Bikes and Horses in the South Chilcotin – a four day alpine adventure


Chilcotin September 2008

Day 4 – Spruce Lake – Windy Pass – LS Bluffs – Lick Creek – Gun Creek – September 7, 2008

Words by Lee Lau. Photos by Lee, Sharon Bader and Rob McLachlan unless otherwise noted.

Our last day and its familiar territory for us. I’ve been in this area many times before and day trips from Gun Lake to the Spruce Lake are bread and butter. But there’s a reason I keep returning again and again. Although this area gets more traffic then the other trips we have done so far, there still aren’t a lot of people around. In fact we don’t see any other groups around today even though this is a pretty standard route.

In todays route we left Spruce and headed up to Windy Pass. Some of us kept going to the LS bluffs S of Windy Pass while the rest continued down the trail. We joined up again at the Eldorado Cabin and took the 1km vertical downhill of Lick Creek back to the ranch. Considered a “rest day” after our long march up and over Elbow – Lorna – Deer Pass from yesterday it still takes about 7 hours to complete today’s journey. Conditions were suitably gorgeous again, with warm temps in the valley, cool temps in the passes and bluebird skies.

We didn’t clean up well from last night so spent the morning cleaning bikes and shaving pounds of mud off our gear

In the cook-shack, Tanis prepared yet another breakfast, then breaks camp

We start climbing almost immediately; Kevin breaks out into the alpine approaching Windy Pass at 2150m.

Lee approaching Windy Pass

Half the group descends Windy Pass to the Eldorado Basin. Half of us start the bike and hike to the LS Bluffs at 2350m

Rob and Monte go up more!

Lee approaching the crest of the bluffs

The descent from the LS Bluffs to Eldorado Creek to the SE doesn’t really follow a trail. It’s more in the nature of linked goat paths and descends 500m. Monte drops in.

Mark descending to Eldorado Creek on the LS Bluffs with a fantastic view of Eldorado Creek in the background

Mark descending

The descent doesn’t get any less fun as we speed down the High Trail continuing S on the Eldorado drainage

Iori and Monte approach the Eldorado cabin.

Monte at the Lick Creek pass with Harris Ridge in the backdrop. 1100m of descending awaits

We drop in and haul ass. Monte leads out Iori

The foliage changes from sub-alpine boreal forest to a mix of decidous and evergreen as Carpenter Lake hoves into view. Sharon on the downhill leg to Gun Lake where cold beer awaits!

A mix of doubletrack and logging road takes us from the end of the Lick Creek singletrack back to the Gun Creek ranch. We actually catch the horse pack train on the final leg and the Menhennick kids escort us back in safely.

Covered approx. 28.5km, 1100m elevation

|| Day 1 – Little Paradise – Manson – Tyoax || Day 2 – Graveyard – Elbow Pass || Day 3 – Graveyard – Elbow – Lorna – Tyax – Deer Pass – Spruce Lake || Day 4 – Spruce Lake – Windy Pass – LS Bluffs – Lick Creek – Gun Creek ||

About the author: Lee Lau

Lee Lau calls North Vancouver and Whistler BC home. He's had over 15 years experience riding bikes mainly in western North America and in Europe. Unlike many people who learned to ride bikes on North Shore trails, he actually enjoys riding (and sometimes bushwhacking) uphill.

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