Two short reports sent out by participants shortly following the trip. The first was sent by Lyn Batchelor to the e-mail list of the Oregon State University mountain club. The second, below, was sent by John Hicks to the rest of the group.
For a summary of the week, written up almost 2 years later from memories, photos and a map, see the official trip summary.
From Lyn Batchelor to the OSU Mountain Club List
Hi everyone, I just got back from camping in the Selkirk Mountain Range of British Columbia. An amazing trip, and I cannot wait until the pictures come back, and the band-aids come off my fingers. I got too close to granite, and it is sharp! Those of you who know my penchant for picking up 'pretty' rocks will understand! I may expound more on the trip when I can type better, am rested up, and have some pictures! But till then, here is the quick version.
We flew in by helicopter ... my first time in one, and I could ride in one for weeks! This area of BC has range after range after range, (and then some more ranges!) of huge Mountains w/glaciers. Not like here in Oregon, where we have a one line range, the Cascades. A very nice range indeed, but no preparation for the sights of these ranges!
As the helicopter rose, I could see tree covered green valleys, obviously carved by glaciers. Moving higher, lakes and rocky valleys with glaciers still within. Small lakes, waterfalls, cliffs and mountains were everywhere I looked. As we neared the tree line and flew towards one waterfall, the pilot said, "This will be your back door for the next week." He then landed us near the edge of a lake, turquoise colored from the glacial till, and we were left to look about in amazement at the peaks and glaciers surrounding us.
The wildflowers were stunning. I have never seen so many colors in Indian Paintbrush. Red, maroon, orange, salmon, creamy yellow, and combinations thereof. Many flowers I still need to look up! I think I have enough pictures to send every one several, I took so many!
The rocks and boulders were of a scale that cannot be imagined. Suffice it to say that a little hike would take 3 to 5 hours at least because of the scale of the rock piles (glacial moraines). There are no formal trails in this area, just picking your way among boulders and avalanche debris from the cliffs surrounding us.
I hope some of the pictures I took of 'Japanese Garden' areas with moss alongside little rivulets with 'carefully' placed granite rocks look as good on film as they did in nature. Some areas were just as perfect as the careful arrangements of any formal rock gardens.
Our group consisted of 8 people, 4 from Oregon (including Jim from OMC), one from Texas, and 3 cohorts of adventure from New York. I car pooled with 2 great guys from Portland, Chris and Iain, and it was wonderful to see some of Oregon I was not familiar with. We went up to Golden, British Columbia by way of the Columbia River, up through Spokane (where I wish I had time to stop and look at all the amazing older brick buildings) and then north. We came home by way of Rogers Pass and the Okanagan Valley in BC, to Yakima Washington, and back by the Columbia river into PDX Portland.
From John Hicks, shortly after the trip:
"The special combination of climbing in the Selkirks and getting to know each of you made this trip one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of my life. Where else could one experience the exhilaration of climbing, the stimulation of amusing conversations on topics from theoretical physics to politics, and the stillness of undisturbed meditation? As I expressed on several occasions that I could remain in the Battle Range for weeks more, having now returned to this office, I appreciate even more the magnitude and beauty of those mountains and how blessed we were to have experienced them. Looking back, the time seems to be consumed in a bright flash compared to the exhaustingly slow pace of day-to-day reality (work). Rather than submerge myself into this mundane existence, I will instead relive each wonderful moment and focus on the details of my next trip."