Story by: Evan Wishloff
“We brought our bikes… Why don’t we just hit the trails for the next few days.”
You know you’re doing life right when Plan C involves riding bikes in the mountains.
I was with a group of friends on our annual backpacking trip. In past years, we’d done backcountry trips as early as May or as late as October, so when it came time to plan a trip in 2022, we thought a July date would be safe.
But summer came late to Western Canada’s alpine. Plan A was a trail in Kootenay National Park, but it was still under hundreds of centimetres of snow, with avalanche warnings abound. Plan B was a backcountry cabin near Valemount, yet even there, snow dominated anything above 1800 metres of elevation.
So it was onto Plan C, which involved the Valemount Bike Park - a once-hidden, but increasingly well-known, gem of a riding destination nestled between three distinct mountain ranges.
The compact, yet diverse and abundant trails of the Valemount Bike Park served as a great venue for 3 amazing days of mountain biking. Shuttling is popular, but we chose to earn our turns each day, climbing up one of the better climbing trails you’ll ever ride, CBT Munday Grind.
Unfortunately, that climb only gets you halfway up the mountain - if we wanted true full lap, we’d have to make our way up the shuttle road for the remainder, including a few grunts of sustained 20% grades.
Our reward? A descent down one of the Valemount classic trails, Turducken. The culinary dish of turducken is a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey. Much like it’s culinary namesake, Turducken the trail stuffs a jump trail into a technical trail into a flow trail. You get a little bit of it all, starting right from the first drop and wooden roller.
We hit the bottom of the trail, a dusty grin on our faces.
“Same thing again tomorrow?”
“Yep! Plan C might even be better than Plan A!”
We loved Valemount so much, we're putting together a few more pieces and a short film! Stay tuned...