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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Gitsegukla Totem Poles

One of the highlights on our 2016 “Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey” was a visit by boat to the Gitxsan Community of Gitegukla.   Gitsegukla roughly translates to “people living under the precipice” or more specifically under the “Segukla” or “sharp-pointed” mountain.  A few of the community members toured us through the village to view a variety of poles and told us about the history of each.  Each pole represents a house or family crest that illustrate historical events that occured in the past.

Totem poles are typically not maintained after their raising and usually last from 60 to 75 years with a few reaching 100 years of age.  A fallen pole is usually left to rot in the in the place it has fallen and thee owners can commission a new one to replace it.

We can’t wait to go back in early August 2017 on the Skeena River Tour to visit them again!

Gitsegukla Totem Pole
Gitsegukla Fallen Totem
Gitsegukla community member with one of our guests
Gitsegukla Totem Poles

Beachcombing Grizzly Bears


One of the highlights of the Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour is the viewing of the Grizzlies beach combing for clams and other grubs as they over turn boulders looking for that next meal.  In the spring we usually see them roaming the coastal estuaries that are covered in Lyngbye’s sedge so it is a nice treat to be up close watching them cruise the shore lines.  Our Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour June 6-10, 2017  will provide opportunities to see this exact type of bear behaviour.

Beach Combing Grizzly
Grizzly Crusing the Shore

 


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New! “The Town That Got Lost” – Anyox Exploration Tour

June 3-4, 2017
Terrace, BC
$695.00
  Includes all accommodations, meals and transportation

This is another new tour we have added this year and is guaranteed to fill up fast.  We already visit the exclusive ghost town of Anyox on our 5 day tour but we have had a lot of requests for an extended exclusive visit to this 100 year old copper mining town.

Explore the Anyox Coke Plant

This unique two day tour visits the remote and historic Mining Town of Anyox.  We have special permission to explore this exclusive location on BC’s northcoast.  The remoteness and history of this fabled town will amaze even those without an interest in the eerie past of these boom and bust communities.

Be one of the few people to ever explore the Anyox Dam
The Anyox Powerhouse

Anyox which has been referred to as the “The Town that got Lost” was a once thriving mining town which had over 3000 residents in 1914.  It has now been uninhabited for the past 80 years but what remains in this ghost town is truly amazing!  Remains of Canada’s once largest dam, the Anyox Powerhouse, coke plant, steam plant, concentrator, smelter stacks, old railway cars, general store, cemetery, red light district, golf course, and more will keep  us busy for two days.  We are fortunate to be able to spend the night in this historic and eerie ghost town. Be one of only a handful of people to visit this town this year!

Guests on this tour will get to explore items like this from the Anyox Red Light District

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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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Jet Boating to Unique Places

On all of our educational adventure tours we utilize jet boats for a portion of the trips. The are very versatile and allow us to get our guests to some amazing places that would otherwise be inaccessible. The clip below emphasizes this as we take a group of guests on our Jet Boat Photography Tour up a remote river in search of those unique photo opportunities.

Oona River Rainbow House

The boat building community of Oona river on Porcher Island is one of our stops on the “Canneries of the NorthCoast” tour in late May.  The community is a very interesting place with remnants of the boat building past everywhere.  One thing that does not fit the theme of this era is the “Rainbow House. It is owned by Oona River residents  Lutz and Wendy.  When I asked about the story behind the house they told me they painted it these colors to brighten up the place during the cloudy and rainy days that the coast frequently experiences.  Btw If you were wondering what the weather is doing right now at Oona River  they also have a weather station there. http://www.weatherlink.com/user/orhabc

Here are a few photos of the Rainbow House

Oona River Rainbow House
Oona River Rainbow House
Rainbow House cat

 

UNBC Educational Travel Programs 2016

Welcome to the 2016 UNBC  Educational Travel Programs.  We will use this blog to make daily updates on interesting stories, photos and history on our new lineup of tours

Our adventures focus on bringing people to the northern part of the province to share our unique, niche based learning. We make the outdoors our classroom allowing you to learn by experiencing, with an emphasis on natural and cultural history. Local community members and experts from around the region will supplement the programming as they share their experiences and knowledge to make this learning opportunity truly reflective of Northern BC. Our participants will not be merely spectators but will be actively engaged throughout the course. There is something for everyone with  adventures that range from mountain bike tours, to prospecting, to visiting rarely seen ghost towns.”

Let’s learn and explore  together in Northern BC!

Here is a list of what we have upcoming!

Canneries of the Northcoast
May 29-June 3, 2016  Cassiar Cannery, Port Edward, BC

Jet Boat Photography Tour
June 5-11, 2016   Terrace, BC

Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey
August 5-10, 2016   Hazelton – Port Edward, BC

Ghost Towns of Northwest BC
August 21-27, 2016   Terrace, BC

Historic Transportation Methods of Fort George
May 8, 2016,  Prince George, BC

Upper Fraser River White Sturgeon Biology Tour
May 5-6 & 7-8, 2016 Prince George, B

Ghost Towns of Northwest BC
Canneries of the North Coast
Jet Boat Photography Tour
Skeena River Historical Journey by Jet Boat
Upper Fraser White Sturgeon Biology Tour
Historic Transportation Methods of Fort George

The Demise of ANYOX

Like most of of early resource based communities they were victims of the “Boom or Bust” economies.  Anyox was no different, it had over 2500 people living and working there by 1915 but by 1935 it was on its way to being a Ghost Town.  The Anyox smelter owned by Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting and Power Co produced  blister copper (~99% purity) and smelted 321 546 tonnes between 1914 and 1935.

“Excerpt from Great Mining Camps of Canada 2. article”

Outside Observatory Inlet, the world was being strangled by the Great Depression. The bottom fell out of the copper price and Anyox, being a single economy town, was bereft of a buffer. Forces beyond Granby governed the future of the town. The company kept the operation going but finally succumbed to the influences of the depressed global economy. By early 1935, close to 50 million kilograms of unsold copper, the equivalent of three year’s worth of production, sat in a huge, coffin shaped stack near the harbour. Mining operations ceased on July 31, 1935. One thousand people were laid off and 2500 people became virtually homeless overnight in one of the most desperate periods of modern history.

1938 Granby dismantled and shipped out most of the machinery from the mine, mill, machine shop, powerhouses, and town, including kilometres of rails and the steam and electric locomotives that for years had trundled back and forth to feed the mines. A skeleton crew of about 15 men and a few family members stayed behind, while everyone else departed with what furniture and keepsakes they could carry. For the children who knew only the security and safety of Anyox, it must have been terrifying – even more so for their parents as they set forth into a future that would remain bleak, harsh and desperate until the economy began to recover with the onset of World War II.

Stacks of Blister copper
Stacks of Blister copper at Anyox docks
Loading copper on the docks
Loading copper on the docks
Rows of copper waiting to be shipped out of Anyox
Rows of copper waiting to be shipped out of Anyox – 600 tons
Large stockplile of unsold copper
Large stockplile of unsold copper

Anyox Wooden Stave Water Pipes

The Anyox Dam transported water from the dam to the powerhouse.  They used wooden stave pipes to transport the water water and used a stack midway to buffer the pressure between the two.  We are able to hike up to one of the stacks and view the remains of the water lines.

The water pipe entering the water stack

 

Anyox wooden water pipe remnants
Anyox wooden water pipe remnants
Iron piping straps is all that remains from the water pipe from the dam
Iron piping straps is all that remains from the water pipe from the dam
Anyox Water stack in the foreground
Anyox Water stack in the foreground