars. I bought the Garmin on s well and it worked ok for the KVR last weekend but I am not convinced it will be good enough for the North Shore etc. Have you considered the RAM Mount?

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  4. I'm not impressed with how tall and bulky Ram mounts are for cycling.

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  5. Fair enough. Thanks for the input.

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  6. Congrats on your new home base!

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