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Thread: Not another Alexander MacKenzie thread!!

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  1. #1
    OLC Member djo.bike's Avatar
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    Talking Not another Alexander MacKenzie thread!! **Trip Video Added**

    **Edit: Added video link to post so it is not buried in the thread. **

    Hello;

    I have posted the first part this trip report (AMHT section) on a couple of other sites so some of you may have come across it. For those who haven't, enjoy! The second part is all new. Lots of pictures too!!

    Dan

    Intro

    Back in August of 2016 myself, my wife and three friends took a two week trip in Central BC. The first week of that trip was spent negotiating the Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail. It took six days to travel from Titetown Lake to Eliguk Lake; we were unable to complete the section after Eliguk Lake.

    https://youtu.be/h7PfCsERM5U

    Full length Video: https://youtu.be/1OE0CDDafnw

    The second week of the trip was spent in the Chilcotin region and down in Bella Coola.
    Last edited by djo.bike; 02-17-2017 at 11:03 AM.

  2. #2
    OLC Member djo.bike's Avatar
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    Default Day 1 AMHT

    The most of the first day was spent driving to Quesnel. We were traveling from the Edmonton Alberta; the others were coming in from the West Kootenay's, BC.

    The Cast:




    Jeep XJ - Mark | 5th Gen 4runner - Dan (op) and Jenn | 40series Land Cruiser – Alex | 3rd Gen 4runner - Aaron and Cassidy (trail companion)





    Once in Quesnel we did some last minute errands, filled up on gas and had supper.




    As the sun began to set we headed out to Snaking River recreation site via the Nazko Road. Arriving in the dark we quickly set up camp and went to sleep.








  3. #3
    OLC Member djo.bike's Avatar
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    Default Day 2 AMHT

    Snaking River recreation site to Kluskoil Provincial Park recreation site

    Eager to get to Titetown Lake we packed up and headed up Nazko Road. We stopped at the hiking signpost for a photo before making our way to Titetown Lake crossing.





    Crossing at Titetown was straight forward. A little further along a beaver had built a dam on the downstream side of the trail; flooding and washing out the trail. On the far side was a steep rutted exit. Aaron went first, the 3rd gen, and with little effort made it through and up the other side. I went second, 5th gen, and got high centered on the exit. (I made the decision to go with 31” tires as they were practically brand new and didn’t have the extra money for 33”, looking back that was a mistake.) We winched me out of the ruts. The LC and Jeep followed and had no problems.
















    The rest of day we meandered through the forest. The trail was a series of rocky sections, small water crossings and a few stretches of meadows. There was very little deadfall to clear but lots of evidence of prior groups doing some.
























    We ended our day at Kluskoil PP recreation site. Camp set up was quick and in no time we had a nice fire going and beers in hand.






















  4. #4
    OLC Member djo.bike's Avatar
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    Default Day 3 AMHT

    Kluskoil Lake to the clear-cut, with the Blackwater River in the middle

    The day before coming down into Kluskoil there were parts that were steep and grease, the ground around the lake is clay based, so on the way out we took a fork in the trail. This paid off as it was not as steep and was dry. We did need to clear some dead fall. Meeting up with the main trail we headed west once again.












    Soon we started to get glimpses of the Blackwater River through the trees, teasing us with its size and width. Convincing ourselves the crossing would be shallower and narrower we pressed on.




    The trail continued through the forest with the lake on our left. It was more of the same as the previous day, rocks, streams and meadows. After a few kilometers we came into a burn section from a few years ago. It was quite striking with new pines growing up among the old burnt trees. It was a little drier through this stretch, with a few stream crossings mixed in. This was to be the most relaxing part of the day.














    Arriving at the crossing point and seeing it up close, we realized it was going to be the biggest and deepest crossing any of us had done. Later we would find out it was the highest it had been in quite a few years.




    Alex and his Landcruiser were first up and with a little struggle in the middle made it across. Now we had a winch and winch point on the other side. A big concern was that our air intakes were all on the upstream side of the vehicles. Aaron improvised a snorkel with some dryer hose, I took the cover of my air box to gain a few inches and Mark was able to reroute his air intake a little higher in the engine bay. Up next was Aaron, he made it just past half way and stalled in the deepest part of the crossing. Unable to get it started it was winched the rest of the way.









    Up next it was the Mark and his Jeep. For a reason I cannot recall my wife decided to ride in the Jeep, leaving me and my nerves alone in the 4runner. It was decided we would both cross at the same time so if one of us got stuck the other could winch/pull the other unstuck. The theory being it would save someone from having to walk a line from the opposite shore. It didn't work, the Jeep got hung up in a couple of boulders 50’ out and when I went to winch him back the runner dug in and sunk to the axles in the soft riverbed (which used to be shore).

    While Aaron walked a line out from the opposite side and Mark pulled his winch line to meet in the middle I tried to dig myself out but was not able to and was going to have to wait my turn to winch out. In the meantime Aaron's dog Cassidy thought she could be of some use and decided to swim out to Aaron, it was a little tense watching her struggle in the current but she managed to get across and get her legs on the river bottom. Marked scooped her up and dumped her in the passenger seat of my runner. After she shook off, spraying me and the inside of the vehicle, she settled down for a nice sleep for the rest of the trip.

    With the Jeep across, Aaron walked the line back across to me and winched the runner out. Once I was unstuck I believe I could have made it across without the winch, I kept out running the winch and had to stop to let it catch up and just needed a little tug to get going again.








    All across and a little trouble shooting on the 3rd gen and we were on our way.




    Reading what I just wrote doesn’t really convey how much of a challenge this was. The river was quite high with a fairly strong current making walking the winch lines and strap across very difficult. The rocks were very slippery making it tough to stay upright. I cannot swim so others (thanks guys!) had to spend a lot of time in the water as I would only venture out up to my waist depth. The water was very warm and only reason we were able to spend the time in the water walking lines across. I honestly don’t know how none of us took water into our engines. In all it took 4 hours to get all four vehicles across. We learned a lot, what worked and what we would do different.




    On the other side of the Blackwater the trail continued through the burn and then into a logging clear-cut. Using the GPS and a faint set of vehicle tracks we navigated through the clear-cut. Crossing a couple of old logging access roads the GPS track started to follow one of the logging roads, unable to find the trail off the road we decided to follow the road out and down to an FSR.













    It was getting dark and we were all pretty tired, with a storm on the horizon we didn’t want to camp up high. We found a pull out on the FSR, it wasn’t the best camping spot but we had lots of wood for a fire. After some food and a couple of beers around the fire we went to sleep.






  5. #5
    OLC Member djo.bike's Avatar
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    Default Day 4 AMHT

    Clear cut to Tsacha Lake

    The day before with not being able to pick up the section of trail through the later parts of the clear-cut we decided to take the FSR into the Indian village of Kluskus, about 20km. Picking up the trail again just outside the village.






    This day was fairly easy compared to the last two. There were a few water crossings and some mud but for the most part the trail was dry. This section, at least the first part to Messue Crossing intersection, seemed a little more traveled.









    After Messue Crossing there were a few fallen trees that need clearing.






    There was an electrical issue on the Jeep which turned out to be a loose battery connection.




    Like the previous couple of days the trail alternated between dry and wet.















    We arrived at the lake early in the afternoon and set up camp. This spot used to be a fly in fishing camp, from what I read when the lease came up the BC government didn't renew and went in a few years later and took all the buildings down. There are still a few boats sitting on shore and the cabin foundations are still there.






















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    OLC Member djo.bike's Avatar
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    Default Day 4 camp set-up time lapse


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    Default

    Beautiful trip. Thanks for posting.

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    Great read & photos. The river crossing & mud hill sound intense!

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    Default

    What an amazing trip! Great photos! Thanks for sharing!

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    Cool trip report.

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