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Fall Trail Work – High Trail Mud Holes

Words & Photos by Geoff Playfair.

On the way out of Camel Pass, the flow of alpine single track that the High Trail provides is marred by a few large mud holes.

Mud Holes on the High Trail

This past week, Tyax Adventures, in cooperation with BC Parks, provided a reroute around the upper two holes (one in the photo above).

High Trail Re-Route

The 200m new section includes about 100m of cleaned up older, grown over, trail  (shown above) and about 100m of new trail to bring the two lines back together (shown below).

High Trail Re-Route - New Trail

The results provide a route clear of mud, with enhanced views of Truax and the valley below.

Enjoy the trails.

High Trail Re-Route View

Spring Trail Updates

Well the Resort is officially open and that means we are ready to go for the season!  We just had a great long weekend with people enjoying the trails surrounding Tyax Resort by horseback, pedal power and on foot.  Guess it’s time for the annual spring trail update to help with your adventure planning!

We like to start off with an update from the River Forecast Centre which shows us a great little graph and gives us a snap shot of this year’s Snow Water (in mm) versus River Forecast Centre Dataprevious years and historically.   Looking at the graph we can see we had less snow at the start of this winter but by the end of March it was looking similar to what we can see the year previous.  Right now it looks very similar to last year which means that by the end of May we should be able to fly into Spruce Lake and the trails around the lake should be mostly clear and rideable out Gun Creek.  As long as things don’t get too cool over the next few weeks we should be looking at a similar year to last, this had us flying into Warner Lake by mid June and into Lorna Lake by the end of June!

The local trails surrounding Tyax Resort are in great condition and a report from our guide & local resident, Geoff Playfair has said; “Trail clearing on local trails is underway. Good spring riding right now, and winter winds were fairly kind – not to much blowdown. Snow is clear to the top of Lick Lower now, which I cleaned up yesterday and is good to go!”.   He also reported that the Pearson Road is mostly clear of snow up to Molly Dog, and that Molly Dog should be rideable by now.

Our wrangler Brennan McGlashan has been busy clearing out the trails around Tyax Resort for Horseback Riding and has gotten most of the work done and clear for trail rides.

Heads up if you’ll be riding, hiking or horseback riding on the Forest Service Roads in the area, there is still some logging activity on the west side of Pearson’s Creek, some on Gun Creek Road towards the Gun Creek Trail and some on the hill above the trail, off the logging road. Speaking to the person in charge of the logging, this should be finished up before summer(July).  No trails are presently affected by this just a note to be aware of machinery and signage.

Our spring trail work projects in addition to the regular clearing and maintenance will be starting soon.  Watch the blog for more updates on what we’ll be working on this year.

Also a final note when planning your adventure up to visit us please note that the Hurley Forest Service Road will NOT be plowed this year.  There have been some changes with regards to the road’s ownership and this has so far translated into a lack of funds for the early season plowing of the snow.  You can read all about it on the I Survived the Hurley website.  Locals are reporting if the road must melt out on it’s own it won’t be open until at least the end of June – early July.

Hope to see everyone soon!

View looking down to Carpenter Lake

The view looking down to Carpenter Lake.

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Easter weekend full of fun and adventure!  

Happy Easter from Tyax Adventures

 

 

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!

Fall; more than just pretty colours

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Fall colours along Gun Creek

Fall has got to be my favourite season… Don’t get me wrong summer is awesome, especially this past summer with lots of long hot days, perfect for full day adventures in the mountains and refreshing jumps into the lake. Winter’s not bad either, with white fluffy snow comes a whole new set of adventures. But fall is special, there’s something about the crisp fresh air, and there’s nothing nicer than a crisp sunny fall day outside.  The leaves change colours, spectacular golden yellows and reds, even the dying fireweed turns a dark burgundy covering the hillsides in blankets of deep reds.  But there’s a lot more to fall than just these gorgeous colours.  Fall is a great time for foraging!  After having spent a few years out here in the South Chilcotin Mountains, wandering through the woods seeing all sorts of weird looking flora & fungi, I decided to start learning more about what it all was.

Shaggy Mane Mushroom

Shaggy Mane Mushroom

Luckily for me, local resident & Tyax Adventures guide, Geoff Playfair was around to answer many of my questions and impart some of his vast knowledge to me.  I’ve picked Geoff’s brain about so many things these days he probably runs and hides every time he sees me.  Some of his wisdom I’ve picked up on is that there are tons of different types of fungi around, many of them edible, and some not as much.  When foraging for mushrooms bring a guide book, take notes & photos, and if you’re unsure bring your notes & photos to someone who’s got more experience than you.  The first mushroom I identified was in my front yard, a Shaggy Mane, according to Geoff’s identification of my photo, edible too if you get it while it’s young and before it turns to a black inky blob… hmmm.  Geoff’s been out hunting for field mushrooms at his wife’s request.  To help correctly identify these Geoff recommended taking a ‘spore print’, which I promptly googled and learned that it makes a really nice piece of art as well!

Another coveted mushroom, the morel, grew in abundance in the hills surrounding Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa and other parts of the South Chilcotin that were affected by the forest fires in 2009.  The year following a forest fire the disturbance usually causes morel mushrooms to sprout up, the summer of 2010 & 2011 the South Chilcotin saw morel mushrooms sprouting up everywhere, a chef’s dream!

Rosehips

A handful of colourful rosehips

Along with plenty of other mushrooms to search for a common sight along the trails and roadsides right now are Rosehips.  These are bright red & orange bulbs that grow after the petals of the rose have fallen off usually in September & October.  A great source of Vitamin C rosehips can help ward off the pesky fall cold by providing you with a huge boost of this essential nutrient.  Great for tea or making jelly & jam.

A real fall treat is the Harvest moon, this year we weren’t able to see it as clear due to some cloudy skies, but just seeing the brightness peak out behind the clouds was a gorgeous sight.  Marking the true start to fall, the Harvest moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox, this year falling on September 22nd.  Get ready for a fantastic fall seasons and don’t let shorter days or a little rain keep you from enjoying a fantastic fall!

*Be careful what you pick & eat, always use the guidance of someone knowledgeable & trusted.  We don’t recommend foraging without expert assistance*

Spring Trail Updates 2013

We are well into another spring season out here and as the snow melts away to reveal our favourite trails it’s time to start checking up on what’s been hiding under the white blanket all winter.  Late Fall and early winter usually bring a few storms with heavy winds that tend to cause a great big mess on the trail for us to find come spring.  With a lower snowpack than usual and much less than last year the snow is clearing pretty quickly around here… that means an early start to the business of exploring the damage and starting the trail work.

Snow Pillow Data June 2013

The Snow Pillow Data taken from Green Mountain gives us a really great snapshot of how the snow melt is looking so far this year.  Although we’re not at the Minimum we are well below the Average, this pretty much just confirms what we were all thinking after a mediocre winter for snowfall.  Take a look at the Real time data online at the River Forescast Centre website.

The little trail elves have been busy already and most of the trails around Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa have been cleared out.  Our wrangler Brennan was busy clearing out the lower section of the North Cinnabar trail as well as the maze of trails behind the campground.  Horseback riders won’t have branches hitting them in the head on their rides with Brennan!  Brennan has also been busy putting together a great loop for our 3 hour Horseback Rides, this loop will show off some great view points of the entire Bridge River Valley.

The local crew around Tyaughton Lake have been out clearing the top of the North Cinnabar trail as well as some of the trails winding their way through the forest above the Friberg Rec site area.  Watch for the TMC brand on the trails along with the corresponding trail name in a bright pink blaze.

The jolly giant, Mr. Geoff Playfair has been extra busy this season cleaning out logging debris off some of the trails he’s built above Gun Creek RoaGeoff Playfair & his trusty chainsawd.  Curious George, a surefire favourite of anyone who’s ridden it, was logged last summer and had quite a bit of debris remaining.  Geoff & Karen along with a couple friends cleared out most of the trail and it’s now ready to go.  Be careful of logging equipment in the area and there is some active logging happening so keep your eyes and ears open.

With the ice coming off Spruce Lake a full 2 weeks ahead of last year our crew of Geoff Playfair & Adrian Bostock were able to get into Spruce Lake and clear out the blowdown and deadfall from the Lake all the way along the Gun Creek trail to the end of Gun Creek Road.  Took them 2 days but it’s good to go and the Arrow Leaved Balsamroot is already starting to flower!  Should be an early season for wildflowers.

The Taylor basin is still full of snow and the High Trail up to the Molly Dog entrance is clear but farther than that the snow is still lingering.  Expecting that zone to be explorable by early July.

Watch for more updates on the Warner Lake trail status which we will be clearing out this week (June,10-13).  Lone Valley & Mud Lakes, Lorna Lake updates, Crystal Lake & Skycamp to come in the following weeks.

Email us if you’ve got news or updates or post straight on our Facebook page or comment on this blog.  Hope we’ll see you all on the trails soon!