Adventure British Columbia 2009

Olav Lian discusses the glaciated landscapes at a lookout high above Big Bar Creek.  The Fraser River courses far below.

A typical fire scarred landscape of lodgepole pine and Englemann spruce in the back country behind Clinton.
 In September 2009 the department offered its first adventure in its own 'back yard', traveling to the interior of British Columbia.  Olav Lian and Garry Fehr co-led fifteen students on what could essentially be called the 'gold rush circuit'.

They began by going up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Pemberton, and thence from there via the Duffy Lake Road to Lillooet.  From there, the adventure continued over Pavilion Mountain to Clinton, a visual feast of glaciated landscapes characteristic of this high plateau area.

The tour travelled from Clinton via the back roads by Big Bar and Alexis Creek to Williams Lake, tracing the history of ranching and environmental change, and from there to Soda Creek, the discussion moving from physical geography to First Nations historical geography.

Halfway into the trip, the adventure reached Quesnelle Forks, in the heart of Cariboo gold rush country, before turning south down Highway 97 to the old mission at Sugar Cane.  From there, the tour travelled via the old Hudson's Bay portage route, now Highway 24, to Wells Grey Park, and its fantastic landscape of waterfalls and extinct volcanoes.

From Wells Grey, the discussion turned to the resource capitalist economy with a guided tour of the Highland Valley copper mine.  Joined for the last day Ken Brealey, the trip wrapped up with more physical, historical and First Nations' geography down the Fraser canyon and back to the campus. 
Inside the pithouse at Xats'ull Heritage site at Soda Creek.

Helmcken Falls, Wells Grey Park, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in all of Canada.

An ancient earthflow above the village at Pavilion.  It's a wild switchback ride from here over the mountain to Clinton!

Pithouses could be quite substantial in size.  This is the outside view of the same pithouse shown from the inside upper left.

Moul Falls, another spectacular fluvial feature in Wells Grey Park.

The Fraser Canyon at Xats'ull, one of the best salmon drying locations on the entire river.

Looking upriver at Xats'ull, the restored Secwepemc historic site at Soda Creek.
The open pit at Highland Valley, one of the largest such mines in the world.

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