Flight Seeing & Adventure with Tweedsmuir Air Services
Tweedsmuir Air, which is based on Nimpo Lake in the West Chilcotin, offers what I consider to be the most spectacular flight seeing in Canada, and amongst the best in the world.
Over the last 20 years, as a photographer, adventurer, and publisher of books on the Cariboo Chilcotin region of British Columbia, I have had the wonderful pleasure of flying on numerous occasions with Duncan Stewart, owner of Tweedsmuir Air Services.
Nowhere in Canada can one see so much diversity and beauty as one can see on a 1-2 hour flight out of Nimpo Lake. Besides the flight seeing, one can drop down to any number of lakes and rivers to fish, canoe, hike, or explore new areas that may never have been walked on. The opportunities are endless.
To give you a sense of this diverse landscape and the areas you might explore, allow me to share a few images that I have made in cooperation with Tweedsmuir Air.
Your trip begins at Stewart’s Lodge on Nimpo Lake, about 300 km west of Williams Lake in central B.C. Depending on your trip, you will fly in either a De Havilland Beaver or a Cessna 185.
Among the many trip options, you can go on a canoe trip to the world famous Turner Lakes. Duncan has canoes on Turner Lake waiting for you!
As you approach Turner Lake you will pass over Hunlen Falls, the tallest free falling waterfall in the country.
Park, stretches a chain of lakes which flow into Turner Lake and
ultimately over Hunlen Falls. Seven lakes connected by a stream are
cradled between the Coastal Mountains on either side… all are
navigable by canoe. You can rent a canoe for the day, or add a cabin and
stay for a week.
Where can you find a more spectacular back drop to cast your line?
There are beautiful campsites on all the lakes.
There are also several hiking opportunities; the most famous one is to Hunlen Falls.
Lets take off on another trip; this time a flight seeing trip to see the amazing volcanoes of the Anahim Volcanic Belt.
On the way to the Rainbow Volcano you fly over the Upper Dean River, renowned as a wild rainbow trout fishery.
This coloured area of the Rainbow Mountains was actually the core of the ancient volcano.
Another view of the now dormant volcano.
A still closer look shows the beauty that is a thrill to see from the air.
If you take an extended flight you can also fly over the Itcha and Ilgachuz volcano’s. On the way you will pass over the volcanic Anahim Peak. This mountain was the source of obsidian which First Nation peoples traded for centuries.
Next we have a look at the volcanic plugs in the Itcha Mountains. This volcano is much younger than the Rainbow Volcano. I photographed these volcanic landscapes when publishing my book Motherstone: British Columbia’s Volcanic Landscape.
Itcha Mountains volcanic landscape.
Mero crater in the volcanic Itcha Mountains.
Pipe Organ Mountain in the volcanic Ilgachuz Mountains.
A crater lake in the volcanic Ilgachuz Mountains.
If you are lucky, you might see a herd of mountain goats.
Here we go again on another flight seeing adventure. This time we are headed toward the Coast Mountains. These mountains form the backbone of British Columbia and scientists say that if global warming continues, the glaciers of the Coast Mountains will be the very last to melt on the planet.
There are many glaciers and lakes to be seen on this trip. This is Jacobsen Glacier calving into Jacobsen Lake.
A closer look at Jacobsen Glacier.
Depending on the season, most of the glaciers will show lateral and medial moraines; rivers of rock carried on top of the ice.
Another spectacular sight while flying over the glaciers in the late summer, are the numerous small lakes which form on top of the ice. With a shift in the ice, these lakes can disappear in minutes.
destination of your choice… from a rustic cabin on a lake all to
yourself and the wildlife that call the lake home, to a high-end full
service lodge catering to your every whim and desire while you are in
the backcountry. It will be an experience of a lifetime and whet your
appetite for more!
the Turner Lake chain or to the bluffs to view Hunlen Falls; for the
more adventuresome, trek the high alpine lakes of Panorama Ridge or as in the image above, to Ape Lake.
In the Ape Lake area the hiking is extraordinary. Here we enjoy a small alpine lake fed with melting glacial water.
With friends, we hike and photograph below an icefall and glacier.
A photographers paradise. Exploring the toe of a glacier.
The moraine landscape offers unparalleled photographic opportunities.
If you prefer day trips to overnight camping expeditions, you can be dropped off at any number of locations which Duncan and his staff can recommend.
Some locations are like few others in the world. The West Chilcotin has something for everyone.
You can day hike or just sit back on your private beach or favourite rock and enjoy the sunshine.
A fresh water iceberg.
At the end of the day or the end of the week, Tweedsmuir Air will be back to pick you up.
All experiences end back at Stewart’s Lodge…the perfect ending to an amazing experience in the West Chilcotin.
Over the past 20 years I have photographed extensively throughout the region with the support of Stewart’s Lodge and Tweedsmuir Air. I cannot say enough about their service and the support they have provided in helping me photograph and publish numerous books on the region. They come highly recommended. They can help you plan your holiday of a lifetime.