Since our very first days on the bike, the allure of adventure has been at the very heart of the ride. In the days of our youth, it meant striking out to the furthest outskirts of the neighbourhood. Our worlds felt small then, but as we grew, so did life's enormity. What once seemed small and understandable slowly became intangible and out of reach. The bike, however, has never waivered in its ability to break down borders, whether physical or mental.
Our friends at Yonder Journal share this feeling. They understand the intrinsic value of adventure, which is why we've dispatched them to seek it out and follow it wherever it might lead. Through their travels, we'll reconnect to the essence of riding, to the adventurous heart of the bicycle. Check back often to follow their travels, exploits, and finds.
The Chilcotins are a spectacular range of mountains in northern British Columbia. An area of natural splendour that contains a collection of physical endowments that read like the Christmas list of a 18 year old Jack London; grand sweeping glaciers, mineral infused turquoise lakes, white shocks of cascading waterfalls, deep plummeting valleys, ruddy exposed alpine meadows, and sharp angular peaks that look as if they were trying to eviscerate the sky. As a fitting compliment to this generous amount of geological wonder the area’s fauna reads like a who’s who of the late Pleistocene; Grizzly bears, Moose, Elk, Wolves, and Bald Eagles are just some of the A-listers you might run into in your travels through the Chilcotins.
As interested parties, we were not the first to notice this abundance of grandeur. Native people have lived and traded throughout the region since the time of the Bering land bridge, and there is an ancient network of trails that crisscross the region. While there might be a few trails it is worth noting they were not designed around the bicycle. These are “let’s get over the mountain as fast as we can trails,” and they have a heavy straight up and straight down vibe. But it’s this combination of natural beauty, alpha predators, and leg/lung/spirit crushing verticality that drew our attention to the area.
One thing to note is that BC is MTB hallowed ground, and the Chilcotins especially sacred. Big travel bikes have been de rigueur for shredding and blasting the well-known trails of B.C.’s coastal range and beyond. While they relied heavily on the use of helicopter drops, mules, and hut-to-hut accommodations we decided to eschew these modern conveniences and make our way self supported over of four nights and days in the Canadian backcountry.