Saturday, September 10, 2016

Long live September Long week-ends....

 


There's no better kind of week-end than a long week-end. After a summer of renovations and improvments on our new Tyaughton Lake place we decided to have an official cabin warming party. The September long week-end typically marks the beginning of fall with trail conditions at an all time high. The dirt is usually in perfect shape and the hills are lit up with fall's colours. On the other hand winter has been known to show up early and make an appearance on this week-end. Either way we were committed to another long week-end in paradise!          


Our first round of friends pulled in late Friday night and we made sure to hydrate with plenty of hoppy beverages for Saturday's big ride.  


The day's weather looked promising as we pulled away from the cabin but quickly took a turn for the worse when we arrived at the Taylor Basin trailhead. Our crew was Nicole, Erin, Danielle, Phil, Zdenek and myself.  


There was plenty of fungus among us....


Chilcotin first timers Nicole, Erin and Phil settled in for a long WET climb.


After a  few hours we were VERY wet with not much feeling left in the toes and hands. The historic Taylor cabin was a welcome sight and provided sanctuary in order to try and warm ourselves up. We started a fire and attempted to dry some gear before heading up and above tree-line. The plan worked but some sacrificial glove fingers went up in smoke in the process.      



Spirits were not the highest in the pouring rain but the moment we broke into the alpine on the Camel Pass climb the girls were giggling....  



After traveling these hills over the years one of my favourite things to witness is the look on people's faces when they see these mountains up close for the first time.



When we arrived at Camel Pass the rain finally stopped and things were looking up!



Single-track dreams....


Others were pushing into the abyss....



Our route looked promising and scenic....


And with incredible luck we made it to the Eldorado Cabin just at the skies turned black and unleashed a big round of precipitation. This time it was in the form of fresh pow....    



I have to admit, this is one of my favorite moments each season. The season's first snowfall brings anticipation of winter and memories of some of the best days of our lives....        


We need to go that way.... where all the snow is.



And we finally arrived at the mission's golden gem.... The Lick Creek descent. All of the day's wetness and hard work faded away in each sandy berm.     


The cabin never felt so good.... The fire was cranked to max and we thawed out.





The next morning looked very promising as Tyaughton Lake's resident loons called out "Good Morning".  




Evidence of the evening's rain was preserved in the lupines....   


And showed itself in the form of fresh snow a little higher up....




And like clockwork the skies unleashed an early afternoon snowstorm....     




The mighty Mt. Truax with a fresh coat of snow stood tall above the Bridge River Valley. This sight always get's me excited for winter!       





When we arrived back at the cabin Phil helped me prep some wood for winter. Two more hands are always appreciated....


Erin was set on giving the saw a go so I handed it over....   


Ready or not here I come....


She's a natural woods woman....


Sunny morning, warm cabin, hot beverages and Chilcotin singe-track dreams always bring smiles....


The previous evening the Republic Bicycles of Squamish crew arrived. Armand and Leah decided to close the shop on Monday and Tuesday and reward the staff with a trip to the mountains as a thanks for all their hard work this season. That sounds like a place I would want to work!        


After a big breakfast we made our way back into the alpine with a stoked crew of Chilcotin first timers.... The weather was "cooperating".    


There were plenty of Norco Optic's, Sight's and Range's in this quiver....  



As we approached Camel Pass en route to Ridge-a-Rama I had a bad feeling about the weather. Once again the skies unleashed another September snowstorm so we took cover under some big boulders to stay sort of dry. This time it was the wind that was fierce....    



On the ridge we had a full frontal assault....



Nevertheless it was scenic as always....


And just as I was hearing "I hope we see a Grizzly" we caught a cool view of this guy from a good distance on the ridge. Sometime I sleep better on my belly as well....  



I feel so fortunate to see such beautiful creatures in this magical place....


After a few hours it got wet.... really wet! It was one of those days when the cold and wet sinks into your bones a little deeper than usual and the thawing process takes all night. It's these days in the mountains I like to embrace. If it was always warm and sunny at would be too easy and everyone would be here. These are the South Chilcotin mountains. They can be harsh and unforgiving but they always reward you with legendary days. These are the days where your senses are awakened and you realize just how special your back-yard is.           

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