Its Feb 2017 on the Sunshine Coast and we are just cleaning up after a bout of snow storms. Coming from a place that pride ourselves on year round riding, the last month has been crappy for enjoying our sport. For the last month I’ve been down, really down…I got sick and it lasted a month. At one point I couldn’t sleep due to a pain on my side. The doctor diagnosed the pain as a stress fracture of my rib….wow! Crazy sickness! Anyway, everyday I picked my ass up off the ground and tried to get motivated, but it was easier to stay low, drink beer and wallow in my post mortem sickness. Then the sickness broke, the lungs cleared up and my energy returned…just in time for the snow to come and lay a blanket of “do any riding in snow and it’ll suck”. So I broke out the laptop, found some old videos of my trip to the Chilcotins and pieced it all together.
It was September 2016, a group of 9 guys from Sunshine Coast arrived at Tyax Lodge and stayed in their one and only chalet -Wolverine. The chalet was large and easily accommodated our crowd, plus gear and coolers of beer.
Instantly relaxed, we gathered our gear and headed out for short ride on lower Cinnabar Trails
Rest up, its go-time tomorrow.
On our 1st big day, we had lots of planners on team – who quickly decided that Taylor Creek, Eldorado Pass to High Trail to Lick Creek was the groomers choice. We drove to the Taylor Creek Parking lot and up the hill we went. We climbed for about an hour and most of the way, I was feeling like something wasn’t right. I even said to Alun that wouldn’t it be funny if we weren’t on the trail. It came apparent that the road showed almost no tracks and that’s when I got out the Trailforks app. Yep… the blue dot was about 1km away from the trail. Whoops! Okay realizing that we went the wrong at the very start of the ride was actually not funny. We regrouped and decided that we were just under 800m of bushwhacking to the trail. Do you see where this going? I’m a forester, so this decision came somewhat natural to me, but for the rest of the group, it was soft sell. Also, I could tell from the map contours that the terrain was pretty tame. The group decided to follow me and for the most part, it was tame except for the blueberries that grabbed every little pedal or handlebar or legs making walking with bike difficult. Whats a little bushwhacking to make an already epic day.
Back on the trail, we road up the Taylor Creek trail and stopped an old miners shack. Boy! They must have had it hard 100 years ago.
Continuing on we made our way to Eldorado Pass. I don’t know how far up past the cabin when the trees disappeared and the awe inspiring views started but I kept stopping and taking pictures and tried to take it all in.
The down from Eldorado Pass was exhilarating and seemed endless. We hooked into High Road and headed left (right turn took you up to Windy Pass – See Day 2). High Trail guided into glades and meadows and up to the Eldorado Cabin. Actually, there is a hose with running water which I was able to filter out. Oh yeah, someone brought some whiskey and the group started to gel together nicely.
From the cabin to the start of Lick Trail was a classic hike and bike. Still, the vistas made the hike and steep climbs go quickly.
The Lick Creek trail is on almost every rider’s Chilcotin bucket list. The steep downs, the fast tracks through meadows, tricky switchbacks make this trail such a favorite – well mine at least. Watch my video of the day!