Sunday, March 12, 2017

Chilcotin Holidays

Eldorado camp assistant

Early in the morning morning I was awoken by my lead guide asking me about if I wanted to join a pack trip that same morning. I checked the watch and it said 5:45. It took me a while to form a coherent answer. My first one was “give me an hour and I am ready” and my second was “no, wait, give me ten minutes and I am there”. So I jumped out of bed got dressed and stuffed my things into a black plastic bag. I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a toast and drank some coffee before meeting up with my guide. My guide gave me the layout of the trip and she told me we would be gone for 2 – 3 days. This happened on a Monday. This would also be my first pack trip and I would get to see the Eldorado camp. I was really excited. We got on the horses and I got to ride Duke whom I was told was a really steady and good horse to ride for a beginner.

Although the weather was not so good the view up in the Chilcotin ranges was magnificent. Just 10 minutes from Eldorado I got to see a grizzly bear for the first time. It was huge and you just felt a small adrenaline rush by watching the animal being so close to you and the horses. The horses showed no fear being so close to the big animal.

Eldorado camp, I was told, was a newly built cabin and when we arrived at the camp I saw a brown cabin hidden among fir trees. It was a really beautiful place and the view was magnificent. The rest of the group left the camp to go tracking and I stayed behind to clean up the cabin and make dinner. After clearing up the loft, carrying in the beds and making dinner I was finally ready for the group to come back. Around 9 at night, the group came back and we ate dinner and went to bed. The next morning we prepared a bonfire, cleared up the remaining tents in the area and made dinner on the new bonfire. It was a long day, but rewarding due to that I had learned new skills, such as roasting tenderloins on the fire and how to pack tents.

After an early wake up we saddled the horses and went on a ridge ride across the Eldorado mountains. I have never had a fear of heights and I am used to mountain climbing, but this ride really got my heart racing. The horses did some amazing things. They are definitely the most sure-footed horses I have ever met. Duke, the horse I was riding, slipped on the sand and slid down a short bit before readjusting his hoofs and carried on. At this moment I realized the importance of “high side out”. After the most amazing ride in my life we were back at the camp. We made a simple dinner for our guest and went tiredly to bed. On Thursday we cleaned out the cabin and started on the ride back. I knew then that I would miss the cabin and the area around Eldorado. During those 4 days at the cabin we had had snow, rain, sun and a mix of all three. If I got another chance I would definitely go back to Eldorado.

Wilderness Guide Training

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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