The Rainbow-Sproat Flank Trail
June 15th 2002
Across the valley from the Ski area of Whistler-Blackcomb are Rainbow and Sproat Mountains. The North Flank of Rainbow Mt. lies about 6km past the village on Hwy 99. The South Flank of Sproat ends at the Callaghan Valley (Proposed XC Ski area if Whistler gets the Olympics) about 15 km South of the Villiage.
You see this range whenever you ski, whenever you ride. Now there is a trail that traverses across the two peaks. The Rainbow-Sproat Flank Trail is 45km long, and has a 1500 meter high point at 16mile creek. You lose and gain 700m of elevation at no less that three time on this ride.
An Epic that calls your name.
So it begins.
We ride to the trail head, a nice 16km warm up then we start to climb up the Cougar FSR
and we Climb
The creeks were raging, which is a good thing in spring. We could stop and rinse off our sweat for a reprive from the mosquitos that were attracted to your hot sweaty body.
Still we had to climb. Here's 65 year old Peter Morin who rode his Brodie Libido in the MTB park on Friday, rode with us on Saturday and had to get home to ride with his nephew on the shore (GMG) on Sunday. An inspiration to us all! Except for the three flats he had that day...
Then we continued to climb!
To the right of us is the Soo Valley. Through here you can ride to Pemberton. A logged out area with second growth throughout but a small stand of Ancient Cedars was left for people to see. We didn't go there since no bikes were allowed. Next time.
Did I mention the creeks were running?
The snow wasn't quite all gone either... Here we're at 1100m elevation. It can't be that bad higher up... Can it? (If you notice the red blush on the snow, that's a red Algae that sporulates in spring during the melt FYI)
The group sans Lee the camera man - Dave Diplock, Sharon, Bob sucking in his gut, and Peter Morin.
Then the snow got deeper, and you know what, it didn't get better. Not many pictures after this since we spent the next hour hiking through snow trying to find the trail... We didn't... We got to the 1400m point, then figured the trail traversed the flank at this elevation for awhile. Guess we'll have to come back in a month when the snow is gone...
So back down we went.
This snow wouldn't have been good to ski on either. We thought about going back to a shop and telling them that we did the whole thing! Another group would have gone up and seen 10 bikers go up! HAHAHAHA, until the trail ended. But we didn't.
Here's what we missed from another ride. This trail can be divided into 4 sections.
Cougar -> Alpine Meadows(too much snow)
Alpine Meadows -> Rainbow Meadows
Rainbow Meadows -> Function Junction
Function Junction -> Alexander Falls (Callaghan Valley)
Two weeks ago Lee and did the middle section, here are some pics;
Blackcomb Mt on the right, Wedge Mt in the center.
Blackcomb on the left, Whistler on the right.
There was a bit of snow, BUT that was two weeks ago! Elevation here was only about 1100meters.
Back at the cabin we could enjoy the same views as on our ride!
Some other pictures of Kill Me Thrill Me;
It's what Whistler is all about.