Monday, October 26, 2009

Placer Mountain

Placer Mountain - A tribute to my brothers
In August of this year we ventured up the backroads of Copper & Placer Mountains - it started out as an adventure with the anticipation of using some of the sights we found for next years event. What we found were memories that were long forgotten, memories that would also take me back some years ago through the photos of time in an album of my own.
You see many years ago I roamed these streets of no name at the tender age of 2, the roads were different but many of the places are the same. It seems that time changes nothing & everything at the same time. I invite you to join in the days adventure as we take you through the Placer Mountain roads (alas we did not make it to the lake) through the Ashnola transverse & up along the back roads.

Serene Creeks

A copy of the GPS Routing can be found here (Thank you Ed for the link to the site - it will deffinitely come in handy as we learn to use it better)

Placer Mountain at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail: Travel Community

We woke up early on the Saturday morning, with one goal in mind, to adventure - adventures had been so little this year and we wanted to see what there was to see. Jordy had read up on it & we had taken a good look at the map book and had an idea of where we would go - so we headed down to Princeton and then West on the Crowsnest to the turn off. The turn off can easily be identifed by the Cache that is located under the bridge.. :) Here you will find 2 roads - one that heads down towards Copper Mountain and another that is Placer Mountain. Placer Mountain was on the agenda today - as if you look at the backroads map book carefully you will see how it traverses across to Ashnola. Based on the backroads map book we had several options on the roads we would take, we were hoping that the map book was fairly accurate, but were up for the adventure.

The areas through most of the area are very stock friendly, I even know of several cachers who would be more then willing to take their Honda Civic's on a good portion of them. The first part of the trip we did not encounter a lot of scenary or much to mention, as there was a fair amount of clear cut through here. As well the road to Placer Lake can be located among one of these turn offs (not sure of exactly where as of yet). However if you take just the right turns you will soon enough find yourself back amongst the beautiful forests trees that smell so beautiful - and some of the more scenic views. - along with well some "Spirit Rocks"

Spirit Rocks

We had almost passed by the rocks, but they had called out to Jordy and he had heard them - they called "Jordy - come up this road, Jordy - we want you to see us, Jordy - "

So we took the opportunity to see what was up the side road and what greeted us was absolutely breathtaking - We deffinitely located one of the locations for next years event - and Jordy will be calling it "Placer on the Rocks - a Spirit Cache" In some ways it is reminscent of Easter Island - We never finished finding all the faces & in one of the pictures we have someone who thinks they saw a cougar in it - not sure if he referred to a real one, or one in the rocks. We also identifed a few hidden animal homes, and there is a trail that we believe that will lead you to a better view. We didn't have the time explore it but will be back to see what is at the peak of the view.

A little further down the road you will find a make shift camp that contains a bit of a shelter for those that use it, happily we can report none of this area has been abused of late - and the view is neat - not quite as awe inspiring as the Spirit Mountains but still worth stopping for.

Continuing on towards are goal we zigged and zagged through the mountain trails looking for the road that went through, at one point something caught our eye but we opted to check it out on the way back or on the next trip through - little did we know what that suprirse would hold for us later.

We found the road that would lead us down to our next stop, but it was a little nerve racking for myself as a passenger. Close cliffs, loose shale and no holdy onny thingy on the jeep for me!

The Rocky Road

I will say that I am and always will be eternally grateful for Jordy's driving skill, and that he safely got me down the hill. However there was that matter of having to go back up this road. I was also greatful that we were in the Jeep & not in the Subruban. We made our way down the Switchbacks & at one point were required to do a 3 point turn in the shale in the Jeep. I could not imagine the depths of my panic attack I would be having if we had been in the Tank.

We safely made it down through the nerve racking experience and found our way to Ashnola - I think all told the transverse is about 17 kms - which if you do the math and you have the tires to do that section you will cut your gas bill in about 2/3rds of what it would have been.

We stopped in the beautiful August weather at a small spot along Ashnola for Jordy to try his Fly Fishing Rod again - it had been years and he had broken down and got the fishing license this year. It was kind of neat to sit back (getting eaten alive by mosquitos!) and watch him out there doing one of the things he loves the most. The river was running but not to fast, and the temperature was just right.


We continued on up the Ashnola River Road for a bit as we wanted to find out if the back roads book was still accurate and the access road that went through from there to Placer Lake could still be completed. To our knowledge and explorations it can not - the only option is to take the Transverse back up. However that is not to say that it is not worth the exploration time to see where the roads will lead you.

Many of the bridges have been pulled out of here, along with the culverts - the culverts can be found on the "flat ground" and if I had let him Jordy would have driven right through one of them - but I still appear to have a bit too much common sense for his liking. The roads we took were so much fun, a few a bit nerve racking for me as the edge seemed to be much closer to my side of the vehicle and the repair of the roads non existant. However many of the roads were perfectly fine. We do however offer our apologies to the cows that were forced to move & the Ground Squirrels who were wondering just who the world was driving over their home!

We do make a reccomendation of having a bit more clearance and less rear trailer hitch if going through a few of the side roads we did - as Jordy Titled This Picture "Who is knocking at my door - notice the trailer hitch marks)

Who's Knocking?

We continued on to every mountain, looking at every view & even finding a road named "Lusted", but alas they all kept coming to a dead end so we opted to start our way back and take that daring Transverse. The benefit to this would be that we would get to take a closer look at what we had seen earlier out of the corner of our eye.

We headed back up the Snakey, Sharp Shale Road again doing the 3 point turn in the Jeep to the top - and then took the first right to see what there was - to our suprise we found the treasure trove that made the day. An old abandoned mining camp - with structures, left over cans, core samples galore & a flat tire on the Yeep (yes those swampers are coming they are currently in the back yard waiting for Jordy to do the lift kit next weekend).

I love seeing him so happy in these elements, the smile on his face - like a kid in a candy store as he goes "What was that used for, and look at that, and oooohhhh" It's like this magical energies just wafts into him and he comes alive like pop rocks when they land on your tongue!

Core Sampes

Why do I love him? Because we can enjoy this so much together no one else could ever share this with me and be quite as excited. The rest of the pictures are in the slide show - and yes we will be taking you here next August - along with some other amazing locations.

We changed the flat tire & headed on out as the day was over and we couldn't chance losing another tire - and with our luck we would get a flat one.

On the way home I reflected back on how lucky I was as a child to have shared this with my brothers 35 years ago - and how the stories of their treating me like a princess & putting me in a back pack and rapelling off the cliffs or attaching me to a tree so not to lose me to the bears. I truly was lucky - they were the best brothers I could have asked for - even if Rod did break into the Legion in Princeton when he was 13 for beer and spent the night in jail.. lol


Eddie said...

Good story, great pictures...the table has been set for some great adventures next year.

PS If you wish, next year I can try sticking you in a back pack just for old times sake! :)

Eddie said...

Just looked at the trip route - it was kinda of neat "playing" the route and watching the ball move along your track and where you went.