Sunday, August 31, 2008

2009 Cariboo Jack, Saturday, January 24

Skiers traveling in one vehicle should aim to get to Barkerville around 8:45 a.m. Those who are coming in two or more vehicles may want to drop one vehicle near the old Lightning Inn (the one remaining building on the Stanley Road) in Stanley between 8:15 and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, then carry on to Barkerville.

This will help the shuttling and carpooling at the end. And any skiers from the Wells area who can rendezvous in Stanley to help shuttle people will be much appreciated ;-)

Registrations take place at Barkerville after 8:45 a.m. We are asking for a $10 donation to cover costs for the event. Meet at the town side of the registration centre.

Target starting time from Barkerville is just after 9 a.m. on Saturday, January 24.

Lothar Vollmer and Doug Erickson will be diverting snowmobilers from the Barkerville-Summit Rock section of trail until 11 a.m., so the last skiers must leave Barkerville by 9:30 at the latest. (Thanks Lothar and Doug!)

This is much more of a "trek" than a race, so count on a pleasant day's skiing an historic trail. Conditions may be fast; some are planning to use wooden skis for additional friction; skis with edges may be advantageous! Fishscales might be a good choice, too.

We expect cold weather, so please bring layers; check here for latest forecasts:

There will not be a reception party at the Lightning Inn like we had last year, but I plan to be recovered enough from bronchitis to be there in Stanley with a fire and hot drinks to welcome incoming skiers ;-)
Bill Horne

p.s. be sure to check out events for the annual sled dog mail run here

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pics from 1st Annual Cariboo Jack

Fresh snow, agreeable temperatures, no injuries or lost was a classic trek! The warm welcome from Larry, Barb, Sean and Bryn at Stanley made a perfect ending to a beautiful day.

Congratulations to all the skiers who made the trek:
Kate Sulis, Ellen Woodsworth, Dave Jorgenson, Beth Collingwood, Bill Horne, Ron Watteyne, Joe Patton, Sheila Fleming, Uta Schuler, Percy Hanna, Arnold Kilsbey, Yael Wand, Jason Griffin, Dennis Bogle, Pete Wright, Mike Boly.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Breaking News for Cariboo Jack

1. Unless you already have your own shuttle organized (e.g. parties arriving in two vehicles), please meet by the Lightning Inn in Stanley on Saturday morning at 8:15 so we can organize rides to Barkerville. This way enough people can leave their vehicles in Stanley where the ski trek ends. We will have a couple of volunteer vehicles from Wells on hand to help with this.

2. Registration at Barkerville will start at 9 a.m. Our scheduled ski departure time from Barkerville is 9:30 a.m., not 10 a.m. as reported in the newspaper.

3. If you are late arriving in Barkerville, please sign the waiver and check in at the shelter at Summit Rock; registration fee is $10. (If you're really late, you'll meet Fran and Jo coming down from Summit Rock on snowshoes!)

4. Please be sure to call Bill Horne (250-994-2332) or email him (bhorne at netbistro dot com) if you haven't already done so. It helps us a lot to have an accurate head count before Saturday morning ;-)

5. Skate skis will not work for this trip! Please bring gear you can comfortably ski on for 4-6 hours.

6. You can check area weather forecasts at

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Cariboo Jack aka Wong Man Ding

“Around 1868, Wong Man Ding, nicknamed “Cariboo Jack”, walked from Yale up the Cariboo Road to 150 Mile House, on to Quesnel Forks, Keithley Creek, and over the mountains to Swift River and Stanley…in 50 years, Jack only left the Stanley area once, spending a winter in Prince George.”

From the book, . . . And So . . . That's How It Happened: Recollections of Stanley-Barkerville, 1900-1975 by W. M. Hong, Edited By Gary & Eileen Seale.

Photo courtesy of the Hong Family.

Welcome to the Cariboo Jack!

The First Annual Cariboo Jack Ski Trek from Barkerville to Stanley will take place on Saturday, January 26, 2008, departing Barkerville at 9:30 a.m. (not 10 a.m. as mistakenly printed in the newspaper)

Skiers will follow the same trail taken by the annual Gold Rush Sled Dog Mail Run along the historic Cariboo Waggon Road the following day, a distance of approximately 25 km. By travelling this route from Barkerville to Stanley, skiers will honour local and regional history, as well as the gold rush history that brought British Columbia into Confederation 150 years ago.

This is a non-competitive event that requires stamina, and participants will be inspired by the examples of those who travelled to the Cariboo goldfields via the Snowshoe Plateau, and the many workers who came north on foot, such as Wong Man Ding, aka “Cariboo Jack”.

This section of the Waggon Road travels up from Barkerville over a shoulder of Elk Mountain, and rolls past a variety of historic sites, including the famous Jack O’ Clubs Ditchline and Ella Lake before descending past Milk Ranch Pass and travelling the trail paralleling Lightning Creek past Van Winkle and ending in the Stanley townsite.

Anyone considering entering the Cariboo Jack must be prepared for challenging terrain and unpredictable snow conditions. They must be in excellent physical condition, self-sufficient in terms of supplies and gear, and able to ski 25 km without undue stress. A list of recommended gear is posted on this Blog's sidebar.

This is a beautiful as well as historic trail; some sections seem to tunnel through lichen-draped subalpine fir. However, nearly one half of the route is uphill: from Barkerville to Summit Rock and Ella Lake. Because of the significant elevation changes and distance, it is not an event for beginners.

A shorter, follow-up event, the Barkerville-Wells Ski "Dash" will take place at 1:30 pm January 27 - simultaneously with the Sled Dog Mail Run "Dash". This is a basically flat sprint from Barkerville to Wells over an 8 km course.

Snowmobilers are asked to avoid the Barkerville-Stanley trail on Friday, January 25 and Saturday, January 26 in order to ensure the safety of tracksetters and skiers.

Interested skiers may contact Bill Horne in Wells at 250-994-2332 or by emailing bhorne at netbistro dot com. Organizers ask that all skiers preregister; registration costs $10.