This is the third and final part to the Consortium’s three part series of interviews profiling those Cariboo residents involved in the Where The Trail Ends. The film will be screened this tonight, Nov. 29, at the Paradise Theatre at 7 p.m.
This interview is with Doug Green of Cariboo Chilcotin Jet Boat Adventures who hosted the Fraser River segment of the film in the fall of 2011. We caught up with Doug in Williams Lake over the phone earlier this week.
Consortium: Where were you first contacted about the film?
Green: I was in Whistler, B.C. at a Board of Directors meeting for Aboriginal Tourism BC in the fall of 2011 when I received a call from Derek Westerlund of Freeride Entertainment. I hadn’t met Derek before, and he asked if I’d be willing to take a crew of mountain bikers down the Fraser River for a film called, “Where The Trail Ends”.
We talked about his history in the area primary associated with the New World Disorder films, some of which featured James Doerfling from Williams Lake and was impressed by some of the gnarly stuff that he had been riding recently. I asked about Where The Trail Ends and he went on the explain how Red Bull Media was involved along with some of the other major sponsors like North Face and Contour. He told me some of the riders that were going to be involved, including James Doefling and Darren Bearcloth. It sounded like it was going to be a well-organized and big production, and he also agreed help me promote my business. So we made a deal over the phone. At the end of the day, Derek said he would to treat me well and he has. This was a great experience working with professionals along with the adrenaline pumping action that comes along with this sport. I really enjoyed it.
Consortium: Did you know the area in the film before hand? Does the area have any history that you could share?
Green: Yes I knew the area that was featured in the film and had a pretty good idea of what they were looking for. James had an idea where he wanted to go as well, so I brought them a little bit farther in and to everybody’s delight we found the zone. There is a lot more river and more lines out there that didn’t appear in the film, so we may not be seeing the end of freeriding on the Fraser. We just scratched the surface of it.
There’s definitely a lot of history on the Fraser, especially as it relates to First Nations. The early explorer Simon Fraser was one of the first to encounter the Tsilhqot’in on the confluence of the Chilcotin and Fraser Rivers near where we filmed. These Tsilhqot’in were mounted on horseback and talked to Fraser about their travels, which appeared extensive and reached over the Great Mountains of the Rockies. In a way, this film relates to those early explorers, as these riders push deeper into the wilderness to explore unridden areas.
Consortium: Tell me about the trip? How many boat trips did you have to make to get all the gear in? Was the boat involved in the filming as well? What were the river conditions like?
Green: It was fall, so the river was a little low. The crew had a lot of gear so it took about 6 trips to get it all in over 2 days. It could have been shorter, but the American riders got stuck at the Canadian border for a day. There were two helicopters on the shoot as well, which was super cool. Being chased by helicopters as your navigating rapids and canyons on the river is pretty exhilarating and a great way to wake up every morning. They filmed every aspect of the boat from our launch at Sheep Creek to our camp down river. Our camp location is in this really stunning part of the river and is in my Traditional Territory, really nice location near Riske Creek. It’s a great spot with enough area for the 21 tents and 19-21people involved, a kitchen, couple of chefs that prepared amazing meals, good fires at night, it was a great time.
Consortium: Tell me about the picture of the Sturgeon and camp in general.
Green: We didn’t have lots of time to fish but on the last night we threw a couple lines in the river and caught a few small sturgeons that night. We weren’t going after the big ones, it was more about the experience for the riders. Camp was great. There was a ton of camaraderie over the 10 days. Some guys got a little wild a night, which reminded me of the old gold rush days. The riders and some of the cameramen would wrestle and fight every night for fun, and at times it got pretty entertaining. It was a bit of a theme, especially amongst the Canadians. I think Sorge turned out to be the alpha of the group, catching Cory Horton with a flying roundhouse that caught him right in the eye. They both had big smiles in the morning, but one had a shiner.
Consortium: How do you feel about mountain biking in your Traditional Territory? What do you say to any other riders who want to come and ride these areas?
Green: I think most of the locals that know the area and have respect for it. They know where to ride, and which area to leave alone and respect. Visitors don’t know the area so its best if they get a guide so they don’t disrupt the partnerships we’ve built and the environment we have. When visitors are planning a trip, they should contact the local bike shop, the Consortium or me to get advice.
Consortium: Tell us about your business and how it may include mountain biking in the future?
Green: This year Cariboo Chilcotin Jetboat Adventures completed its 13th season. We’ve added a multi day Fraser River Photo Safari and Workshop with landscape photographer Chris Harris, which has been a big success. We use another larger twin engine tour boat that I picked up down in Idaho in 2006-7, when I was there running rivers with the famous Daryl Benz. This trip goes from Soda Creek to Lillooet. We’re refining other multi day trips with Echo Valley Ranch and Spa and we’re also working on a mountain bike multi day trip that we want to offer in the near future. We’re also thinking of mountain bike event opportunities working with the Consortium and others. I hope to see mountain biking out here grow in the next couple years as a revenue generator for the area. The balancing act is ensuring that we are careful in our planning so as not to disturb delicate ecosystems.
Consortium: Any final thoughts?
Green: One thing I noticed after watching the movie was the abundance of wildlife on the Fraser river segment compared to the other locations. There is more wildlife here than all the other locations combined.
Overall it was an awesome experience hanging out with these guys. I worked with the crew on the shoots in most of the zones and it was amazing watching these dudes perform.
It’s always good to work with people who are so good at what they do. I love the fact that when these guys go off these cliffs, there’s no nonsense involved. They may end up crashing, but when they land it’s amazing.