After half a century exploring, mapping and sometimes re-blazing hiking trails in the Bulkley Valley and surrounding mountain ranges, Einar and Barri Blix have been honoured in a most appropriate way. The Blix Route was officially signed and recognized on September 4, at a ceremony in Babine Mountains Provincial Park.
“There were a lot of people there, it was quite fantastic. I couldn’t believe it,” said Einar. “I was quite flattered that they would do that.”
The Blix Route is a shortcut that connects the McCabe trail, a Blix family favourite, with the Lyon Creek trail. Although she credits Einar with doing much of the work advocating for trails over the years, Barri pointed out that the newly named trail is simply called the Blix Route, “so it can include the whole family, which is rather nice.”
For many residents in the Bulkley Valley, the book needs no introduction; but for those not inclined to walking to the tops of the surrounding mountains, Einar and his son Andrew are the authors of Trails to Timberline, the definitive guide to alpine hiking in the west central B.C. area. The first edition was published in 1977, but there have since been two more editions, one with a second printing, plus an additional supplement to the second edition titled More Trails to Timberline.
Einar and Barri first came to B.C. in the mid-1950s, when Einar was hired on at Alcan’s Kemano project. After spending formative years in England, Norway and elsewhere, the couple have spent most of the last half century between Kitimat and Smithers. Though they love all of the outdoors, the Babine range, and the McCabe and Lyon Creek trails in particular, hold a special place in their hearts.
“When our kids were young we used to go up Lyon Creek a lot, because that was really the quickest way to alpine,” said Einar. “We love hiking here, because there’s so many nice circular routes, you don’t have to come back the same way all the time.”
Despite cloudy weather on the day of the dedication, the couple enjoyed the hike to the top, especially meeting old friends and family at the top for the dedication ceremony.
“Years ago we would never have imagined having grandchildren coming hiking with us,” said Barri.
Both the Blixes agreed that their love of hiking in the area was just a reaction to how impressive the country is here.