Monday, August 13, 2012

The cappers

My riding is feeling good lately, here I am on Mt. 7 last weekend.
As much as I have been dreaming of ripping down more trails in BC, it is hard to forget the amazing backyard I have available here in Canmore. Most of my summer was spent riding the trails that you can ride right from home, which is awesome for training. However, in the last week, we widened the scope and started some rides with a short drive (not necessary for some of them, but we were feeling lazy).

We brought the GoPro along for a nice loop on Barrier Mountain. 4 fun descents!

All Over Around and Down the Mountain on Pinkbike

I don't know what we have done to displease the tire gods...


Later in the week, we drove to Banff to ride Stoney Squaw. This can be thrown into a great ride from Canmore (Rundle Riverside to Banff, then to Stoney Squaw, back to Canmore on Goat Creek, Rundle Riverside, or Legacy Trail depending on energy levels), but it was after work and we were feeling lazy.

I finally cleaned all sections of the climb. Maybe it had something to do with having "I Believe" stuck in my head?
Just a dropper post in the "trail" position away from being a full blown "All Mountain" poser

Nice view off the top before a sick descent.
Finished off the day with a quick rip of the tunnel mountain Toe trail before sunset. Hardpack, fast, and I'm pretty sure there was some paved singletrack in there too.

We kept up the fun with a nice ride on Powderface Ridge. A nice climb into an alpine meadow that gets ridiculously rocky and hard to ride near the top. The initial descent off the top was fun, with deadfall, mud, and climbing up to another meadow interrupting it. 

The final descent back to the car was just straight down through the trees, like a DH course. Brakes were hot after that one.

PF ridge is a sub 2hr ride, so we headed to Moose Mountain to ride Pneuma to Special K, a classic line that  is the final leg of the Bow 80 race. I love this climb, okay, maybe it gets a little too ridiculous for me in some sections after Race of Spades, but I enjoy it. The front range of Kananaskis has some incredible riding, and I have just barely scratched the surface. Much of it is at least an hour from Canmore, but easily doable for an evening ride coming from Calgary. It certainly would not be the end of the world if I ended up there...

If these cows weren't so delicious, I would have more of a problem with the damage they do to wet trails.
The mind blower: I've heard this ride described as "life changing". It involved riding and hiking up to an abandoned fire lookout, with some short scrambling cruxes thrown in there for kicks.

Not much of a view today
The final 150m vert to the top was steep, so I didn't bother bringing my bike up. When I got back down to my bike, we took a "practice run" and it was just like skiing powder! I could feel the tires sliding, but I was in perfect control. We then headed down, following the cairns that led us to the top.

I'm so pissed I forgot to turn my GoPro on!
The playful meadow led into some steeper, looser, rock trails towards the first crux, which we downclimbed. Then a really cool benched sidehill section to the 2nd and final crux.

After the downclimbing was done, we descended the last part of the alpine, which was drifty and fun trail, leading into a steep pitch which was not loose whatsoever. Amazing.

It was as if someone had shoveled out the line down to the firmly packed rocks!

Here's me, glasses in a visorless full face with a gopro and elbow pads looking like a total gorb. Fortunately nobody was around to see it!
The final section of the old pack horse trail was through the trees. It was mostly climbable on the way up, and it promised to be a fast rip down. It did not disappoint.

My GoPro died part of the way down. Whatever. Life Changing? Well the only thing that will be changing is that I will have to ride that trail, and others like it more often!
Mind Blown...

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