Sunday, June 29, 2014

Okanagan Mountain Park by Mountain Bike

We bought mountain bikes this spring as an activity to pursue between the end of ski season and the start of the alpine climbing season. What began as a filler has quickly become a passion. It's extremely addicting. We get out a few times a week but haven't really had much noteworthy to write about. Until now. A circumnavigation of Okanagan Mountain Park. Our first mountain bike epic!

All the credit, no blame, goes to Brenda for this one. We asked a number of friends to join us. Most replied with something along the lines of "That should be interesting. No." Admittedly the park isn't exactly well known for its mountain biking trails. Thankfully the intrepid Gerald did join us for what turned out to be 43km and 12 hours of pushing, pulling, and occasionally riding our expensive new steeds.

The ride to Divide Lake is a grind but mostly harmless and Divide Lake itself is a beautiful spot. Things start getting more interesting on the Mountain Goat Trail.

But at least there were a few chances to actually sit on the bikes.

Wild Horse Canyon from the south parking lot is rideable for a few kilometres but then...well, things get a little weird. This was the last photo I took before giving up any hope of recording the days activities.

I'm not even going to begin to describe it. Let's just say that the trail is barely passable on foot, never mind on a mountain bike. After many, many long, hot, sweaty, thirsty hours we emerged at the Buchan Bay intersection where the trail flattens out and finally becomes practical on a bike. The last 10km of riding was easy but it was all just a blur we were so tired. Finally we emerged at the parking lot just as the sun was going down.

Animals seen: mountain blue bird (2), elk (several), owl (1), black bear (1), snakes (many), unidentified large raptor (1)
Sinkholes fallen into: 1 (Brenda)
Ditches somersaulted into: 1 (Brenda)
Other people seen: 0

What a day!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Glacier Crest

Up at Rogers Pass on Sunday. First we checked out the approach to the Herdman Couloir on Mount MacDonald. There's a stream crossing and some bushwacking according to the guide book so we wanted to sort it out before having a go at MacDonald next weekend. It probably wasn't necessary because in the end it's hard to go wrong. The stream crossing was fun. Not sure if the water gets higher later in the day. That could be interesting.

Afterwards we hiked up the Glacier Crest trail to stretch our legs. The snow line is still quite low and there weren't many people about.

Motivation ran out before the end of the trail did so we relaxed in the warm sunshine and took in the sights.

We'll be back to make an attempt on MacDonald next weekend if the weather cooperates!