2018 Adventure Tour Schedule Now Released!

We are very excited to have the schedule for the 2018 UNBC Continuing Studies Adventure Tours released!  We have some of the very popular tours that have been delivered every year and a few new ones for 2018.   See the blog posts below for more details on each of the tours.

UNBC 2018 Adventure Tours

Upper Fraser White Sturgeon Biology Experience
May 3-4, 2018, Prince George, BC

A large sturgeon getting ready to measure and tag

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Canneries of the Northcoast
May 14-18, 2018, Cassiar Cannery, Port Edward, BC

Pilings from one of the Port Essington Canneries Photo courtesy of Andrew Pugh

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Historic Fort George River Journey
May 11, 2018, Prince George, BC

Historic Ft George Canyon

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Ghost Towns of the East Line: History of the Upper Fraser
May 12, 2018, Prince George, BC

Old Beehive Burner at eh Eastline Ghost Town of Penny

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“The Town That Got Lost” Anyox Exploration
June 2-3, 2018, Terrace, BC

Anyox Ghost Town
The Anyox Powerhouse “The Town That Got Lost” Anyox Exploration Tour

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Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour
June 6-11, 2018, Terrace, BC

Grizzly Bear and Cub posing for the Camera

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Northwest Wonders -Jet Boat Photography Tour
June 12-16, 2018, Terrace, BC

Photographing the amazing scenery

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Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey
August 5-10, 2018, Hazelton – Port Edward, BC

Navigating the 200 km trip down the Skeena River
Navigating the 200 km trip down the Skeena River

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Kitsault & Alice Arm: The Ultimate Ghost Town Adventure
August 18-19, 2018, Terrace, BC

The Ghostly and Abandoned Kitsault Shopping Centre Ghost Towns of Northwest BC Tour

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Ghost Towns of Northwest BC
August 21-27, 2018, Terrace, BC

The remnants of the Anyox Coke Plant

 

Adventure Tour Guide Fred Seiler

Many of our Adventure Tours through Continuing Studies focus on accessing remote and rarely visited sites and to do this we utilize Jet Boats.  Running a jet boat with guests who are relying on their guide to bring them back safely after each days adventure requires someone with a vast amount of experience and skill.  For our tours in Northwest BC we utilize the services of Fred Seiler who has thousands of hours of jet boating and experience exploring the rivers of this magnificent region.  His past experience in delivering eco tours and commercial jet boat services is invaluable.  Fred also teaches a Jet Boat safety course for us and has also taught me a vast amount about the safe driving of jet boats and shared all kinds of information about areas to explore and adventure in Northwest BC.  Here are a  few photos of Fred in action on our tours.

Fred Seiler calling wolves up the river valley
Fred Seiler helping a guest with some photography tips
Fred getting ready to navigate the river with his jet boat
Fred calling wolves
Fred running his boat up the river
On the lookout for feeding Grizzly Bears
Fred Seiler explaining the importance of a Rice Root to the local bears

All you ever wanted to know about Sternwheeler Cordwood

A big part of the history of the Skeena River and Upper Fraser River involved the use of Sternwheelers to transport people, equipment, supplies, furs and food up and down the rivers which were the main transportation routes.  Almost all of the sternwheelers used wood to fed the boilers which in turn powered the large paddles at the rear of the ship.  Wood was a readily available resource that grew adjacent  to the river and could easily be cut and split into 3-4 ft sections and piled into cords by local contractors.  The term Cordwood became part of everyday language as it was a necessity for every day travel.  The cordwood cutters would get around $3-4 a cord for each one that was used by the boats.  They would cut it and stack it next to the river at strategic points so that there was always an available supply along the routes that they traveled.  The sternwheelers could burn 1-3 cords and hour depending on the size of the boilers and how hard they ran the boat.  This was for upstream navigation only as downstream typically used a fraction of this as they used the current for most of their power.  Passengers were typically enlisted to help with the loading of the cordwood at the supply points. some boats could hold up to 10 cords of wood at one time.  It was one crew members job to continually feed the boilers with wood the entire time the boat was moving.

Ironically the Sternwheelers faded into obscurity in the 1912 -1920′s as the railway replaced the need for them.  The last use of the sternwheelers was the assisting with goods and supplies to build the railway.

On the Skeena River the last sternwheeler the “Inlander ” did its last trip in 1912. Why this is interesting is that there are still piles of old cordwood lying along the banks of the river that were never consumed.  In one location that we visit there are 6 piles lying adjacent to the river and they are in different stages of rot and decay but they can still be identified.  For some reason I find this fascinating that these piles are over 100 years old and are one of the only remnants of the historic Sternwheeler days.  If you want to visit these piles you can always join one of our tours that visits them or send me a note and I would be happy to provide you directions to them.

Checking out a pile of 100 year old cordwood
photo courtesy of @simonsees

 

100 year old Cordwood Pile
Sternwheeler with a load of cordwood on the front

 

 

 

UNBC Adventure Tours Wildlife

On all of our Adventure tours the chances of seeing some sort of wildlife are almost guaranteed. The places we visit are remote and relatively untouched with few visitors. The bird life is amazing with so many species and a variety depending on where we are. There is always a chance to see a bear or moose and the odds go op greatly when we target the species. Here are just a few photos of some of the wildlife.

Coastal Wolf courtesy of Guest Bo
Western Tanager

 

Porpoise that frequent the lower Skeena/ ocean
Kingfisher with a fish in mouth courtesy of Guest Bo
Mergansers – Notice the fish in the mouth
Cormorants

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Have You Ever Held A Waterfall?

The Skeena River is fed by thousands of waterfalls cascading down the mountain slopes  into it’s tributaries.  A couple of the rivers we venture up are untouched with no roads or industry and the steep valley walls are a perfect recipe for hundreds of waterfalls.  During the spring melt and after a rainfall the valley rocks walls become alive with waterfalls cascading in all directions.   With UNBC’s Adventure Tours “Experience the Extraordinary!”

Holding a waterfall
Holding Rooster Tail Falls
Hanging out at the Falls
Magnificent Waterfalls

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Jet Boating with UNBC Adventure Tours

The jet boat is one of the most versatile modes for transporting guests into remote and otherwise inaccessible locations. These boats have alot of horsepower that allows us to carry 5 guests per boat and move them up rivers to amazing places with incredible  scenery.  Most of our tours utilize jet boats for a portion of the trip as we navigate larger rivers like the Skeena and Fraser and then smaller tributaries of the Skeena and rivers off remote ocean inlets.  Navigating up and down rivers provides an exhilarating experience as you never know what is around the next corner. They are great for photography as they can be stopped quickly and held in place to allow guests to get that shot of a lifetime.

Jet Boating remote rivers
Photographing the amazing scenery
Around every corner is another experience

 

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2017 Northern B.C. Adventure Tour Dates Just Released

2017 UNBC Continuing Studies
Northern B.C. Adventure Tours

NOW OPEN  FOR REGISTRATION!

A one-of-a-kind experience. Since 2014, UNBC Continuing Studies has been offering awe-struck adventurers rare access to seldom-visited historic sites, wondrous wildlife, and stunning natural scenery that is distinctly Northern British Columbia. See our list of past and new tours that are now open for registration.  Check back daily for blog posts on all of the tours!
 
Sturgeon caught for research purposes Fraser River White Sturgeon Tour

Upper Fraser White Sturgeon Biology Experience
May 4-5, 2017
Prince George, BC

Canneries of the Northcoast
May 8-June 11, 2017
Cassiar Cannery, Port Edward, BC

Cassiar Cannery Canneries of the North Coast Tour

Historic Fort George River Journey
May 15 or June 17, 2017
Prince George, BC

Historic Ft George Canyon Historic Ft George River Journey Tour

The Port Essington Experience
May 27, 2017
Terrace, BC

The Port Essington Experience Tour

“The Town That Got Lost” Anyox Exploration
June 3-4, 2017
Terrace, BC

The Anyox Powerhouse “The Town That Got Lost” Anyox Exploration Tour

Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour
June 6-10, 2017
Terrace, BC

Grizzly Bear walking the shore Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour

Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey
August 1-6, 2017
Hazelton – Port Edward, BC

Navigating the 200 km trip down the Skeena River Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey Tour

Ghost Towns of Northwest BC
August 20-26, 2017
Terrace, BC

The Ghostly and Abandoned Kitsault Shopping Centre Ghost Towns of Northwest BC Tour
Combining the knowledge of local experts with unique destinations and activities, Continuing Studies’ jet boat tours will provide you a spectacular story all your own.
 
“It was indeed one of the best travel and educational experiences that I have encountered.”
–          Ron Paull
For more information check out our Blog or our website http://www.unbc.ca/continuing-studies/courses-workshops
or contact Rob Bryce at (250) 960-5982 or rob.bryce@unbc.ca

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First Day of the 2015 Jet Boat Photography Tour

Here is an update from sunny Kitimat, BC and the beautiful Minette Bay Lodge as this was our home for two nights to start the trip.  Today our adventurous group headed out on some bumpy ocean seas in search of remote Grizzly Bears.  We did manage to see a couple of bears.  Here are a few photos from the day.

 

This bear fooled us by not coming out where we thought he would and came up beside us to have a look

 

Here we saw some fresh Grizzly prints in the mud along the estuary
Our guide pointing at a bear across the estuary

Heading back to Kitimat at the end of the day