VANCOUVER - Into the Wild
Welcome to your true wilderness adventure…
We offer levels of personal service often aspired to, but rarely achieved. A totally bespoke approach to every experience, delivering the very highest standards of satisfaction. A limited number of experiences each year to ensure absolute attention to detail.
If you aren’t the type to take shampoo and conditioner into the shower… then you’ll not be wanting to choose between a ski holiday or a surfing break. You’ll want both, and to a world class standard. Exactly what you’ll find as part of this adventure – where the undiscovered environs of the west coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island reveal a soaring mountain range with peaks a mile high, the foaming breaks of the onrushing Pacific Ocean and even some ancient rainforest. Include a night spent on the slopes of
a glacier, some whale-watching, the most incredible fly fishing experience imaginable and wine-tasting while sitting in a natural hot spring and it may just be we’ve found an all-action paradise…
These are some of the highlights of a week in West Vancouver Island – but remember, this is a tailor-made journey and the pace can build as you wish. This is no ordinary adventure…
Vancouver Island may seem, at first look, to be close enough to North America’s most cosmopolitan city as to be positively urban. In fact, it’s anything but. The truth is, at 290 miles long and up to 50 miles wide, this is something of an offshore wilderness, unexplored by the populace of mainland Canada just to the east across the Strait of Georgia.
The Vancouver Island (Mountain) Ranges run most of the length of the island, dividing it into a wet and rugged west side facing the Pacific and a drier, more rolling east side looking back to Vancouver. Consequently, while known the world over for its coastal beauty, it’s this most southwesterly corner of British Columbia’s mountainous interior and a wilderness region that is beautiful and rugged that may come as the biggest surprise.
From remote, glaciated peaks to wild beaches on the open Pacific, the geographic diversity found on Vancouver Island is unique. And we can show you the best of it: this exclusive adventure will be lead by Jan Neuspiel, a pioneer of skiing in unusual places the like of the Himalayas, and Raphael Bruhwiler – one of Canada’s top pro surfers.
The adventure begins with a flight into Vancouver and onward travel to Vancouver Island by classic floatplane, to a lodge at Gold River. A welcome dinner and the first meeting with your expert guides makes for a relaxing evening.
Day two begins with an intro to local fisherman Kent O’Neill and some basic tuition in fishing techniques. Then it’s into the float plane for a short hop to Megin Lake and trip on the Megin River. It is a wild, untouched and difficult-to-access waterway and a world class steelhead and trout fishing river. Rafts will take us down this beautiful stretch of water into the heart of Strathcona Park where the valley bottom is lush with rainforest. The trip finishes at Shelter Inlet and the float plane picks us up to whisk us back to
the Lodge. Here we cook our catch on an outside fire.
Next day and into a helicopter – and while at 1875 metres the summit of Rugged Mountain that we are to heli-ski may not seem that high, remember the Pacific Ocean visible from the peak is well over a mile below. Rugged is also home to some of the largest glaciers on Vancouver Island, with various lines open to us for descent. We’ll later set up a high mountain camp at the toe of Rugged Glacier and, enveloped in a cloak of silence, we look forward to an amazing night out on the snow.
Day four and we explore the region further. We’ll put skins on the bottom of our touring skis and explore the unmapped glacier to the east. The sense of solitude is almost overwhelming. At the end of the day the helicopter returns to fly us back to the Lodge for a well earned hot tub session and a cold beer! The following morning and we’re again in the helicopter, but this time to a very different setting. We’ll land in a remote location on Nootka Island and trek through dense rainforest. Having cleared the brush
we emerge to an amazing reward: dropping down a rope alongside a beautiful waterfall lands us on a spectacular long, white sandy beach at the edge of the Pacific. Next stop Japan! This is a wild coast – whales can be seen out on the break – and we’ll surf before digging for clams, collecting mussels and casting for salmon then pitching tents for the night and starting a campfire for our seafood feast.
We’re up early next day to make the most of beach, reef and point breaks suitable for all levels of surf enthusiasts. With the help of Raphael Bruhwiler, one of Canada’s top pro surfers, we spend the day surfing from a beach so remote that few have ever ridden these white horses. We return to the Lodge by helicopter late afternoon.
Our final day on Vancouver Island needs to be a special one. We start on a boat, to spot Whales basking offshore, before taking a floatplane to Hotsprings Cove. Here, hot water emerges from the ground where the forest meets the seashore, flowing over a waterfall and so making a perfect natural water massage. The water then spills into various pools where we can soak in solitude while sampling a selection of fine BC wines. This sets us up for a final night at the Lodge with beers, food, local band and the presentation of a bespoke hand-made fly fishing rod to each member of the team before heading home.
Let us take you there…