We have another candidate for best scenery day ever.
When we got up this morning it was completely clear with no wind. Perfect flying weather.
Just a little too much ripple for a good reflection.
An early morning trip took off. They fly in a lot of fishermen.
Yesterday we booked for the 10:30 am flight. This morning we got a knock on our door asking if we could move to 12:30. I said yes but was kind of annoyed because the noon sun is not great for photography. We went over and they said we could now go at 11:30.
They offer three tour options.
One just goes to Hunlen Falls which has a straight drop of 1000 feet and is one of the highest freefalling waterfalls in Canada.
The second tour adds the Monarch Icefields and the glaciers around 12,000 foot Monarch Mountain.
The third also adds a trip to the Rainbow Range, which are mountains with bright red and orange streaks on the flanks.
I am glad we took option three because I sure would have hated to miss what we saw in the Rainbow Range.
From their office we could see the peak of Monarch Mountain, 40 miles away, over the foreground range that is 20 miles away.
They were quite busy today. Down and up almost constantly.
Coming in from the previous flight.
A quick refuel and away we go.
I had thought that by sitting in the front that I could be in a better place to take pictures and Jennie could just enjoy the view. Wrong. It turns out that the side windows bulge out so you can look down but it also means that this time of year they and the windshield get covered in bug splatters. Also there is that big propeller in the front that you can’t see but the camera can. Also because the side windows were not flat they had a lot more reflections of the interior.
So I handed my camera back to Jennie and she took all the pictures today. Great job!
I had my GPS track the trip.
We were gone about 80 minutes but it sure felt longer because there was so much to look at.
Heading over the marchland to the Rainbow Range.
The highway to Bella Coola
Roads were always crisscrossing the landscape.
Just about every picture today needed a lot of photoshop, either to remove a part of the airplane or bug splatter or reflections from the airplane windows.
I left the wing in this one with a view to the mountains to the west.
Entering a valley in the Rainbow Range.
Some small, high, deep green lakes
Sometimes the horizon in the pictures is crooked but to straighten them out would lose too much of the shot so I just left them showing as much as possible.
It was so clear that we could see far off into the distance.
This was the most colourful spot.
A more face on view.
Onwards towards Hunlen Falls.
We passed over a part of a section of the highway to Bella Coola simply known everywhere as The Hill. It drops very steeply down from the Chilcotin Plateau to sea level at Bella Coola. More info when we drive it on Monday.
Hunlen Falls plunges down into a canyon cut into the cliff in the picture below. Turner Lake, on the plateau on the right, feeds the falls.
From this high up it was hard to tell how big the falls were but then you compare it to the rest of the landscape.
We circled around behind it.
For an extra $175 they will land you on the lake and then you have a hour to hike out to the point for a look down to the falls. Not today.
Needless to say, we took a lot of pictures.
Above the falls these lakes flow into Turner Lake and form a famous canoe route.
Into the mountains.
The Hill ends far down this valley as the valley turns towards Bella Coola.
A glacier at the head of another valley.
The Monarch Icefield with Monarch Mountain to the left.
Looking down at the toe.
So much texture.
Some blue and green pools on the ice.
Another look down the icefield.
A glacier came down a valley from the mountain.
A pool on the slopes of Monarch Mountain and the bottom of the glacier in the picture above.
As we headed around the mountain more glaciers appeared. We didn’t get an overall picture of this one.
Around the corner to the next one with a side shot of the previous one.
Heading home through the mountains.
I never get sick of mountain pictures. I wonder if the pilots ever get bored looking at this day after day.
This lake had a lot of homes on it and an interesting shoreline.
And then down to Nimpo Lake and home. You can just barely see the spinning prop.
The pictures are just a pale imitation of being there.
The flight cost us $625 and I don’t regret it for a second.