Monday, July 12, 2010

Google Earth Epic #4: Stave and Alouette Lakes

I'd been near the end of Alouette Lake about 18 years ago with a buddy of mine. We ended up with near terminal mechanical issues with our bikes and needed to be plucked off the side of the lake by a boater and taken 15km back along Alouette Lake to the boat launch and then a 20km pedal back to my car on the other side of the mountain. My ride today didn't have any mechanical but was epic due to the sweet views and distance ridden.

Once again my ride started at the computer. I found the spot I wanted to get to in Google Earth and then I proceeded to plot the route, printed the map and loaded the info in to my trusty GPS.

The starting point for today's ride was at the parking lot for the boat launch for Stave Lake where I fired up the GPS and began pedaling on Burma Road/Florence Lake FSR and the end was at the viewpoint where you get a view of both Stave and Alouette lake at the same time.

Stave Lake has a long history of being a party place where people take their boats, trucks, dirt bikes and quads to play in the woods and on the mud flats. Often when mixed with alcohol or simply by unfortunate circumstances people get hurt and or die. There was on section of the road where I saw three memorials for people that had lost their lives while in the area. It was a little creepy pedaling past these tributes.

I continued past the memorials and simply kept on pedaling. The route is a nice logging road that weaves along the west ridge of Stave Lake and then turns slightly west upwards to get over to Alouette Lake. There is a junction about 5km from the end where you could descend a switchbacked road that leads to the shore of Alouette lake and the BC Hydro water tunnel that connects the two lakes. In fact this was the spot where my buddy (Greg) and I got stuck many years ago.

This time I was far more prepared and just pedaled past on my way to the viewpoint. In the end it was a little over 22kms to the view point and a hair over 1500ft of elevation gain from my starting point with lots of up and down sections.

This little foray into the woods netted me one of the most spectacular views I've seen in a while aboard my bike.

Florence Lake

Mount Robbie Reid

The narrows on Alouette Lake

The view of Stave Lake (left) and Alouette Lake (right)

The view down Stave Lake

The view of the narrows on Alouette Lake during the descent from the top.

The very end of Alouette lake. The creek on the far right feeds the lake.

Me enjoying the view

Looking south on Stave Lake

The panoramic view from the top and my trusty steed: My Rune

After I took these photos I started the long pedal back to my car. Thankfully the return trip has more downhill than up and it took a lot less time to get back. Another epic ride with an epic view.

For those interested in the route:

View Allouette / Stave View in a larger map


Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

Marion said...

Hey Mistah Dean:
I really appreciated the
great photos from higher up on
the biking trail/road. Your pics
are spectacular, I will definitely
be riding on your route soon.
Thanks again.
(New Dirt Bike Owner)

Anonymous said...

awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks. lina holzbauer

Anonymous said...

May be the Finest topic which I read all holiday season?!

Anonymous said...

How long of a ride is it up there? Thanks!