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This weekend saw another 2 wheel adventure looping through 800km of on and off-road terrain, this one got into some pretty wild and isolated backcountry territory of British Columbia’s interior.

Vancouver > Squamish > Whistler > Pemberton > D’Arcy > Seton Portage > Shalalth > Terzaghi Damn > Moha > Lillooet > PavilionJesmond > China Head Mountain > Moha > Lillooet > Pemberton > Whistler > Squamish > Vancouver

 

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This was my first proper off road trip on my recently acquired KLR650 and some parts of it were pretty tough going, the terrain gets pretty wild once across the Frasier River at Big Bar Ferry and the population count also goes from “almost zero” south of the river to “forget about any other human help if things go wrong” north of the river.  The views along the way were totally worth it.

Seton Portage

We stopped for lunch at the Highline Restaurant & Pub, the decor here was brilliant, looks like this joint hasn’t changed since the 70’s, so dated but it looked kinda groovy, our waiter, cook, and bus boy was a guy who just arrived from Fiji 2 months ago, running the show on his own.

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Big Bar Ferry

We arrived at the The Big Bar Ferry roughly around 6.30pm it runs on demand up until 7pm which gets us across the Frasier River and into B.C.’s wild interior.  The ferry operator, Cunty Mc Cunt had quite the attitude, offering much advice that was drowned by his filthy ‘tude.  In retrospect, he did try to get some useful information across, I can see how many people get lost out here if not properly prepared.  There’s no cell coverage, no people or residents and google maps doesn’t contain any trail markings.

The ferry is a reaction ferry, which is propelled by the current of the water. An overhead cable is suspended from towers anchored on either bank of the river, and a “traveller” is installed on the cable. The ferry is attached to the traveller by a bridle cable. To operate the ferry, rudders are used to ensure that the pontoons are angled into the current, causing the force of the current to move the ferry across the river.

The ferry operates under contract to the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation, is free of tolls, and runs on demand between 0700 and 1900. It carries a maximum of 2 cars and 12 passengers at a time. The crossing is about 150 metres (490 ft) in length, and takes 10 minutes. At times of low water, or ice in the river, the ferry is replaced by an aerial tramway that carries passengers only.

China Head Mountain

This was the money shot of the trip, the ride up to China Head Mountain was pretty tough in places, with pretty big rocks to get through towards the peak, the views from the top were totally worth the ride up though.

The peak of China Head is 2,122 meters above sea level and 50km north of the nearest civilization, the tree line disappears near the top so the peak is a clear opening with amazing views of all the surrounding mountains and valleys.  We should have timed it to setup camp here for the night!

Sideways Shenanigans

There were plenty of obstacles to navigate along the way, the first was a tree down on the path blocking our way, rather than turn back we decided to pull the two bikes under and keep on going.

At another point along the way, scree from a hill beside the trail had completely covered the path just before the point where the China Head trail meets the Yalakom trail, lucky there was an alternative route out that bypassed the blockage, having to turn back at this point would have sucked ass and some of the downhill into this point would have been much harder to ride out of if we had to go back.

Sleeping

The camping on this trip were the best locations yet, amazing sunset colours in the clouds and great views down the valley from the side of the mountain.  Not too shabby!  You can see smoke seeping into the valley in the distance from the forest fires all over B.C. at the moment.

The Rest

Some more random pictures along the way.  We had to stop off in Pemberton on Sunday evening as we were too fucked to make the ride all the way back to Vancouver.  We continued the ride back to Vancouver (and work 😦 ) early Monday morning.

China Head Loop GPX

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