29.07.10 Chilliwack

A beautiful morning as team members emerged from their beds to seek sources of breakfast and shop for essentials like water and ingredients for lunchtime sandwiches. After a briefing from team management, the team started to swing into shooting mode, assembling rifles, pushing bullets, making sandwiches and, yes, writing the diary.

The morning slid by quickly and, at 1230, the team boarded its vehicles for a trip to Chilliwack range for a practice shoot. The drive follows the meandering Chilliwack River, green with snow melt, foaming over rocks under steep wooded hillsides, and a stop was made for a team photo on the bridge. The range has been described as the most beautiful in the world and the view from the left end of the firing point does not disappoint as, to the right of the butts, a jagged ridge with snow filled corries juts into the clear blue sky, providing a dramatic backdrop.

Greeted by old friends from the BCRA it was not long before the Chief Range Officer, Bob Pitcairn, past winner of the Bisley Grand Aggregate, was delivering his briefing. These instructions spared no detail and included a warning that brown bears have been spotted around the range, a point of interest for those answering a call of nature in the trees.

As the first practice detail prepared to shoot, the second detail trooped off to the butts. Worthy of note is how immaculate the range looked in the afternoon sun. Soon the shooting was under way and a number of GB shooters encountered problems hitting the 400m target. The extent of the problem seemed to be roughly in proportion to the seniority of the shooter, and a number of foresights had to be re-positioned on their ladders before a hit could be recorded. A more extreme example of this problem was the captain who, without the assistance of the main coach, would have found the target somewhat quicker.

Back at the ranch in the evening, more bullet pushing, sandwich making, briefings and eventually a meal.