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Join One of Our Ladies Only Backcountry Mountain Bike Camps

LADIES ONLY IN THE SOUTH CHILCOTIN – BACKCOUNTRY MOUNTAIN BIKE CAMPs *NEW for 2017 – 3 different camps!

Calling All Ladies… Are you sick of being left behind when your partner takes off with the ‘bros’ for a backcountry adventure?  Do you want to improve your skills and learn to navigate the backcountry with awesome female friends & coaches?  If so, this one’s for you!

Tyax Adventures is teaming up with professional mountain bike coaches and guides; Sylvie Allen and Emily Slaco to present ‘Ladies Only in the South Chilcotin’ mountain biking adventure camps. Due to popular demand, this year we are offering 3 different camps so you can choose the perfect experience for your level. Join us to spend 2 – 4 days riding the trails in the beautiful South Chilcotin Mountains of BC. All trips start off the adventure at the luxurious Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa before heading out into the backcountry by floatplane (yeah that’s right we fly to the trailhead!),  we will cover tons of epic singletrack, learn new skills, eat great food, see stunning scenery and have an UNFORGETTABLE time!

 

Option #1 – Ladies Only Explorer Camp: June 23, 24, 25, 2017  (more details)

Option #2 – Ladies Only Ultimate Adventure: July 17 ,18, 19, 20, 2017 (more details)

Option #3 – Ladies Only Epic Experience: August 11, 12, 13, 2017 (more details)

Chilcotin Grizzly Conservation Fund

Tyax Adventures is pleased to announce the creation of the Chilcotin Grizzly Conservation Fund. This fund will be used to support the local Grizzly bear population in the South Chilcotin Mountains, and to promote increased Grizzly awareness within the region.

The bears in the upper Bridge River Valley (Tyax Adventures’ area of operation) are part of the greater South Chilcotin Population Unit, a population that is currently listed as threatened.  The CGC fund will financially support the collection of scientific data, which will aid in the creation of land base management planning in our local area. The fund will be donated to the St’át’imc Grizzly Bear Research project. The St’át’imc has been involved in Grizzly bear research and recovery efforts since 1999.

Tyax Adventures, by contributing a portion of profits from the 2015 season, will provide $3800 seed funding for this important initiative. We have further committed to donating a portion of future profits to the fund, and will be encouraging and facilitating our clients to independently donate to the fund when booking services or tours. We encourage other commercial recreation operators in the area to join us in donating a portion of profits to the Chilcotin Grizzly Conservation Fund Together with our partners and clients, we hope to quickly grow this fund to an amount that will make a significant difference in financing ongoing research and awareness.

The owners, staff and clients of Tyax Adventures enjoy the natural environment of the South Chilcotin Mountains and we support the sustainable recreation use of this region. Grizzly Bears, being an “umbrella species” are the perfect indicator of a healthy eco-system and we support the collection of scientific data to help manage the recovery of this great species.

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Photo of Ernest Armann – Implementation Manager, Sue Seger – Landscape Ecologist from the St’at’imc Nation and Dale Douglas – Owner of Tyax Adventures.

If you wish to make a donation to the Chilcotin Grizzly Conservation Fund, contact us!

Tyax Adventures, operating in the upper Bridge River Valley and South Chilcotin Mountains, is an adventure tour company specializing in wilderness tours. In operation since 1999, Tyax Adventures offers guided horse, mountain biking and hiking adventure experiences, as well as charter and sightseeing floatplane flights and backcountry accommodation.

 

 

 

BC Parks Draft Management Plan – Information

Hello friends,

All of us at Tyax Adventures pride ourselves in the services we offer you and the friendships we make along the way. We want you to come visit us and enjoy the South Chilcotin Mountains in the future. Unfortunately, your use of our services and your freedom to travel the park is at risk.

Why? Most of our business is conducted in the South Chilcotin Mountains and Big Creek Parks. A draft management plan for these parks has been presented by BC Parks for comment until the end of May. Simply put, if this plan is implemented as written, there will be drastic changes if you like to mountain bike or fly a float plane in the parks.

Here are a few details of the draft:
  • It segregates recreating by bicycle from other forms of recreation and imposes bicycle only restriction. For example; closing the Lick Creek Trail for the use of a commercial horse operator only,  It also suggests bicycling in the park be allowed only 3 days per week.
  • The draft plan proposes to limit Float plane access to the park to after 9:00 am – this would make landing at Warner Lake improbable. Flights could also be restricted to 2-3 days per week only.
  • Within the draft park plan, ensuring a healthy population of Mountain Goats, Big Horn Sheep and Grizzly Bear recovery is a primary objective and is a priority over recreation and tourism. Restrictions to recreation are suggested within the park to support animal populations, while hunting of Sheep and Goat will continue in the Park and hunting of Grizzly Bears will continue adjacent to the parks.
  • It is proposed that the popular campground at the north end of Spruce Lake is closed.
If the draft plan is implemented, there will certainly be a reduction of access for you, and a reduction of services available from us at Tyax Adventures. The restrictions will result in, at minimum; an increase in aircraft charter rates, or worse case; it no longer being viable for an airplane to be based in the area. The draft plan will have a devastating effect on the local tourism economy of the Bridge River Valley.
Float plane transportation and mountain biking have historically been under represented within the park system.  I believe that a management plan can be created where all recreationalists are treated fairly and that wildlife, tourism and recreation can flourish together in the park.  We plan to present an alternate plan to BC Parks soon and hope that you support it.

If you have any questions regarding this and would like to discuss, please fell free to email me at the address below.
Thank you.

Dale Douglas
President/Operations Manager

TYAX ADVENTURES

SLWA / Tyax Air Service Ltd.

Located at Tyax Resort and Spa

Goldbridge, BC

Explore the South Chilcotin Wilderness on a Packhorse trip with Warren Menhinick

If you’ve been to the South Chilcotin area before chances are you’ve heard at least a mention about the history of the mining and pioneers in the area, but perhaps you don’t know how it has gone from a mining area to a wilderness lovers paradise.  In the late 1800s and early 1900s pioneers started migrating to the South Chilcotin and Bridge River Valley areas in search of mining and ranching opportunities.  These pioneers moved around the area on horseback with packhorses to help move all of their equipment and belongings around this vast wilderness.  As they explored the area by horseback they laid down some of the trail routes we still use today.  Guide outfitters started up to provide the miners with packhorses to move their supplies and equipment throughout the hills.  Through time the mining in the valley slowed down and focus turned to more recreational pursuits.  The Menhinick family originally moved to the Bridge River Valley to work in the Bralorne mines, when the mine shut down in the 70s Warren’s father Barry Menhinick purchased a ranch and his company, Spruce Lake Wilderness Adventures was the first commercial company to operate in what is now the South Chilcotin Mountain park.  media-horse2

Warren grew up in these hills, exploring with his father and learning the secrets of these valleys and mountains.  His knowledge of the area is unsurpassed by most, and he knows every secret nook and cranny out there.  Here are Tyax Adventures we are so happy to have Warren guiding 2 of our Wilderness Packhorse trips this summer.  Each of these 7 day tours will start at our base of operations at Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa.  This Resort is a hidden gem tucked away on the shores of Tyaughton Lake, it offers the perfect place to base before heading into the South Chilcotin Mountains on a packhorse adventure.  The first day on the trail you’ll head deep into the wilderness through wildflower filled alpine meadows to spectacular mountain-top ridges.  Warren will show you the best spots for seeing mountain goats and bighorn sheep.  Each day you’ll explore a new area, moving between our backcountry camps and setting up temporary spike camps as you move deeper into the wilderness.  Warren has some favourite spots he will show you along the way and you’ll be sure to spend a night a the spectacular Spruce Lake, a sapphire hued sub-alpine lake with a moutainous backdrop that’s every photographer’s dream.  Warren in the South Chilcotin Mountains

 

If you’ve ever had any interest in learning more about wrangling and packhorses, Warren is definitely the mountain man to ask.  Ask him about it during the trip and he’ll be sure to get you learning more about the horses and honing your wrangler skills.

Don’t miss out on this amazing Wilderness Packhorse Adventure in the South Chilcotin Mountains.  The first trip with Warren is full, the second trip starts July 28th, 2014 and ends August 3rd, 2014.  This trip is designed for those with some previous riding experience, if you haven’t been on a horse before but would like to join this trip then try taking a couple of horseback riding lessons now or get out on a few trail rides before this longer trip.  To book your space contact us directly at fun@tyaxadventures.com and we’ll be happy to help you set up your Wilderness Packhorse Adventure!

Fly Down Trails in the South Chilcotin -by Geoff Playfair

Say South Chilcotins to most people and either they’ve never heard of it or they envision the high country: alpine meadows in bloom, single track disappearing over a ridge, rich colours of mineral-stained scree competing with the blues of lupines, purples of shrubby penstemon or pinks of moss campion. Bicycles are often involved.

All of that is here – this region is jewel known to relatively few but becoming recognized at the international level for its trails and scenery. But there is more, there are birds. This region also supports a rich avian diversity, from raptors to game birds, migratory waterfowl and songbirds, along with the resident species.

June into early July is prime time in the valley for birders, that strange breed that dons stranger plumage including wide brim hats, binoculars, cameras, note books, phones with bird apps and outer wear that looks rummaged from, well, a rummage sale.

OK, I’ll admit it here: I’m interested in birds. Maybe I’m not yet ready to admit to being a fully fledged “birder” and I certainly will never be an Ornithologist, but I can happily go for a walk and observe the birds I encounter, I do have a bird feeder (well, two), I own a variety of bird identification books and, yes, I have a bird app on my phone. Frankly, the bird app and mushroom app are about the only use I have for a cell phone in this valley, since the lack of cell service makes the cell phone useless as a communication tool.

So why is this area so special for birds? As with real estate, it’s all about location. The Bridge River valley is shadowed from rain by the Coast Mountains and butts up against the colourful Chilcotin Range, making it a transitional zone between the West Coast Temperate Rainforest and the Inland Grass and Douglas Fir biomes. Biodiversity is further enhanced by numerous waterways: the Bridge River, Cadwallader, Gun, and Tyaughton Creeks, along with a peppering of lakes, ponds and two huge reservoirs running west-east for almost 100 kms. Adding to this is the 40,000 hectare regrowth from the 2009 forest fire that burned east from Pearson’s Pond to Marshall Lake, along with a patchwork quilt formed by various aged logging cuts. Everything combines to create a rich biodiversity providing varied habitat to numerous species, including many birds.

In the last few days, without any actual effort on my part, I’ve seen the following birds:

Rump of a Yellow-Rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)

Rump of a Yellow-Rumped Warbler (Audubon’s)

Raptors, including Red Tailed and Sharp Shinned Hawks, Merlins, a Northern Harrier and, two nights ago, I heard a Great Horned Owl hooting.

While biking in the woods I saw a Sooty Grouse in all its mating splendor: bold red eyebrows, full tail fan that always makes me think of a rooster trying to imitate a turkey, hooting for a mate.

Yesterday, fishing on Mowson’s Pond, I saw a pair of Barrows Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers and of course, Loons.

The songbirds are in high season presently. The cacophony that greets me as I write this, sitting on the porch with my morning coffee is difficult to describe, let alone break down by individual voice. Various Warblers, including Yellow-Rumped Audubon, Townsend’s and Yellow Warblers, Swainson’s Thrushes, Robins, Western Tanagers, Cedar Waxwings, various Viroes, Finches and Flycatchers, Mountain Bluebirds, and Chipping Sparrows, all compete for airtime. Rufous Hummingbirds visit the flower boxes. Tree Swallows dart around the grassy openings and high above soar Vaux’s Swifts.

The forests generally, and the burn specifically, attract woodpeckers by the hundreds. Between yesterday and today I’ve seen Pileated, Hairy and Downy, as well as Northern Flickers and the colourful Red-Naped Sapsucker. No recent sighting of the American Three-Toed or Blackbacked.

Of course there are plenty of residents as well: chatty Juncos, Black Capped and Mountain Chickadees, voracious Siskins, Red-Breasted Nuthatches bulleting through the trees, Red-Winged Blackbirds at the ponds, the brilliant yellows, browns and white of the Evening Grosbeaks, Spotted Tohees, Golden Crowned Kinglets, noisy Ravens and the occasional Crows (I won’t get into whether they are American or Northwestern, you’ll have to decide) along with Whiskey Jacks and Clark’s Nutcrackers.

Western Tanager

Western Tanager

Again, this is just what I’ve seen around my property and near home in the last two days. If you go into the mountains you’ll shift habitats and likely see many more species.

For example, a fantastic spectacle occurs in late August when Rufous Hummingbirds invade the alpine meadows. Literally hundreds of hummingbirds can be seen all around you as they draw the last of the nectar from the meadow flowers, over a mile above sea level. Why the rush? At this elevation, frost is only days away and winter is rapidly approaching. The phenomenon lasts briefly and then they’re gone.

So, if you find bird watching relaxing, a trip to the Bridge River valley may be just the vacation you need. If your focus is a ride or a hike, you can increase your enjoyment by becoming more aware of your surroundings. Listen for the different songs you will hear as you pass under the trees. Look for and try to identify the various birds you see. Observing their colouring, behavior, feeding habits and surroundings will help in identification.

While you’re out there, you might see me. I’ll be the guy on a bike, packing binoculars along with my bike tools. And yes, you might see me off my bike, with binoculars in hand, trying to determine what type of warbler I’m looking at. When you start noticing the birds around you, it gives new meaning to “flying down the trail”.