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Exploring the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Region with John Wellburn

Posted on Aug 21, 2016 by Mountain Biking BC

Explore BC’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Region with Instagrammer @Johnwellburn!

About John Wellburn:  John was born deep in the sticks of interior British Columbia, Williams Lake, B.C., most know it for its famous Stampede!, the second largest in Canada.  Williams Lake also claims some of the best mountain biking in the world and has been put on the map for it.  Ever since John got out of high school he has been on the road, first backpacking all over the world from Alaska to the Himalayas and then transitioning to overland travel on a motorcycle which evolved into a “round the world” journey.  A desire to document the adventures immediately led to photography which gradually worked itself into a full-time career and a life behind the lens.  It has been over 18 years since a camera made its way into his hands.  John now resides half his year in a vineyard in Argentina acquired during his travels, and the other half is based out of Williams Lake.  Life has led John to chase the endless summer.

This week, we’re featuring John sharing some of her favourite spots around the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region.

One early morning last August James Doerfling and I decided to go out for a few hours and rip some local trails and get some shots.  This shot is from one of the fastest sections of “Back Door”.  The G forces coming into this jump are pretty intense.  James cracks a nice table to start the morning session.

This shot always pops out of my hard drives even though it is from quite a few years ago, it always draws me in.  In the fall, the Chilcotin river gets super clear as there is little to no runoff and you can see its true green colour.  The trees start turning yellow and the air is nice and crisp in the first morning light, in which this shot was taken.  This shot, to me, really sums up the beauty of the Chilcotin.  Rider: James Doerfling

“Down the rabbit hole”  The freeriding possibilities around the Williams Lake area have been featured in films for over a decade.  Here, Cory Brunelle rides yet another new first descent out at Farwell Canyon,  top to bottom, right down to the banks of the Chilcotin River.

The Cariboo Chilcotin has such a diverse landscape, you can ride open grasslands and desert freeriding in the morning and head into the lush Douglas Fir jungle in the afternoon.  Here we try out some new trails in the Dragon Mountain riding area just south of Quesnel, B.C.  A great network of fast single track through the forest.

Yet another diverse riding location in Williams Lake.  This is the South Side trail network, a maze of trails that can take days to explore.  This area is the Jenna trail that winds its way along the Southside of Williams Lake, through a mossy “lord of the rings” landscape.

Every year a tight posse from Williams Lake hits the trail for a week to two weeks (depending on the mood!) into the Chilcotin mountains, just west of Williams Lake.  Each adventurer packs their own gear, food, wine, etc,  into a bob trailer for the days on the trail.  Each day, we get up and pack up camp into the little trailer and hit the trail through the mountains to a new destination.  It's one of the best mountain bike adventures on the planet.. and it’s right in our backyard.  This shot is from somewhere, way up there in the Chilcotins, perfect single track for days on end and we had it all to ourselves.

Throwback to Farwell Canyon, circa 2008 ‘ish.  It was one of the hottest summers and the dust out there was as fine as moon dust and made for some of the best dust explosions of all time.  James comes in hot at the end of “The Classic” downhill line and the dust cloud follows close behind!