Rockies Summer of 2002


Sharon and I regularly go on mountain biking trips. This summer we planned a two week trip around a set of mountain bike gatherings friends of ours had planned in the towns of Rossland, B.C. (in Kootenay Country in beautiful British Columbia) and Canmore, Alberta - the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Rossland is a small little friendly town with a reputation for very technical and long mountain bike trails. There is tons of information about riding in Rossland on the web and even maps and trail descriptions so I'll just account our trip. We started our trip from Vancouver with an early exit from the city and an overnight camp. We then continued on to our palatial rented digs which Ken had so nicely arranged. Hot -tub, lots of bike storage and nice big rooms; what a score!


Here is a map of Rossland to start out your day.

The next day - Friday August the 2nd - found us hooking up with other early arrivals to pick off a few beginner trails - Cemetary was the one we rode. It is named as such not because it is particularly difficult but because the old town cemetary is at the end of the trail.

Here is Charlene all the way from the desert heat of Phoenix Arizona obviously liking the twisty turnys of Cemetary.

Here is a group shot at the start of the trail. What great weather we had.


I didn't really pull out the camera till Day 2 of riding. This is on a trail called Rock and Roll. You'll have to forgive me for the repetitive shots of the same spot. This was a steep fast trails - as are most Rossland trails - and I didn't spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for camera shots. This is Bob in classic Bobbian attack pose carving up some sedimentary steeps. You will see many many shots of Bob in what is to come - whether you like it or not.

Not to be outdone - our gracious host Ken follows hard on Bob's tail.

As does Greg F.(told you it would be repetitive). BTW - Greg endeared himself to us forever by baking his trademark muffins that very night.

and by crackey - another Greg - Greg P - follows Greg F. clad in tasteful neon yellow with green taffeta trim with off-setting crimson helmet and framed in beautiful blue sunshine. Geez - who dressed you in the morning?

We now have Charlene - said previously referred to Arizonian - showing us no matter how dimunitive one is - one can get lower than anyone else on a bike if sufficiently motivated by limbo lessons! Charlene - I think you missed part of the shorts on your rear knobs.

For cryin out loud! How many pictures can I squeeze out of one steep spot? Well - here is Brad all the way from Calgary carefully dicing and slicing.

Followed by Courtney - whom I regularly stalk. Its an inside joke - honest. Besides she's also from Calgary


Ok I have no imagination. Here is a nice photo of my good buddy Dave K - with whom I ride much less regularly than I'd like and is one of the few guys I know who goes just as hard uphill as he does downhill. You would not believe what he can make a DeKerf Implant do. Thanks for continuing to humble me day after day Mr K.


Further down the same trail I lambast Bob for skidding. On riding that same section I quickly find that a lot of Rossland trails are all about skidding. They are dry, rocky, steep and faster-than-bats-out-of-hell trails where you have to surf the back wheel. Luckily there are relatively very few riders here. It is a small town after all.

Of course, as do most trails in B.C., trailbuilders always find ways to make the steeps a little less predicatable. Here is Dave hucking off a conveniant stump nattily clad in everyman's Roach wear in fetching and stylishly contemporary black..

Ken, in matching svelte black accessories and free-ride hardtail follows Dave off the same drop.

Now here's a classic. Greg brings along this dude Mike from Victoria. Mike is initially very quiet as one is wont to be when dropped into the middle of a group that knows each other - sorta the odd man out you get?

Well - Mike is also the only one of us with a big fat dually with flats. FLATs - come on! This is Rossland and we're going to be climbing don't you know?

After one day of riding, it seems concerns are misplaced. Mike can ride and can even climb that RM 6 pig quite well thankyouverymuch. He can also manual forever but that is another story and hopefully a video. Apparently the aerodynamics of multiple zip ties helps him aerofoil.

Here Mike styles this small drop.

Believe it or not the pictures below are of the very same freaking trail. Yes I take pictures like an oriental tourist. This is Sharon showing us the classic x-treme move called the "Tripod". It is also sometimes referred to as the Hokey Pokey but only when done with small animals.

On this very same move comes Penny riding a bike that weighs roughly the same as Penny's body - weight. I am actually horrendously jealous because if I had held off quitting racing for one more year I might - maybe - just have scored a beautiful medium travel like that bike.

Yes - the crowded masses scream. Charlene can indeed get lower. Don't knock it folks. It is physically impossible for her to endo with this body position and that is certainly not a bad thing.


The next section of Rock and Roll is fast and flowy and broken up only by a nice set of ramps. Here is Greg going for a nice fast ramp.

and then we have Mike going for the money shot as Courtney wonders "Are your legs really supposed to detach on landing or is that just one of those Canadian things?".

Not to be outdone by the celluloid courage of the guys, Penny attacks a sandy steep viciously. Of course she makes it. Boy has she ever improved. I still remember Penny stacking on trees on the Bridle Path less than 5 years ago. Sniff, they grow up so quickly.

This is not really anything harder than Mike styled all last weekend but it shows off the glacier cut side profile.

The afternoon found us hooking up with Tracy, an old friend who grew up in Rossland. Sadly and quite uncharacteristically, I had largely developed a bad case of camera-itis after going crazy snapping pictures in the morning and I have very little to show for the ride we did on Whiskey on the Rocks. There was your usual mad climb, lame attempts to persuade Mike to put Syntace aero bars on his RM 6 and a furious ride down some steep singletrack and rock faces. Sharon ever fell flat on her back and I didn't get a picture.

This is the gang climbing up the trail just outside Tracey's house up to the trailhead framed by some summer alpine color. Rossland's main street is at an altitude of about 1300m so we actually start quite high.


We hit the fabled trails of Nelson. The first set of trails were on the Mountain Station side and to be honest - I didn't particularly care for them. Not that they were bad, its just that I had this vision of Nelson in my mind and the trails didn't jibe with them. I rode parts of 719 and another set of forgettable trails on that side of the mountain.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a map of Nelson showing the Mountain Station area just outside of town.


Luckily the afternoon rides more than made up for the morning's blah. We shuttled - oops - I said it - SHUTTLED up the highway side of the mountain up the Mount Drummond side and gained a ton of elevation setting us up for a 1500 odd meter descent. I wish I had taken pictures but my wrists were just about fractured from descending and trying to hold off dual suspension freeride bikes on my poor little hardtail. We chugged down a trialsy nice little trail at the top and then down Placenta Descenta and Pulmonary - with these terrific rock faces at the bottom. This was probably my favorite set of trails of the trip

I don't even have a decent picture of the trails. Question - how many shuttlers does it take to pop back a truck tailgate?


We were pretty bagged and I definitely didn't feel like taking pictures. This was another SHUTTLE up to a trail near Red Mountain (I think its the Dewdney trail?) - some breathaking climbing at altitude where lung puking was the order of the day. We then did the PR-Oasis combo where some furiously fast and steep downhills were to be had then topped by an atomic speed doubletrack buff bermed downhill. That was a blast. Another 1300 m of descending with about 200 m of climbing.

The group at the top with Red Mountain in the Background.


Mike, Greg Fox, Tracy, Kevin, Sharon, Bob, Ken
Dave, Penny, Lee

The only riding picture I have is of Dave K trying a skinny at the top of the trail - near the Red Mountain side.