Chilcotin Adventure

If you love adventure, ride mountain bikes, or simply appreciate the wilderness, odds are high that you have heard of British Columbia’s South Chilcotin Mountains. Over time, these mountain ranges have become a popular destination for backcountry touring experiences – specifically, guided mountain bike tours.

The wranglers at Tyax Adventures have deep roots in the area going back to the first days of settlement in the Bridge River Valley. They know these mountains like the back of their hand and will share with you their favourite places and choose routes specifically to suit your group. Tyax Adventures has guided the most mountain bike tours in the Chilcotin mountain ranges and they know precisely how to adhere a weeklong smile to the faces of riders of any skill level.

While brainstorming ideas for a contest, we asked ourselves: What would every mountain biker on the planet thoroughly enjoy? The answer… A four day long adventure in the beautiful mountain ranges or British Columbia!

In order to enter the competition, we encouraged people to visit any of the participating retail stores to obtain an official entry password. It was imperative that all contest entries visit their local bike shop – Our mission was not only to increase brand awareness, but also to support the retailers by driving consumers to the shops. Supporting local bike culture and contributing to the MTB community is a top priority for Ryders – By hosting a contest that promotes outdoor adventure, we strive to provide the experience of a lifetime.


The contest entry period was between April 1st, 2015 and May 12th, 2015. The lucrative prize included:

  1. Round trip airfare for winner and guest between the major United States or Canadian airport closest to the winner’s residence and an airport in or near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  2. Round-trip ground transfers by passenger van (Ryders vintage VW) from Vancouver to Whistler, including bike transport.
  3. One-night accommodation at residential cabin in Whistler, BC.
  4. Float plane from Whistler to Lorna Lake.
  5. Self-supported three day guided mountain biking trip for two. Meals and accommodations in Tyax backcountry cabins.
  6. Accommodation at Tyax Wilderness Resort and Spa.

By the time June rolled around, we had collected all the entries and randomly selected a contest winner. Matthew Andersen was the lucky winner—he entered through a shop in Calgary called Out There.
Of course we couldn’t send Matt on the adventure of a lifetime alone. The prize included two of everything so he decided to invite his (very lucky) friend, Karly.

Matt and Karly arrived at YVR with smiles on their faces. They were greeted by Ryders founder and brand ambassador, Brent Martin. They eagerly grabbed their luggage and hopped in the Van, luckily their bike boxes had arrived intact.


The first stop was the Ryders Eyewear main headquarters in North Vancouver, overlooking downtown Vancouver. Matt and Karly were given a quick tour of the office while being decked out in some new antiFOG sunglasses, T-shirts and hats – They were stoked to say the least! After some introductions, Matt and Karly assembled their bikes and loaded up the van – The crew was rolling in style, a vintage 1967 Volkswagen 21-window Microbus was their ride.


While driving the Sea-To-Sky highway, the views are miraculous. As you approach Squamish, you are faced with the Stawamus Chief—A renowned provincial park with scenic views across Howe Sound and Mount Garibaldi. It is a tourist attraction that is nearly impossible not to explore. The crew was heading for the hills, a quick ride was inevitable. The trails of choice for the day were ‘Recycle’ to ‘Freds’ to ‘Tinder’ to ‘Your Mom’. The trail builders in Squamish do exceptional work both building and naming their trails. After a quick spin, the crew was back on the highway en route to Whistler where they had a beautiful cabin waiting for their arrival. After settling into the cabin, it was of to 21 Steps Kitchen and Bar where they enjoyed delicious meals and good company.


Day 2 started off nice and early – After a quick bite to eat, Matt and the crew rode some singletrack down to the dock at Green Lake. Soon after, a float plane picked them up for a flight that is quite possibly the most scenic flight that they will experience in their lifetime. What seemed like a few minutes later, the Tyax Air float plane dropped down onto Lorna Lake – A beautiful alpine lake situated at 1930 meters with amazing colours and breathtaking views. After assembling the bikes, the crew had bit of a hike-a-bike up to the saddle high above Lorna Lake and then, continued over to Elbow Pass before dropping down to Bear Paw Camp for a quick break prior to leaving for Spruce Lake Camp.


After a good night’s rest in the mountain alpine, waking up to tranquil surroundings, freshly brewed coffee and breakfast couldn’t have been better. While stretching on the dock, Brent even spotted two bobcats sneaking up on him.


Next on the schedule was fishing on a nearby alpine lake – Spruce lake treated Karly to her first ever successful fishing experience. The crew caught and released over 10 fish in the 2 days at Spruce. On one occasion, a bald eagle landed within 4 feet of the boat and stole a fish we had just released – Mind blowing!

After an exceptionally eventful morning, Adrian (Tyax Adventures Guide) lead the group up to Open Heart and circumnavigated the peak back to Spruce. This was the high point of the trip (in the sense of adventure) because the loop is rarely (if ever) done – It was named after a cinematographer who owned land in the area and filmed the 1st open heart surgery in Vancouver General Hospital.


Day 4 – There was not a cloud in the sky, the conditions couldn’t have been better for what promised to be an astounding adventure packed full of alpine single track riding. Beginning at Spruce Camp, the crew pedaled their way through Windy Pass, Eldorado, and down Lick Creek, all the way to the Tyax Lodge. Near the lodge was Tyaughten Lake, another Chilcotin gem that provided clean, colourful, alpine water. Stunning views and single track took your mind away from being in the hurt locker from the long climbs.


It was a strange but welcome feeling rolling into the world class Alpine resort of Tyax on Tyaughton lake to finish the day with a refreshing paddleboard followed by an incredible 1st class dinner with cold beers. The trails of the Chilcotins are set deep in the wilderness of British Columbia and the experiences and memories we found on the trail will clearly last a lifetime.

When the last day rolled around, Matt and Karly were somber about leaving the beautiful Chilcotins. After a few goodbyes it was off to the float plane for one last breathtaking flight back to civilization.