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Wilderness Adventures - Apr., Week One/2013

This is about a remote area in west central British Columbia, Canada called the West Chilcotin. Surrounded by numerous glacial mountain ranges, alpine lakes teeming with wild Rainbow Trout, and full of wildlife. Living here goes from no running water or electricity to spacious log homes with all the conveniences and without the smog!
If you would like to see pictures of wildlife, mountains, lakes, exciting snowmobiling, events and more, and read some great contributed stories and ongoing blogs, just go into Archives on the lower left side of this page.

Rolling over an image will give you its description.
Check out the Picture of the Day.

07/4/2013 8:00 PM

The Rainbow Mountian Hiking Trip

I have often wondered what it would be like to go on a pack trip in this country, or better yet, a hiking pack trip. I love this new idea of a horse assisted hiking trip! I’ve often thought that the only downfall of a good long hiking trip is that you can only go so far before you have to turn back in order to enjoy your own comfy mattress for the night, or you have to camp out, and you can only pack so much on your back for that. So while the hiking might be tremendous, the weight limitations does not necessarily mean a comfortable night’s sleep or a gourmet meal when you have to carry everything yourself. But now? Wow… what some of our trail ride operators have to offer here is just the cat’s meow. You get to hike, and the horses do the pack!
Rainbow Mountain Outfitting is just one such operator and I’ll tell you, if I can get this hip where I want it to be, I am going to somehow hook up with these folks sometime in the near future. I have done nothing but look at photos of the Rainbow Range with longing over the years but you can only get so far under your own steam, and carrying a big pack…. You just can’t investigate as much country.
The Dorsey family has been guiding in the Rainbow Mountains in Tweedsmuir Park for generations and Dave Dorsey’s connections to the country go back to long before there was such a thing as a park. This family run operation offers five, seven, or ten day trips to the fabulous volcanic formations that make up the Rainbow Range. And the cool part about being able to use horses is that the longer trips out gives time for an extended exploration of the park and the opportunity to visit some of the more remote peaks, ridges and valleys.
The folks that take trail riders and hikers out have lived and worked in the wilderness all their lives (Yep, I know all the girls and they certainly know their stuff!) and as the owners of Rainbow Mountain Outfitters state, they freely share their enthusiasm and knowledge of the geology and history of Tweedsmuir Park using experienced mountain horses. Oh, and you get to enjoy some exceptional cuisine without having to haul it on your own back!
On request, Joyce Dorsey was kind enough to send me a write up by one of her guests, Jim Gillingham, that went out with a group of hikers on a horse assisted pack trip last fall and I’m reprinting it here for those of you that think you would like to give this a try.

"We were a large group of 14 hikers and had chosen the seven-day option to hike the Rainbow Range. The hiking was awesome. Starting each day, we progressed through acres of multi-coloured wildflowers, before ascending through the trees. We spent most of the time above the tree-line enjoying the scenic panoramas. At the summits, we had magnificent views of snow-capped mountains seemingly going on forever.

For most of us, the highlight of the trip was on the fourth day when we reached the coloured strata of the Rainbow Range. Scree-skiing down was unbelievable – taking just a few minutes to descend what had taken us nearly 1½ hrs hard effort to ascend.

Another highlight occurred on the sixth day when we bathed in the pools above a six-meter waterfall, a short walk from the campsite. Our guide was excellent, tailoring each day’s hiking to be within our capabilities - we hiked an average of under 6½ hours each day, including lunch and water breaks. We were supported by 20 horses, travelling separately. They not only carried our tents and gear, but also the food, cooking equipment and everything else we required – including a chain saw and axes, for cutting firewood.

An army marches on its stomach and hikers are really no different. Our cook was outstanding and the food excellent – wholesome, tasty and plentiful. We camped at three different locations - each well chosen with adequate space and firm, dry ground for our tents, close proximity to clean running water, availability of wood for the campfire and ample grazing for the horses. Clearly, the week had been carefully planned, meticulously prepared and well executed, to leave us with beautiful memories of a wonderful, unforgettable experience."

There are more excerpts by guests that you can find at Rainbow Outfitting Guest Perspectives

Hikers look out over the volcanic Rainbows and rugged Coast Mountain Range behind.

I am trying to figure out how to get some of the amazing photos on here large enough so that you can really see them. I’ll put one on
Picture of the Day so make sure to check that out!
Seriously, what an adventure that would be. Someday....

07/04/2013 4:20 PM

The Little Fox

Our weather is really not good. It rained for the past couple of days. Actually, it misted for a couple of days. Just enough to really take down the snow but it also brought the frost out of the ground so our road is much more muddy than it was. This morning we woke up to a skiff of snow on the ground and after receiving an email from folks in Puntzi saying they just got a good dump of snow overnight, I considered us to have gotten off lucky. Not so. The weather was coming out of the south and west with blue sky coming in, when the wind suddenly switched and big, nasty, black clouds started moving in from the east. That’s never a good sign for us. Sure enough, we had just started out on a walk with the dogs when it started to hail corn snow and continued to do so for pretty much the whole walk. It didn’t turn into big, fat, furry snow flakes until later this afternoon which thankfully, have not started building up yet. But I would not be surprised to see a fair bit of snow on the ground tomorrow and I’ll be very happy if I don’t!
Our temperatures have actually stayed pretty consistent with them not dropping that much below freezing at night and 4C or less above freezing during the day with mostly low cloud and little sun to be seen. It looks like one system after another is coming in from the Pacific and giving us a decided contrast to the glorious week of weather we enjoyed leading up to and through the Easter weekend.
Oh well, that's April for you.You never, ever know what you're going to get.
We saw a sad sight on the back trail today. A small red fox lay dead along the trail. It didn’t look to be that old, was in excellent condition with not a mark on it, and since it wasn’t terribly stiff, it probably died overnight or this morning. There’s no way of telling what it died of but it seemed a shame to leave such a pretty creature there for the ravens and eagles to fight over so we called a trapping friend to see if he can make use of the animal.
I heard a fox screeching the night before last so I wonder if it was that animal, or was it young enough to be kicked out by its Mom and it was her screeching with mating? Or was it run hard until it just couldn't run anymore? Two days ago we saw three Indian dogs running across the lake and it looked like they were after something. Andy halted them with calls for a few minutes but once they passed out of sight, I saw a fox going hell bent for election and in the opposite direction from the island to the eastern shore. It seems likely either he was being chased and doubled back or just decided to clear out of dodge because there was a pack of dogs around. I suppose it’s possible that a young fox might have been running for so long that he just dropped over dead even though he outran the dogs. Or he may have starved, although his body condition looked good. We kind of looked for talon marks in his neck in case he was picked up by an eagle, because there are loads around right now, but no sign. I guess our trapping friend will let us know. He thought perhaps poison, but that seems highly unlikely for around here unless the little guy got into something like antifreeze by accident. I suppose that’s always possible. It’s a shame but that’s life and death. I still hate to see it, though.
Everything is coming alive in the woods now and we often scare up grouse on the back trail. The last time we scared up a pair, one was a cock with a bright red comb so I guess we know what they were doing. :-) The squirrels are coming out now and the woods are full of the sounds of birds and the chatter of Flickers.
You’ll find the last week's of blog at March Week Four.

Anahim Lake Highway cam looking West.

The purpose of this web site is to draw attention to a remote area of west central British Columbia. It is a beautiful area that relies heavily on tourism. The search engines don't know much about the West Chilcotin, Anahim Lake, Nimpo Lake or any of the other small communities in the region and I hope to change that! Even as large as this site will eventually be, there just isn't enough room or time in the day to fully describe this incredible country but I am going to try scraping away at the tip of the iceberg, so join me!

Follow the links, and see what the West Chilcotin is really like!
A hiker stands atop a high peak of shale in the Rainbow Mountains.
A group of hikers pose for the camera in front of the Rainbow Range.
Hikers in a field of bright yellow flowers.
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