I am trying to plan a mtn bike weekend with a couple of friends, and we're interested in the Spruce Lk area. We would camp up there for a couple of nights. I found your trip report on TrailPeak, and was wondering what your take is on riding it with full packs? And how long did it take you fellas, who appear strong and to be travelling lightly in your photos, to ride up to the lake? How awkward would it be with full packs (and being clipped in to pedals)? I'd be stoked to hear your thoughts! -Heidi
TEAM SPOT TRIP UPDATE - Mountain Biking and Hiking near Pemberton
Another beautiful weekend in the BC outdoors. We camped on Lake Lillooet, and hiked to the Joffre Lakes campground above the third lake, the one with the Matier Glacier hanging like a sword above it. We were with friends who brought their two year old child, and were surprised to see several other children being carried up and down the mountain. They build parents tough in this part of the world.
I also rode a cool new trail in Pemberton. We rode up Happy Trail, a beautiful single track switch back climb in the McKenzie area, planning to head for Overnight Sensation and Blood Sweat and Feer. Just before the road we noticed a relatively new bike trail climbing. Apparently it's called Nimby, though we saw no signage. It climbs up past the big double stunt on Bob Gnarly, then keeps on going. The section above Bob Gnarly is very much a work in progress, and not recommended until it's finished, but when it's done, Nimby will be both a beautiful alternative to the road for climbing, as well as one of the best flowy cross country style mountain bike down hills in the area. Every time I ride in Pemberton I'm amazed at the quality and quantity of the trails there. For such a small town, it's definitely put itself high on the radar as a serious mountain biking destination.
On the SPOT front, I did some testing using it's tracking function under the cover of heavy trees. The SPOT does pick up and transmit occasional track point, but it also sometimes marks a point a fair way off track, no doubt trying to make the best of a difficult situation. The lesson from this is that if you're going to send a message using the spot, whether it be a check-in, friendly help, or a 911 message, then make sure you have a clear, and preferably wide, view of the sky. This will ensure that you send people an accurate reference to your location.
TEAM SPOT TRIP OVERVIEW - Mountain Biking and Hiking near Pemberton
The regular possy are spending the weekend camped on Lillooet Lake. We're planning to ride PhD, and climb Happy Trail to one of many options for the downhill (maybe continue climbing to drop down "overnight sensation" into "Blood Sweat and Fear"). We're also hoping for a hike into Joffre Lakes, but owing to the late season snow pack this year, this will be condition dependent.
TEAM SPOT TRIP UPDATE - Barkley Sound - Sea Kayaking the Deer Group of Islands
Had an amazing kayak trip. The Deer Group of Islands are well worth an explore. Four days was enough to get a taste of the northern section of the chain, but we'll have to go back and spend some time in the southern part of the group. I hear they're spectacular. Sunny weather made for some stiff winds in the middle of the day, but the chop was never more than a couple of feet, and the long days let us cruise at a pretty leisurely pace. Didn't see any whales, though there were hump backs and grey whales in area. We found awesome camp sites, and even managed to camp next to one of the few running creeks. We'd been told not to expect to find fresh water, so we'd taken enough for the whole trip.
Though the Deer Group is in the same region as the Broken Group of Islands, the southern section of Barkley Sound is a lot more exposed to wind and the open ocean, so wouldn't be recommended to a novice group. The Deer Group is a single chain of islands, running SW to NE, the same direction as the prevailing winds. From 11am until 3 or 4 in the afternoon, these winds made for some "interesting" conditions.
The SPOT Satellite Messenger worked a treat. I'm still getting used to switching to and from tracking mode while sending OK messages, but friends and family tracked our progress enthusiastically on the SPOT shared page. We even met another sea kayaker out there with a SPOT device strapped to the top of his kayak. Interestingly, he had his in a dry bag. Mine was simply hooked through the front deck webbing, open to the waves and weather, and performed admirably.
TEAM SPOT TRIP OVERVIEW - Barkley Sound - Sea Kayaking the Deer Group of Islands
Four of us are driving to Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island for four days of exploring the Deer Group of islands. Low winds and sunny days are forecast, so we're looking forward to paddling smooth waters and warm camp sites.
Went and rode seventh secret and pipeline this morning. Aside from a few short sections, we were surprised to see that the deep unridable snow only started at the entrance to Upper Oilcan. We had to walk to the second switchback down 7th secret, but after that it was amazing riding. A couple of trees were down on the lower section of pipeline, and one tree down on the upper section of 7th, but it looks like someone is still hard at work clearing up the storm damage.
Early Feb - three of us did the Garibaldi Neve Traverse. We dropped a car, then night ski'd in to the first cabin under a half moon. I'd never seen the lights of Squamish like that before. With the Tantalus Range as a backdrop it was truly beautiful.
We camped the next night up on the the Garibaldi Neve. The snow loading from the storms a few days before had caused everything that could slide to slide, with numerous class three's on the western slopes of the Gargoyles. We were blessed with blue bird skies, and views to die for. There was a freezing rain crust, though, at 1800m that turned to boiler plate, bullet proof ice. Skiing down past The Sharkfin was challenging, with one inch thick clear ice in place of the powder we were hoping for.
Skiid down the Sentinel Glacier, and skated across Garibaldi Lake. I was using a new pair of telescopic Dakine touring poles, and was pleased to be able to put them up to there full length. This really made the six kilometre skate much easier.