The zone is four hours from Vancouver, it’s a dry and fairly flat zone if you compare it to the rest of the Rockies but the area offers some great rides. Unfortunately, the wildfires were massive this year in Western Canada and the Okanagan lake area was closed for mountain bikers. So we went to West Kelowna and rode the Rose Valley trails—some fun trails and fast lines to acclimate to B.C. This was the first ride in Canada for Alexis and his first crash too. Alexis lost control in a fast turn and drifted on the left side, leaving some blood and skin on the trail. Because of the huge fire 50 kilometers from the city, we decided to jump to the next step.
A great experience for the two of us, this trail crosses the alpine passing seven summits above the town of Rossland. We decided to camp on the highest summit at 2,200 meters, to enjoy the sunset and sunrise and ride this awesome trail in the best light conditions. A good moment for the two of us as we both love the alpine.
After driving from Rossland I jumped on my Altitude and climbed the access road to discover ‘The Vein,’ an awesome trail down to the lake. The next day we went to the summit above Shannon Pass, getting lost we climbed the whole thing on a trail, we are so used to hike-a-biking that we decided to hike it, with no turning back! At the top, I ran into a black bear with two cubs in the pine trees. Soon the bear charged us and after a short wait, we went back to the trail to ride down to Shannon Pass trail—one that will remain among our favourites in B.C. A good mix of loam, steeps, jumps, and fun sections. The smoke was coming back as we reached the lake, so we decided to not stay and drive north.
We were so amped to ride this famous zone, after driving during the night we discovered the lake and the beautiful landscape in the morning, riding the Mt. Macpherson trails. These are some fun trails and there’s nice light above the lake. After refilling with tacos in town we climbed Frisby Ridge from the road at the bottom and finished with Ultimate Frisby. What a ride! It starts from the alpine with small snow patches and lakes, surrounded by massive mountains, glaciers and huge valleys. Then the trail enters the forest, gets loose, fast, and so fun! Ultimate Frisby is more gnarly, with more steep sections, dusty turns, and awesome rough sections.
The next morning, a bit sleepy we left our van at 3:30 am… Climbing Mt. Cartier in the dark, we climbed more than 2,000 meters and 15 kilometers—it was a tough one. Trying to get on top before the first helis was impossible, still, they were psyched to make it and be on top of a huge downhill. Again the fires from far made for a lot of smoke, ruining the view from the summit. But the riding itself was worth it. Crazy fast at the top with funky switchbacks that turned into a flowy and awesome trail in the forest. The middle part is rougher but still fun with a crazy high line to take. The last part is fast and fun, flow and easy. Great!
A very quiet stop in the birthplace of freeriding—we are well tired. We mainly came to meet Matt Hunter, after talking through messages for years, Matt and I finally meet. It was a great moment, talking about bikes and surfing, food and Canada. Matt is an awesome guy. He showed us a cool jump trail before we took some time to rest and hit the road west.
Parked at Tyaugthon Lake, our excitement is high. We are packing our stuff for a self-supported three-day trip deep in the park. While preparing the tent and the bikes a female grizzly showed up with her three cubs, walking around and eating berries. Letting us have the time to admire the beautiful animal. We left at midday for a solid day, passing the lakes on Gun Creek trail, past Deer Pass and camping on Tyaugthon Creek. While riding the bottom of the valley the trail goes along the river in the forest, the terrain is dry and sandy and rockier around the lakes. Finally, at the pass, the landscape is super open, dry and beautiful with great views of the peaks and the glaciers around. The riding is fantastic, fast and fun—this is the pinnacle of bike packing; great views, true wilderness, and mindblowing riding!
The next we cross Mansion Pass, reaching Relay Trail and climbing to Graveyard Cabin, lost in the middle of that huge valley the cabin seems to be out of a western movie. Finally, we ride to Lorna Lake and camp in that beautiful place. Spectacular landscape, with the blue lake surrounded by huge mountains and forests. For the last day, we decided to come back down to Tyaughton Lake through Lorna Pass and Spruce Lake, riding some of the best trails in the park. An awesome day, going down fast with the empty backpacks, we were psyched to be riding and among the beauty—we arrived back to the van early, with enough time to have a rest and a beer by the lake, and prepare our next day in the Chilcotins. The last day was a shorter trip, just a few passes and a lot of fun! Enjoying this special place, where nature is untouched.
Sea to Sky Corridor
We started to discover the corridor with some famous trails in Pemberton. The trails were dry and sandy, loose and fun. We were having a great time despite the fatigue. Walking in town was fun, Pemberton seems to be a great place to live.
Whistler, on the same day we went for a sick ride in the Blackcomb area with Audric a good friend of mine. We jumped in the lake, drank some beers and ate burritos. Over the next few days, we were riding around Whistler on some very diverse trails and got the chance to experience the famous Lord of the Squirrels loop high in the alpine. A pretty cool ride away from the resort, unfortunately, the smoke was around again and the views were really bad at this point.
Squamish was an incredible discovery for Alexis who rode this place for the first time during the trip, and the place is unique. An incredible number of trails, diverse and awesome. We rode some jump trails, some rock faces and more. What a good time for a few days. Then I got a random email from Wade Simmons, asking if I was free for a ride. So the last day, I had the honour of meeting Wade and riding with the legend in the legendary North Shore on some secret trails! And because things couldn’t be different on The Shore this was the day the rain decided to show up after such long dry period. What an awesome moment. Wade is an impressive rider and an awesome guy, easy going and humble.
After that it was time for the boring tasks, cleaning bikes and the van, returning the Altitude to the Rocky Mountain bicycles office and finally fly back home. We are stoked about our trip, the mission was accomplished and even more. With a deep dive into the mountain biking Canadian culture, lots of meetings and a great time in the mountains, Alexis and I couldn’t be happier. We came home with pictures and feelings in our heads, ready for another adventure. Because where one trail ends another just begins!