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briannabanana

BC Coast Range Beta?

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I know that it costs a lot of money to get there.

 

It can actually be quite cheap to get there. We drove to Bella Coola and hiked in and traversed it with no airdrops a few years ago. Gas was less than a hundred dollars each and we bought food for 12 days. Now much else needed. What's the big expense Marc?

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Agreed. Even putting in two airdrops (but hiking in and out) when we did a 3 week traverse in 94, the heli was less than $500, split between 4 people. Things get expensive, I guess, when you start flying in and out. Poor? Then walk!

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My trip was no airdrops, one vehicle for 5 people and did mountain bike shuttles. Probably less than $300 for 3 weeks all included. The Monarch range is probably the easiest "remote" range to get to.

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I have an inkling that gas and heli costs have gone up significantly since the good ol days of 94. My Jeep Grand Cherokee (which I am unable to sell and get a nice Suba with better mileage due to the current state of economic affairs) would cost me a good $300 at least round trip to Bella Coola from Squampton - in September when gas prices were +++ it would have been around $500, yikes!

 

Hmmm... maybe I'll cycle to Bella Coola this summer, that would be fantastic!

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Any one done it? cycled to Bella Coola? or for those who have done the drive, how're the roads? traffic?

 

sorry for post-jacking, i'll head over to crazyguyonabike.com immediately and stop mucking up your Monarch thread...

Edited by pinner

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That'd be an awesome ride! I found my beta.... in the 1938 CAJ. Did you know that the Seattle Public Library has a darn near complete set of AAJ and CAJ's!? That was news to me, but MEGA handy. Also, non-members are allowed to use the Mountaineer's Library in Magnuson Park. It's been a pretty redonkulous beta quest, but I was successful. Desire Mountain is NW of the Monarch Icefield, so access ends up being a little different. I've applied for a couple AAC grants to cover a helo drop off and pick up. We'll see!! Wish me luck!

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Any one done it? cycled to Bella Coola? or for those who have done the drive, how're the roads? traffic?

 

sorry for post-jacking, i'll head over to crazyguyonabike.com immediately and stop mucking up your Monarch thread...

 

There is the ocassional car once past Williams Lake. No lines in the road after a short while and we just drove all over the place at reckless speeds, watch out for occasional cows that may ram you or something...

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Well it will cost you say $200 from Vancouver to drive to Bella Coola. Thats a lot cheaper than last summer when it cost me about $350 to drive to Bluff Lake in my gaspig Pathfinder. But gas is a lot cheaper now but then again its another 3 hours to Coola so budget $300 for gas from the border. Yes you can get onto the northern edges of the icecap from the Nusastsum River Road via the Ape Lake trail. I just called the heli company there (West Coast Helicopters) and they say its a .3 hr flight to Ape Lake and a .5 to Mt. Monarch (these are 1 way times - multiply by 4 if you want to go in and out or x2 if you are flying in and walking out). They have 2 different kind of Astar birdies. The cheapest one is about $1900 per flight hour. You can also apparently floatplane into Ape Lake but it has apparently shrunk. Last time I talked with a pilot from Tweedsmuir Air he said it was still doable. That's a lot cheaper than helicoptering in.

 

By the way when were you going in? I'm planning to be there for 10 days in late/july early august and am looking for people to share costs.

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If you have a larger party, some members can drive up that road - Nusatsem or whatever it is - and the Bella Coola heli pilot can make a second or third shuttle flight to and from that point which is half the distance from his base. This may allow you to come up with an affordable plan.

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We did that trick skiing around Pebble Creek one time. One helicopter flight from the Pemberton airfield to Pebble Creek with a shuttle back for the rest of the group parked on the Railroad Pass road. It's much better than two flights to Pemberton plus we could leave vehicles where we could ski to.

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Scott do those include gas surcharges and tax? I thought I remember a higher price but maybe they got rid of the gas charges

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Hey Jesse

I called West Coast Helicopters and I wrote down the following:

 

Astar B2 (larger capacity)

Heli = $1900/hr.

Fuel = $295/hr.

Total is $2300/hr. inc. GST....ouch.

 

Astar BA (smaller capacity)

Heli = $1700/hr.

Fuel = $295/hr.

Total is $2100/hr. inc. GST....a little less ouch.

 

These are their quoted times (1 way):

Ape Lake = .3 hrs

Mt. Monarch = .5 hrs

 

So to fly to Ape Lake and back you you are looking at 1.2 * $2100 = $2500. So with 4 people it would be about $630 each.

 

Mike King is a lot cheaper. Last summer it was about $1750 all in if I remember and thats when feul was crazy expensive. He's a deal....and hmmmmm....Waddington Range or Bella Coola....Hmmmmm now thinking.......

 

Here is their website:

http://www.westcoasthelicopters.com/aircraft.cfm

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It's a lot shorter flight to Pantheons from Mike's hangar, and the Bells are more fuel efficient than A Stars, but the big aStar at Hagensborg is a total beast - four big climbers plus a massive amount of gear move no problema.

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Hey drew I meant to say mike king is $1750 per hour. So its cheaper than in hagensborg by a bit. shared a few ways the difference is small but with 1-2 people its more significant. For some reason he seems to have the cheapest rates in BC. I have never found a cheaper ride anywhere. last summers fare was $1500 on the nose for the flight into Siva/Vishnu/Byamee. The time before with mike in 06 it was about $1100 for the ride into the Niut range at the backside of Whitesaddle mountain. the cheapest flight I ever had was $250 into Tantalus in an a-star. this summer I'm budgeting about $3-$4k for heli and plane rides.

another place I am trying to figure out is the Toba Inlet. there's a heli from oceanview in there on the plutonic power project and they are there a lot. If I can figure out the logistics it would be awesome to get to the real remote stuff back in there for a photo shoot.

Edited by ScottPick

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Brianna,

Congratulations for your persistence and good plan. Hope that grant you just got will "push" you more and make your future plans real. Desire's sharp ridge is one of the most impressive in the area. Can't wait to see your report and pictures.

Good luck!

Edited by Zoran

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By the way it's "Coast Mountains". The "Coast Range" is in Oregon.

 

Izzat so?

 

Don Munday's book is fairly littered with references to the Coast Range. I don't think he was in Oregon.

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Check out for lots of info/photos/TR's on the BC Coast Ranges, Monarch icefield. You have to become a paid member to get a password and view the full archive of photos, but it's cheap, like ten bucks or so, and well worth it. Many excellent TR's from Canadian climbers and ski mountaineers with long experience.

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