Tuesday 29 July 2014

Ozalenka Hike

    I moved to Robson Valley because I loved to be in the mountains, however although they are around me every day, I rarely go up in them.  Fortunately this summer, I have already been up in the alpine twice.  I  hiked around in the McBride Peak alpine when we had guests from Holland, and Sunday, I joined the Ozalenka Alpine Club for their hike up to the Ozalenka Valley.  (Next Sunday they are doing Mt. Lucille)
    The Ozalenka Valley is up the west fork of the Dore River, that is just west of McBride (Google it).  To get to the trail head requires a tough truck, because you have to travel up a not maintained old logging road, squeezing by a washout on the edge of a steep slope.  Fortunately, as you can see in the photo above, we were able to have an adventurous ride in the open air in the back of this pickup truck.
    When we got to the Ozalenka Trailhead, fresh from the bracing and bumpy early morning ride, (the photo shows us enjoying the comfort of the seats after our hike) there were already some trucks at the parking area.  The picture below shows Glen Stanley securing the fencing around the parked trucks.  The fencing keeps out the porcupines, who can seriously dismantle a vehicle parked out in the bush for a couple of days. 
    Porcupines crave salt and seek it out in unusual places, they eat around on tires, vehicle wiring, and plywood.  There has been many a surprised adventurer who has returned to his vehicle after spending time in the bush, to discover that his truck has been rendered un-useable by porcupines and had to end up walking out to civilization.
    Once we got our daypacks on, we started up the trail (up is the key word, as the trail climbs and climbs, following the turbulent and tumbling Ozalenka Creek).  As we made our way up the trail we met a couple coming down.  I was surprised to see a pair of skis sticking up from one of the packs they carried.  I know there is still snow in places up there in the peaks, but I didn’t think there would be enough to warrant carrying skis.  Then the story slowly unwound.
    The couple had found the skis (bottom photo).  Glen Stanley, who books the cabin up in the Ozalenka Valley, put the story together for us.  Last winter, 5 people from Alberta were up there skiing, and triggered an avalanche.  One skier was totally buried, and another was partially buried.  Fortunately, they were wearing beacons, and the buried skier was dug out and survived, but they couldn’t find his skis.  Now, I guess his skis have finally been found.  
    Tomorrow, more about our Ozalenka hike.  

View my photo-realistic paintings at: www.davidmarchant.ca

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