Revelstoke, B.C. - Alpine XC/AM and Great Freeriding!

Sep 12, 2011 at 7:00
Sep 12, 2011
by Sharon Bader  
 
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Welcome to Revelstoke:

A six hour drive East on Hwy 1 from Vancouver, BC (or 5 hours West from Calgary, AB) gets you to the railway (and deep powder) town of Revelstoke B.C. You may have heard of the new ski area that opened in 2008 that made the small town boom. What you may not know is that this winter pow mecca can hold its own in the Summer as well.

5 000 foot shuttled downhill in Revelstoke. For a Pinkbike article.

A 5,000 foot (1500m) descent awaits you on Sale Mountain/Martha Creek - accessible via a road shuttle

For an article on Pinkbike

Revelstoke's new Frisby Ridge alpine trail gives you stunning views on a 25.8km out and back xc ride


The Revelstoke Cycling Association started in 1994 to create still non-existent urban bike routes. Since then they have put on cycling events in the Mount Macpherson ski area and previously in the Mt Mackenzie area until it was taken over by Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Another freeride area (Boulder Mountain) had 40km of trails that were impacted by logging. The RCA had a resurgence of members and volunteers in response and reaction to the proposed Boulder trail closures. To prevent it from happening again the club gained more members from a wider cycling background strengthening an already active mountain bike community.

Previous to these incidents, the RCA had been active in obtaining funding from many local government agencies, including the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT), Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CRSRD), Ministry of Forest Fire Crews and dedicated volunteers to work on the McPherson Ski area, Martha Creek trail as well as to create a new alpine trail on Frisby Ridge. Much credit must go to the RCA's past executive for these efforts in particular to Rob Mohr. This is emblematic of how active local government has been in British Columbia in seeing mountain-biking as good for the community, but also in putting dollars to supporting mountain - biking (as recounted in this PB article).

Already previously mentioned but bears repeating is the RCA's key role in helping build the the 12.9km Frisby Ridge trail. Frisby is the newest Alpine Epic trail in BC. It is largely machine built and accessible to riders (and hikers) of all levels. Frisby is a great initiative that will give ever lasting value to the town, tourism and the mountain bike community.

For an article on Pinkbike about the Revelstoke XC AM trails Photo by Lars

Stu and Robert railing flower-strewn alpine meadows on the descent off Frisby Ridge



Riding Areas:

Revelstoke has four main riding areas: Mount McPherson - buff XC; Boulder - freeride playground; Sale-Martha/Keystone/Frisby - alpine epics; and Mount MacKenzie - finding itself again.

We love this town in winter and summer and have visited many times. However, for this trip we contained ourselves to three rides.

Mt. MacKenzie - "Crowbar"

We were fortunate to have Brendan from Flowt Bikes and Skis guide us on this ride.

This trail is accessed by a nice 2wd road climb. The trail initially traverses and has many up and down sections. It culminates with a descent of some steep loose, rocky pitches. Great local ride! It's prototypical BC XC which usually means that the more technical sections would be freeride in many other areas so pick your choice of bike accordingly.

For complete pictures, video and GPS go here.

For an article on Pinkbike about AM XC Revelstoke trails and choices

Brendan from Flowt Bikes and Skis on a buff section

For an article on Pinkbike about AM XC Revelstoke trails and choices

Getting into the rock face section


Frisby Ridge

Today we met Jordy who's one of the XC section reps of the RCA to ride Revelstoke's newest alpine ride; Frisby Ridge.

As mentioned this 12.9km trail was funded by the CBT and CRSRD to create an alpine ride accessible to riders of all levels. They succeeded. You gain 720m at the high point in over 10.6km. The remaining mileage is to the lake and back. Plans are to build a loop around the lake.This gradual climb creates a fast descent on the way back to the barn! Remember, uphill riders have the right of way!

There are plans to build it to 34.5km (see map here)

Getting there:
Off Hwy 1 West of the Columbia River Bridge turn onto Westside Road. Drive past Glacier House Resort at 7km and continue up the gravel road to the parking lot. The gravel access road is a 2wd road, but has some waterbars where lower-slung vehicles will want to take it easy.

This trail can be as long as you want it to be since it's an out and back, beware of oncoming riders, horseflies, blackflies and mosquitos.

For more pictures, videos and GPS tracks go Here.

For an article on Pinkbike

Frisby Ridge Alpine

For an article on Pinkbike

Even the dog loved it!

For an article on Pinkbike

The alpine flowers were insane


We also rode some of the freeride trails which drop off the Frisby parking lot. You'll have to ride down the graveled access road, then cut over to the trail head. Maps are available from bikeshops; you'd be advised to check in with the local shops too for conditions and updates on the Boulder trails. Boulder freeride trails are depicted in this video provided by Cam Kaegi. Thanks Cam!



Martha Creek

This is a must do ride in Revy and has seen a ton of work in the last couple of years. Formerly a lesser known trail kept on the down-low it's now featured in the Visitor Center maps and handouts. Most of the work has been to ameliorate water-logged sections of the trail as it winds back and forth down the mountain and has involved re-routes and building boardwalks. Support the Revelstoke Cycling Association so they can continue to maintain this trail!

The trail starts in the alpine at 2100m and drops to 650m in 10km exiting on Hwy 23 near the Martha Creek Provincial campground. The first section has some pedaling and was rerouted about 4 years ago to create a longer trail and to avoid a really bad swampy area.

There are two other sections of the trail that can be accessed lower on the service road (from about the 1500m mark) if the weather doesn’t permit riding from the top or your car can’t make it. Like most alpine trails in this area, the snow usually stays until July. Check Revelstoke Cycling Association Webpage for trail updates! It's an easy trail to find and easy to stay on as there's really only one way to go and that way is mostly down.

More pictures, video and GPS tracks Here.

Getting there:
Martha Creek descent is accessed from the Sale Forest Service Road. Drive 20km down Hwy 23 past the Martha Creek Provincial Campground and drive 15 km up the road to the Hydro Towers. The last 5km are rough and require a vehicle with good tires and preferably 4 or all wheel drive. There is a winter route and summer route. The summer route is better for driving.

5 000 foot shuttled downhill in Revelstoke. For a Pinkbike article.

Alpine start

5 000 foot shuttled downhill in Revelstoke. For a Pinkbike article.
5 000 foot shuttled downhill in Revelstoke. For a Pinkbike article.

Technical Revy singletrack

5 000 foot shuttled downhill in Revelstoke. For a Pinkbike article.

Faster in the trees



Overview Video of our weekend of riding:
Views: 7,232    Faves: 19    Comments: 4


Some Dining Opportunities in Revelstoke:

Wait, before we're done we have to stop at the Chalet Bakery for donuts and breakfast!

chalet

Chalet Bakery has been a Revelstoke mainstay for many years. It is a standard stop for Cream Horns, Cookies, lunch and breakfast. Lee is there so often they refer to him as the "Cream Horn guy"!


We also had dinner at The Woolsey Creek Bistro. The food served at the Woolsey is not small-town at all (in the negative sense). You will get incredibly creative cooking served at reasonable prices. We've timed road-trips just so we can be sure to get dinner here. If you’re looking for some fine food Sylvie has what you need!

whoolsey

Fine Revy Dining


Revelstoke has a great diversity of riding, has signature alpine trails of the downhill and AM/XC variety with views of some of the proudest mountains in British Columbia, and should definitely be on your list of places you should ride before you die!

Have you ridden in Revelstoke before? Do you want to ride there now? Share your stories below.
Must Read This Week






50 Comments

  • + 4
 Did a 4 day trip last month - Frisby Ridge day 1, Frisby downhill to Boulder parking lot plus Sale day 2, Boulder day 3, Keystone-Standard day 4. Every day was incredible. Bacon Cheeseburgers at Nomads, coffee at the Modern and hit the go-karts in Malakwa on the way home. One of the best bike trips ever!!
  • + 1
 im totally Revelstoked!
  • + 6
 thanks pinkbike! the more publicity beyond our town for these trails the better, means more trails! rode sale from the top last saturday at sunrise and it was amazing!
  • + 3
 Nice article guys and thanks for giving Revelstoke some publicity! Just for your information, the RCA's trail building activities are not just a recent phenomena- we've been very active since 1998 working quietly (but legally!) to create cycling trails in Revelstoke....
  • + 2
 I was there this August to do some rock-climbing/sleeping on a road trip to Whistler, but now I know what I was missing out on, in terms of biking AND for food! What was I thinking, buying groceries from Coopers? I should have known that anything named "Chalet" would have delicious, delicious pastries.

Next summer, Revie. Thank God you are only 5 hours away from me.
  • + 2
 rode Frisby Ridge today - leg burner of a climb, nice little decent to the lake, return climb to summit was pretty much the limit for my legs and the decent went on for ever! (30 or so mins - could have cut that with no breaks but then my hands would have fallen off!) Stopping meant dealing with wave after wave of enormous horseflies that buzzed you like biplanes round king kong. Even at trail head they get to you - I hurriedly chucked bike in the car and got the flock out of there.
Keen to do Keystone and other trails!
  • + 2
 Nice work Sharon, great article and great time riding with you at Sale Mountain. For those looking for info on how to get to Sale and Frisby check out these links to the trail pages on bikepirate.com

Sale Mountain/ Martha Creek: www.bikepirate.com/dh-trails/martha-creek

Frisby Ridge: www.bikepirate.com/x-country-trails/frisby-ridge

Cheers
  • + 2
 We did a trip out there last month and it was pretty much unanimous: best trails we have ridden to date. Mcpherson trails were all amazing and super fun. Frisby was perfect, Keystone was a great classic alpine ride.

Maybe it was just the fact we had already ridden Keystone that day and were tired but Martha's Creek, though, we found to be a bit lacking. The beginning boulder field and the end were good but the middle was rutted and took away from the whole experience. not worth the drive, we felt.

All in all though, I could easily see Revy as our road trip destination again.
  • + 1
 Must have been tired, (or on a xc bike). One of my favorite descents.... The trail recently had a bunch of maintenance done to it and is in prime condition. Best I've seen it in 10 years! Love this place.
  • + 1
 I would agree that the middle part of Martha is getting more worked. Its pretty easily accessed from the road and probably saw more use due to the late snow in the alpine. Donate money to the RCA so they can do some work on it! Definitely more fun on a 6X6 bike.
  • + 2
 Awesome write up. I just did Frisbee yesterday for the first time ever.....I was aboslutely blown away, that trail is a master piece! I parked where the asphalt ends on Westside Road and pedaled up from there....my gps said it was 9.2 km and 741 meters.....made for a pretty big day! I loved it!
  • + 1
 Nate when we went, we drove the Matrix to the parking lot, got some funny views from dudes in Jeeps on the way up. Not enough folks had to drive the old Mt7. Amazing ride!
  • + 3
 Huge props to the Revelstoke Cycling Association! You've done such a great job in such a short time. Keep up the good work!
  • + 2
 Had a chance to ride in revy in Aug . The trails were great , tons of lines . Will return next year for sure And HUGE KODOS TO THE LOCAL BUILDERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 just came back from a similar trip, and I used your trip reports, and caught a glimpse of this one prior to publication to the main page for some BETA. Keystone in the snow and Macpherson in the evening on day 1. climbed up the road to the top of sale, down sale and frisby ridge + DH on day 2. The trails there are sooo flowy and also have an awesome mix of technical and steeps, I had to get in a short 1hr ride on my way back! Ripped that trail on MacKenzie. FUN!!! I will for sure be back next summer as there are more awesome trails to ride!

Sale/martha is fun (6"x6" bike), but holy shit, the rocks on that trail look like they eat rims/spokes/tires for breakfast!! Fortunately we didn't flat, but were definitely wanting some thicker tires and our heavier wheelsets for more piece of mind.

Holy shit Frisby ridge is popular and that road is rugged. Go later in the day so you can rip down uninterrupted without having to worry about a certain confusing IMBA rule.
  • + 1
 Here is blog I made about this trip! zest tour
  • + 1
 Definitely love Revy in all it's seasons. Martha Creek is one of my favorite descents in western Canada. Great views and awesome shredding. Love how the trail evolves through the different zones on the mountain.
Also took a huge bail there last time i was there and broke my fork and a tree with my body. Not to be deterred I plan to return asap with a new fork for another battle, this time to include Frisby Ridge.
The Village Idiot has some killer Panzerottis too. The town pool by the library/fire hall is a good after ride stop. Has a good hot tub and sauna, lazy river and an awesome water slide.
Have fun out there folks
  • + 4
 sale mountain is amazing!
  • + 1
 This article is amazing. We literally just sat down last night and were planning a golden and revelstoke road trip before october but were concerned as we didn't know much about Revvy's trail network.
  • + 1
 actually rode martha creek, frisbee, and 2 laps on boulder this past sunday, it was an epic tri-fecta of mountains to ride on. i love this town .
  • + 2
 Great article, I wish every town in BC would do something like this. It would make the road trips easier to plan haha.
  • + 3
 I love Canada and I love Canadians.
  • + 2
 You have a pleasant disposition. *Tips hat.* I love the United States of America. Wee-hoo!
  • + 1
 I second that mph51. My wife is Canadian and technically so are my daughters. I gotta move there someday . . .
  • + 1
 Top form, my fellow Earthlings.
  • + 1
 If you want the best but don't want the crowds, forget whistler and go to Revy. Always so good there, winter or summer
  • + 1
 Nice flowy trails keep up the good work..............What song is that on that first video?
  • + 1
 go ahead and rub it in, lucky canadian bastards. lol want to move to b.c. because of all these amazing trails i hear about.
  • + 2
 Am I the only one noticing that stoked looking dog in the 3rd picture?!
  • + 2
 I snuck that same dog into another one of the shots further down!
  • + 1
 You guys forgot burgers at the Village Idiot. That's a must for anybody that visits Revy.
  • + 2
 Thanks a ton sharon and lee!
  • + 1
 Looks like a really great place. A bit far, but worth considering for a trip away.
  • + 2
 Living in Connecticut, USA is boring as crap! I really need to move
  • + 1
 Rode Frisby today for the first time. Beautiful and excellent trail. Nateb you are a monster.
  • + 1
 Dreamy landscapes. I have envy of the lands of the northern hemisphere. :-(
  • + 1
 Great write up,videos & pictures
  • + 1
 Sooooo.....any jobs for I.T. guys near Revelstoke? Big Grin
  • + 1
 Dreamy story. Thanks for sharing the goods.
  • + 1
 beautiful... revelstoke looks amazing
  • + 1
 Great write up Sharon...would love to get out there!
  • + 1
 The beautiful place, this line are great, finally and delicious food.
  • + 1
 great arcticle! thanks Sharon!
  • + 1
 Great review Sharon. Thanks for sharing that.
  • + 1
 Articles like these are great
  • + 1
 werd!
  • + 1
 Nice cameos Lars!!!
  • + 1
 it is great!
  • - 3
 Dual crown forks on freeride trails is an excuse to not do x ups, tail whips, and barspins

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