The last September Ross Schnell, Rene Wildhaber and I had the great opportunity to ride 2 days in the Chilcotins, BC, with the brand new Trek Slash that had been showed to the press just a couple of days before. We booked a floatplane flight to the remote Lorna Lake and found our way back to civilization riding on stunning trails in an even more stunning nature.
This was possible thanks to Sterling Lorence, who spent a whole evening showing us on a map how not to get lost, even if he tried to convince us to hire a guide. But, hey, we wanted adventure and without a GPS device, a satellite phone and a guide it felt right, like in the good old days. Actually I could already figure the newspapers: "Two Euros and an American get lost in the Canadian backcountry", or something like "Grizzly enjoys Euro meat a lot", but I could not tell this to two tough guys like Rene and Ross. So, that's how I climbed in the floatplane and let the animal side of myself take the lead during two beautiful days.
The best flight ever. Imagine you don't even feel the landing in the water: you cannot have a smoother landing.
The plane was 50 years old but still the best you can get on the market. That's what some friends of mine told me when I went back home and showed them the photos. In some video game this plane is famous for being the nonplusultra.
It was Randy's last day before retirement and one of his last commercial flights.
Was I writing about adventure, the old good days and no mobile phone? Well, after unloading, Randy was to drop our camping gear some 25+ km away at Spruce Lake, but while unloading our days worth of gear and bikes, Rene managed to unload one bag too many. What do you do?
Exactly: you put 2 backpacks on the shoulders of the one who made the mistake. Renè carrying his bike at the beginning of a very long 8 hours ride.
We are not alone and we are not at the top of the foodchain.
A supersmooth trail leads us down from the pass to the valley into a spot that you might mistake for a Sterling Lorence photo location.
Heading to Deer Pass, a long push
That's what happens when you try to cross a stream with 2 backpacks.
The trail to Deer Pass
Not only pushing, you can also ride some sections of the trail. The Slash has a great geometry and rides uphill as good as downhill
Some snow to remind us of the great winter Canadians had last year
The pass is not so far anymore
The downhill from Deer Pass: flowy and funny, a good reward for the long climb
At the end of the downhill a very long flat trail needs all of our energy. The scenery is stunning but we are getting tired and out of water. I have to fill my Camel Back at a creek - the photo equipment is heavy and I don't want my backpack to get too heavy so I never carry too much water. Rene and Ross are betting on how long it will take for me to run to the toilet, but my stomach stays all right.
Spruce Lake, 3 T-Bone steaks on the barbecue, fresh beer. Life is good.
Breakfast. We need some energy because the next uphill is just behing the corner, up to Windy Pass
It should have been called Dusty Pass
That's mountain biking for me.
We are now heading to Eldorado Pass following an old mining path
We all hope this to be the last climb of the day, but Sterl planned another uphill for us: Camel Pass
This is actually our way up to the pass but I had to ask the boys to ride down once for this shot.
Camel Pass! Now it's only downhill to Tyax lodge..
.. where our private yacht is waiting for us
Obviously we are not leaving without a hard earned fresh beer and good food.
If you'd like to ride this tour you should hire a guide (haha). You can find all the information here: Tyax Air
Thanks to Sterling Lorence for showing us the right way and to Trek for giving me the right bike for this tour. Thanks also to Dale and Randy of Tyax Air for the stunning flights.