Stories of Alpine Adventure

Posted October 20, 2015 by Lorraine Blancher . Filed under Trips, Cool Happenings
Stories of Alpine Adventure

Adventures in the alpine are an experience like no other ...

 ... I'm not sure if it's the quality air - or lack of, big smile - or the continuous ability to see way off into the distant peaks.  It's an amazing place to be as you're constantly surrounded by it's abundant beauty - hidden gems - pristine lakes - stunning glaciers and appealing to the eye landscape and terrain.  

I’m also grateful that in our day and age, bike technology has made for a low impact and efficient way to mountain travel in the summer alpine.  It's opened up many new doors to explore. 

Below is a snap shot look into an alpine area near the Sunshine Coast of BC that I was fortunate to reconnaissance at the end of this summer.  (The story of how that opportunity came to be will be coming soon.) 

What's unique about this area is it's still a place where very few have ever been on the ground to see.  There are no roads to connect it - dirt or paved, there are no trails into it either.  Logging is done by helicopter due to the steep granite slopes making road building to the area next to impossible (to recover costs).  

It's geographical location is well off the traditional transportation beaten path too.  The closest town is Powell River that is also two ferry rides away from the nearest mainland location.

It's vast - it's impressive - and it's grand.  Unique places like this still exist around the globe and for now, I'm calling this little Gem of British Columbia, The Queendom.

The Queendom - Stories from a Fairy Tale Land ...

Trip I

Click to View Coastal Alpine Adventure Trip IClick Image to View a Photo Story of the Coastal Alpine Adventure - Trip I

Trip II 

Click to View Coastal Alpine Adventure Trip IIClick Image to view a Photo Story of the Coastal Alpine Adventure - Trip II

Click to View Sweet Descent - Trip I - Short VersionClick Image to View The Start of an Sweet 1800 foot Granite Descent - Trip I - Short Version

The above descent is one of many, the icing on the cake of a multi hour ridge ride.  It drops 1800 feet in 1.7 miles and that was our first ride down after flying over it a few weeks prior.  

There's so much more to this area and I look forward to seeing where it can go.  Thanks to Google Photo as it helped me share the story.  I'm also currently learning Garmin BaseCamp and gaining a deeper understanding of Google Earth to download my KLM files in anticipation to better share these and other adventures.

I look forward to continue to explore this place and others even further beyond the traditional beaten path ... 

" ... Far away from any roads, at the right elevation band (above dense trees and wet bogs), ideally bedrock lightly covered in grasses and other vegetation the have low or no environmental sensitivities (no soil crusts, etc) and the ultimate is when all those come together on ridges that go and go and go ... "   - lb  

Want More?

Quick History - I spent many years working as a certified Association Of Canadian Mountain Guides - Day Hiking for Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH Heli Skiing).  

For many summers I would wake up at a beautiful remote lodge, jump in a helicopter and take guests - from all over the world - on hiking adventures not connected to any trails or roads in their stunning terrain.  The places I got to go where amazing.  (To some insight, one type of trip - a CMH Family Adventure I guided can be seen here ...)  

With today's technology - lightweight bikes and gear / riders and lbbike guests wanting adventure and the recent creation of the new AStar Heli Bike Rack - it's only natural and fitting I have a strong desire to find suitable areas I (and others) can eventually take guest on remote alpine adventures with our Mtbs.  

All the areas below I'm sharing as they make sense for Mtb travel - alpine bedrock with mainly grasses.  All are legal and not in any Park and all areas identified below would take little trail work too.

As mentioned, there's areas Mountain Bikes make sense and there's areas they don't.  

Some places I ridden are STUNNiNG but I won't share as the soil is too sensitive for Mtb Tires.  Aka - Crust lichens that look like regular dirt that once disturbed will take decades to heal.  

Technology today has made Alpine Travel with the Mtb more accessible and appealing.  Riders are taking their bikes even further off the beaten path in search of bigger adventures and these are some places I think it makes sense for our mountain bikes to go ...  

2015 - Blackcomb Aviation Recon Mission near Whistler, BC 

Whistler is home to the Planets Best Bike Park.  It's also home to many quality non bike park trails.   Riders have been Heli Dropping the infamous Rainbow Trail (across the Valley from the Bike Park) for over a decade and some are looking for more.  

Rutherford Ridge could make an excellent alpine trail.      

Maybe one day this will be part of the Whistler Valley Inventory too ... !!!  

Imagine a Purpose Built MTB Trail here ?!?Imagine a Purpose Built MTB Trail here ?!?

2015 - Joss Pass Historic Fire Lookout, Revelstoke BC 

The Joss Pass Historic Fire Lookout was built in the 1920's.  It's no longer used for it initial purpose but recreational hikers and bikers have been venturing up to it for it's stunning views.  Hiking access is mainly from the shorter and steeper trail to the west, biking from a longer trail on the east.   

Thanks to a new logging road (that extends just past the west hiking trail head), access to the alpine can be granted within 3 km of trail and welcome little riders to the elderly to the first set of stunning lakes.  Imagine that !!

This information has been given to the Shuswap Trail Alliance as they're currently looking at updating a plan for the area.  

Maybe one day, this will be a new route for all !!

A new logging road can make access to this Historic Fire Look Out more efficientA new logging road can make access to the Joss Pass Historic Fire Look Out more efficient

2015 - Boulder Mountain, Revelstoke BC

Heli Assisted Alpine Ride - This is a personal favorite and where I take my friends.  I've ridden this route a few times now and it's genuinely the best ridge ride in Revelstoke area-  it's above treeline for many kms - has multiple stunning lakes and you're in constant stunning views / all directions.  

It truly is all-time. 

Regular forest road access would be hard to maintain ... but it would make an ideal heli drop for max $125 with the new Heli Bike Rack.   

Imagine a stunning trail here !!

A Quick Heli Flight Give Access to this Stunning Ridge ... Imagine a trail here ?!?A Quick Heli Flight Give Access to this Stunning Ridge ... Imagine a trail here ?!?

2014 - Columbia Mountains, British Columbia 

This area has been on my hit list for a few years.  It's really hard to get to but the elevation and gentle terrain made it somewhere I wanted to go ... What I found definitely exceeded my dreams.  (I had explored an area to the north - which has an old mine trail.  And a ridge to the West that was just so, so.  There's still 2 more ridges in the area I need to check out.)

Over 100km of FSR roads and secondary roads to get to this Gem.  Maybe in 25 years this will be a trail one day too ... Everyday people need to experience places like this too.Over 100km of FSR roads and secondary roads to get to this Gem. Maybe in 25 years this will be a trail one day too ... Everyday people need to experience places like this too.

2014 - Quartz Creek

This ridge is near a winter snowmobile area west of Golden, BC.  It's easy to access just past their cabin and you can ride the ridge all the way north ... It's near a National Park on the west so be careful not to cross in.   The legal, non National Park side of the Ridge is where the good riding is at!  

This is one beautiful ridge, I can only imagine it with a trail ...This is one beautiful ridge, I can only imagine it with a trail ...

2013 -  Connecting Panorama Resort to Invermere, BC

Imagine if a Heli (with bike rack) could fly you just a little further back ... the area is perfect. (hint, hint - big smile)

Connecting Panorama Resort to Invermere, BCConnecting Panorama Resort to Invermere, BC

2013 - Keystone / Standard Basin Extension

This has been on my hit list since the early 2000's.  Connecting Cairnes Creek to the Standard Basin Trail (many don't know exists) the to the Classic Keystone Cabin and trail.  The Standard Basin Trial is a old mining trail.  It's pretty cool as there are still old artifacts. A - It would be RAD if the trail got reclaimed / improved to the old mine shaft and B- It would be amazing if one day it was a full loop.  

With the traditional Keystone Trail getting more use, it might be fun for it to one day go to the West Holdich ridge and down to the Hwy as I rode ...

This was a sweet day and had been on my list for years !!This was a sweet day and had been on my list for years !!

2013 - Yukon Gold

A Heli Adventure to where not many have ever gone ....

The Carcross / Tagish First Nations have been gaining attention for their Singletrack to Success, it's a program that engages their local youth by building Mountain Bike Trials.  Outside Magazine put their story in print, CBC online.  What they've created is amazing - and why I go every year (around the solstice) and put on a Coed Mtb Camp.  

I also love to explore - In 2001 I flew over 1000miles around the Yukon in a Heli with my mountain bike in the back.  Yes - I did things like this back then,  In 2013 was my first time back and went to an area across the water from Carcross - no roads or trails connect it - and maybe, in the future as mountain bikers want a more remote adventure - where the youth can build next - eh Jane and Derek !!  

A Heli Adventure to where not many have ever gone - No Roads or Trails connect it.A Heli Adventure to where not many have ever gone - No Roads or Trails connect it.

Previous trips will continually be added as time permits ...