October 4th, 2003
Chilcotin - Nine Mile Ridge
Nine Mile Ridge is in the Shulaps Range. If the Spruce Lake area is the hub of the Chilcotin area; the Shulaps is one of the spokes and the Nine Mile Ridge area is one of the nipples on the spoke. It is a remote area where it is said there are more grizzly bears then there are people.
It is a 69 km drive east from Gun Creek, where we stay, to the head of the Yalakom FSR. It is then another hard 43 km on logging road to the Nine Mile Ridge trailhead. It is there where the journey - or should I say hike-a-bike, begins.
Here is Steve and Simon in the first bit of the hike. It's about 22 degrees in the shade and 30 degrees in the sun. Almost the entire hike is in the sun. We start at about 1700m and are now at 1950m. Big Dog Mountain at 2862m and some other mountains in the Southern Chilcotins' Shulaps Range are in the background.
Hey I thought Peter says he was tired. How come we can't seem to catch him then? This is one of the rare moments where the loose sandy soil actually allows one to pedal up. We are at the halfway mark of the climb.
Finally, after a TWO hour hike 500m straight up this damn slope to about 2200m we crest to the top of Nine Mile Ridge to be rewarded by this view. Looking due east these are the last major mountains before the flat plains all the way to Williams Lake. We aren't a good deal lower than China Head or Yalakom Mountain. The trail winds its way on ridgetop all the way to a point of no-return where one can descend down a creek and continue on a 100 km loop (no thanks!) or just a leisurely out-and-back ride.
Steve on the ridgeline with the Southern Chilcotin and various snowfields providing ambience
The ridgeline rolls through sub-alpine vegetation.
As Peter descends on the ridge, you can see the singletrack climb winding along; ultimately ending at the turnaround point . This view is due east towards the end of Nine Mile Ridge.
Peter and other riders climbing up the trail that we could see in the previous picture
Group shot as we try to catch our breath in the rarefied air of higher altitude.
Steve plugs away towards the turnaround point marked by cairns as we approach the end of our road.
The view at the turnaround point. My bike lays close to a cairn. If we descend down to the valley cut by the creek we would be embarking on a 100km epic loop. I will have to leave that for another day.
All the altitude we gain must be lost. Here is Gina losing altitude.
Steve chasing Gina down the singletrack. Yalakom Mountain is the judge of who wins
Chai took the day off to rest his tired legs. Here are some pictures he took of where we stayed. These cabins are courtesy of Spruce Lake Wilderness Adventures. We stayed at Gun Creek Ranch and they were very nice, very rustic
One of the cabins where we stayed. It sleeps 4 comfortably
Another shot of the cabin. Don't let out the horses!
Gun Lake - close to the cabin. Its cold waters invite you to dip on a hot day.
Carpenter Lake from the boat dock at Gold Bridge
Carpenter Lake in mid-day sun
Its a long hot dusty ride down to the car and a long ride back to Gun Creek. Luckily there is an all-you-can scarf buffet at Tyax Lodge and a welcome dip in the hot tub for us when we get back.
Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2
Click here for Part 4