Newsletter - 2002 Archive

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Cariboo Loop 1000

John Bates


We started from Burnaby (Chevron at Lougheed and Sperling) at 0500 and got to Squamish (via 2nd Narrows/Marine/Taylor Way/Upper Levels) just before 0800. We were overtaken by Keith Fraser just south of Lion's Bay. He was out on his training ride to Whistler. We chatted with him again while we were watering-up at the Creekside Petrocan (Whistler). Noon found us in Pemberton with the temperature rising (30C). During our re-fuelling there the Nichol Bros. (Keith and Ross) pulled in. They were riding the Switchback 1000 which parallels the Cariboo Loop until Lilloett.

The 14 km/1060 m climb to Cayoosh Pass hasn't got any less gruelling since I last rode it. We saw a lot of 5-6 km/hr on the cycle computer. It took us 2 hrs from Lillooet Lake at the bottom to Joffre Lake Rec. Site just below the pass where we had another scheduled control. The heat on that climb took its toll on me as I began to feel slightly nauseous and get leg cramps near the top. I suspect Eric and Peter who started at 0800 riding the Switchback 1000 may have experienced even hotter temperatures on that climb.

Ross and Keith left Pemberton after us, so we waited at Joffre Lake thinking this might be an instance where a secret control would be appreciated. It was - they were out of water when they arrived and were able to refill from the supply that Bob 'Support Slut' Marsh was carrying along for us. You would probably agree that although the climb up from Pemberton is cruel, the descent to Lillooet is a blast. We had a picnic on the grass beside Lightfoot Gas before parting ways with the K\&R. I'm not sure which of us had the tougher route from there - them descending into a headwind or us climbing (again) with the same breeze at our backs. Although the temperature was beginning to drop by that time, the climb out of the Fraser up to Pavillion was a slog.

The crux of the 'Cariboo Loop' lies in reaching Clinton (370km) the first day. The route to that point has 5000m+ of ascent. I added the Marble Canyon control thinking that it might serve as a strategic way point. We arrived there at 2200 with the intention of resting for a bit before resuming. The remaining 70 km/500 m ascent to Clinton was starting to seem daunting, and during our Marble Canyon lay-over we decided that life doesn't have to be a forced march to the sea.

So, this route is awaiting.....Labour Day????