Well...that was pretty much the most awesome weekend ever:)
ELM's first adventure weekend at Tyax Resort in the Chilcotin's was an amazing experience...let's just say we are planning to go back in early summer 2014 so we can do it all again when the wildflowers are in full bloom;).
Tyax Resort and Spa is located between Pemberton and Lilooet in the foothills of the South Chilcotin mountains. As soon as you start driving north of Pemberton you realize you are not in Kansas anymore. The terrain is totally different from anything we have on the island and that is part of the beauty. Imagine: steep slopes, big peaks, sub alpine terrain & trees, grassy meadows, powder blue alpine lakes and pristine fresh mountain air. All within easy reach by foot, horse, bike...or even better...floatplane:) There are endless opportunities for adventures starting right from the resort from single day fly-in run-out epics to multi-day backcountry hut to hut trips and everything in between. Take one look at the map of the Provincial Park and surrounding area and you will be planning your next trip before you even start your first. And that, my friends, is why you go to Tyax.
For our first group adventure we combined a 35km mountain bike tour with a classic 25km 'ribbon-of-single track' run on the Gun Creek Trail. We had an awesome group of people and the energy could not have been better amongst our crew:) A wide range of backgrounds, goals and abilities came together for the weekend but everyone seemed to find exactly what they were looking for in the mountains.
Here is a little play by play of how we spent the weekend...
Tyax has less than 30 rooms and the lodge sits right on Tyaughton lake...timber frame lodge, BIG rooms (2 queens in each), complimentary spa amenities including eucalyptus steam sauna, cedar sauna, infrared sauna, yoga studio and hot tub, dock on the lake, water sport equipment including paddle boards, kayaks and canoes...pretty much everything you could think of. They hosted Team ELM in the best rooms in the house- walk out, side by side rooms right on lake level:)
We were told that the food was 'gourmet'. Well...they weren't kidding- it was delicious! Our weekend included all meals and we ate together for breakfast and lunch in the great room, with brown bag lunches on the trail. The first night we were already planning what we were going to eat the next time...yummm...
We arrived on Friday afternoon and a couple of us had time to go for a quick ride right from the resort. Within 20 minutes we were rewarded with the first of endless amazing views of the weekend. We climbed up a gravel road to reach the lower portion of Cinnibar trail and enjoyed a blissful, sandy single track rip through red and gold fall colours back down to the resort. Perfect ride after a long day of travel.
On Saturday morning a group of 8 of us flew from the resort to Spruce Lake by float plane with Tyax Adventures for a guided mountain bike adventure. It was the sweetest shuttle I have ever taken;) A 15 minute scenic flight in the smallest plane ever gave us a birds eye view of the terrain we were about to explore.
Once at Spruce Lake we unloaded the bikes, took the first of one million photos and began riding the ribbon of single track Spruce Lake is known for. It was an awesome ride, with an awesome crew:)
Ready to roll!
Lunch on the trail - and time for another photo op:)
Our first of many 'draw dropping' wide open meadow en route to Gun Creek...
Battle scars from the trail.
Sunday morning it was another busy day at the office...another shuttle by float plane to the trail head! Six of us made our way to Spruce lake to run the classic Gun Creek trail all the way from the lake back to the resort. We rode this same trail as part of our biking adventure the day before and it was cool to travel the same route by bike and by foot on consecutive days. Both spectacular, but two very different experiences. Mountain biking amongst that scenery is of course beautiful and a very unique experience. But those ribbons of single track are just begging to be run:))
Heading to the trail head with the ELM Team!
Waving goodbye to our pilot as he heads back to the resort! Did I mention the stellar blue sky we had for 4 days? Yup. Amazing.
Let the ribbon of single track begin! These trails were made for running. Well, actually they were made for horses and pioneers, but you know.
Team ELM posing for yet another photo op- our faces were sore from smiling and laughing all weekend:)
The awesome alpine creek that was our 'handrail' all the way home:)
The run crew- all smiles after an epic day in the mountains!
Post run meeting at the lake! Circle of friends...memories to last a lifetime...
Monday morning I was itching to get one last view in before driving all the way home. Actually I was trying to figure out how I could call in sick and get back up into the alpine for one more epic but couldn't quite swing it;) And so, we climbed back up, this time on foot, to the Cinnibar trail at sunrise. The colours had changed even more and there were bursts of red and yellow lining the sandy trail. WOW. Better on foot? Better by bike? You will have to go find out for yourself;)
Sunrise run on Cinnibar
Big thank you to the Tyax team for taking such good care of us! It was an unforgettable experience and we are already planning for 2014!