Centre Creek and Chilliwak Lake: When Skiing Becomes Cycling

May Long Weekend actually started as a skiing trip, or at least as the desire to do a skiing trip. We aimed for Mt. Jimmy Jimmy, but long parts of the trail were bushwhacking and carrying our skis on our backs didn’t make it any easier. It took us a while to reach snow, and even when we did it was full of holes and alder. It seemed like a less than ideal way to spend the long weekend. In the late afternoon we decided to switch plans. We went back down, which was much faster than going up, went back to the car and drove back to Vancouver. In such a low-snow year spring backcountry trips should be planned more carefully and definitely should be started much higher.

On the way to Mt. Jimmy Jimmy (didn't quite make it this time)

The next morning we were already back on the road with our bikes in the car on the way to Chilliwack. We were surprised to see how many people were out camping on that weekend. Almost every campground or recreational site had a “Full” sign at the front, and people were even camping on the side of the road. We didn’t mind since we weren’t planning to spend the night in a campground. We left the car near a busy recreational site and rode up to Centre Creek. After a couple of hours we had the opposite problem that we had on the way to Jimmy Jimmy: this time there was too much snow! We tried to push our bikes a little while longer, but it was too hard and the snow got deeper and deeper. We continued on foot for a bit, and got some nice views of the mountains at the head of the valley. After lunch we turned around, went back down and explored a short section of the Trans Canada Trail, where we found an abandoned and creepy cabin.

Center Creek, near Chilliwack - Now we find snow??

The nice thing about this area was that there were no ATV’ers due to a locked gate at the beginning of the logging road. When we rode back down we noticed a nice spot near a creek with some grass and trees, and it seemed like a good place to spend the night. Because there was a gate we figured that no one would be able to get through, and most people are not so keen on walking to a camp spot, even if it’s five minutes from the car. We were wrong when we thought no one would be able to get through. In the middle of dinner a huge camper came by and parked just in front of us. The couple in the camper was as surprised to see us as we were surprised to see them. The woman was pissed off at us, saying they had been coming there for years and apparently they have a key to the gate. They put the camper back to back with our tent, almost as if they hadn’t noticed the tent was there. After dinner we moved the tent a few meters to the side and went to sleep.

A boulder fell on the road and kept the traffic away

In the morning the woman came to apologize for being such a bitch and said she was very drunk the night before. They even offered to carry our garbage out, but we preferred to take it with us to make sure it would actually find its way to a garbage bin.

We spent the day riding along the bank of Chilliwack Lake. Luckily, a few days before there was a major land slide and a huge boulder blocked the road. We climbed the boulder with the bikes, and we saw very few people after that. The skies were blue, the flowers were blooming, the mountains were stunning and a few kayakers were paddling on the lake. We rode to the end of the lake and then made our way back.

More photos

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