Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Desperate to Get to Bella Coola

Most people take one of three ways to get to the Bella Coola Valley.  They either drive, fly or take a boat.   Some people fly because they can't face the prospect of the long drive across the unbelievably interesting and beautiful Chilcotin and the drive down "The Hill", some drive because the thought of getting in a small plane with the inside the size of a large culvert, daunting, not realizing they will miss one of the most spectacular flights in Canada along the spine of the Coast Mountains - at least on a good day, and then a few people take a boat or a ferry (in the summer the Discovery Coast ferry runs from Port Hardy to Bella Coola) because they find the sea romantic!

Then they are the ones that jump to get here, like this guy from the 442 Rescue Squadron based in Comox, BC that jumped out of a plane to get to Bella Coola today.  About twice a year on nice days like today these guys show up in the Bella Coola Valley with their big Buffalo aircraft and circle around a few times, drop some wind indicators and then eventually some people jump out, land, pick up their gear, then the Buffalo lands picks everybody up and away they go.

If you were into jumping out of planes, who wouldn't want to jump out of plane flying along near the tops of snowy mountains, into a lush green oasis on a fine blue sky day like today.  These men and ladies of the Rescue Squadron need to practice on some nice days, because I know they do the same thing for real to rescue people in the dark and in conditions far from beautiful like they were today in the Bella Coola Valley.  But maybe they are just too scared to drive "The Hill" and to them this way probably seems pretty safe.  Grizzly

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