Rockies Summer of 2002



"Probably the only legal world-class riding in the Canadian Rockies" is how the guidebook describes this combination of two rides. Over 36 km in length, we start out with a climb from 1650 m to 2200 m over 5 km. Luckily the ride is 'only' in the foothils of the Rockies!

After parking at the North trailhead we start the long monotonous grind south down Powderface Road to the southern trailhead marked as "START" on the map above. The road itself gains over 200 m - starting at 1500 m then ascending to 1720m then descending to the south trailhead over 13 km. Here we are catching our breath at the south trailhead.

Of course, despite the fact that it is August there is snow. Brian seems to wonder where the igloos have been hidden as he climbs.

The climb is slippery and Mark and I trade leads until I blow up and Brad - singlespeeding no less - passes us both. Then Brad blows up and Nicole promptly puts the hate on us. Then Kevin launches and gaps all of us. Finally I regain the lead passing Nicole and then at a rocky ledge leading up to the final lookout, Mark, Nicole and I screw up. We then watch as Kevin and Greg P both make the climb thus proving yet again that patience and craftiness trump youthful energy almost every time.

Here is the lookout with a view south down the line of the Rockies.

The ride down JumpingPound ridge is spectacular. Fast and narrow singletrack with some of the most unearthly gorgeous views. Very very distracting thinks Suzie.

Luckily Rob doesn't seem to mind being dwarfed by mountains

Dave chases down riders ahead.

While Sherm thinks to himself - what me worry?

I realize that the pictures above have that certain sameness one associates with Rocky Mountain singletrack - gorgeous sweeping vistas, narrow twisty turny trails and landscapes that blow the mind. Here is another such picture I'm afraid.

After we crest the last bit of JumpingPound Ridge we then descend the saddle to the bottom of Cox Hill for the second part of the ride.

First Brad;

Then Brian;

Then Nicole

I guess I shouldn't have blown my load climbing up JumpingPound as I certainly didn't enjoy the way my legs felt like twin blocks of fire ascending Cox. The beauty of taking action shots is that it gives you a conveniant excuse to rest. Here I am resting while Nic rides by.

Nic - you could at least pretend you are suffering

I regret that I never got a picture of Jed going downhill. Frankly I couldn't catch him so didn't even try. Luckily I can get some pictures of him going uphill. Here is Jed suffering. Try not to smile so much while you are suffering you SoCal dude you

I am very very grateful to finally reach the top. Sharon doesn't look too displeased. As always the pictures are picture postcard perfect. You can even see the rainclouds over the prairie in the distance if you look the other way.

Luckily, thank god, for every up there is a down. Here is Greg showing us how to carve.

Rob descends the switchbacks of Cox Hill with the foothills and Yamnuska in the background.

Craig doesn't seem to have any objections to the views either

Brad was very nice to me on the downhills. After I buzzed his tire for the umpteenth straight time he politely let me by instead of decking me as I so richly deserved.

Suzie carving some more of that sweet downhill.

... and finally it is over. Truly the best ride I have had in the Rockies - up till that day.