Ultramontane No. 06

Mar 30, 2012
by Derek Dix  

Title Zion

Before we get into anything with this release... Here's the kicker. We're done - For the time being. This release saw some great ends of the spectrum weather wise with a low elevation snowfall followed by a beach worthy weekend. Spring seems close enough for people to be out riding without the words of encouragement, and if you're residing in the southern hemisphere hopefully this has you all geared up for what's to come.

We've got everything wrapped up this time in one neat little package of one video, and one giant parcel of photographs. We worked alongside two '& Company' friends: Dangerous Dan Cowan, and Ross Measures. Connor and myself have known both since we got into riding.

Dan and his Flow Show were always an inspiration for us when we first got into riding, see the wood structures he would put on his trails really helped push people's concept of what North Shore meant. It also pushed us toward the construction of Overflow when Connor and I were in our youth. Since then riding styles have evolved and there's far less of the high and skinny trails that Dan is well known for, but if you spend some time poking around the woods on Bowen Island I'm sure you can find plenty of evidence that he's still riding just as hard, and if not harder than when he was at the top of his game in the media.

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Ross Measures is a long time friend of both Connor and I. He's grown up in Deep Cove as the self proclaimed "Myrtle Manager" and got his first shine in the spotlight back when Back In the Saddle was rolling hard with the 'Young Guns' section. He still maintains a strong presence within the industry both as a rider with Knolly Bikes and as a videographer turning out edits for this and that and other things. He also is exceptional at trail building, with a ton of short video lines under his belt with some very interesting features still to be shot - so stay on the look-out for that content.

Ross, Connor and I took the plunge for this release to spend some time over on Bowen Island with our childhood hero Dangerous Dan acting as mayor of the trails and ambassador to the island. We camped up on a bluff on Mt. Gardner, the view of Vancouver was amazing, and the proximity to all of the trails was even better.

Ross filming Dan leading in Connor on a snowy steep.

Cutty in the snow.

We kicked off the trip to Bowen Island with hopes of an early morning start and landed ourselves on the 9am ferry, which was a bit later than expected after some delays and re-packing Ross' truck. Long story short we met up with Dangerous Dan and ate probably the best breakfast wraps of all time at this place called Snug. Highly recommend it... Oh ya we also got to the summit of Mt. Gardner at around noon.

Dan is definitely a character, and he lives up to his moniker of "Dangerous" it can be a bit romanticized when it comes to his identity; This burly guy living off on an island with a giant diesel 4x4 van, who builds these massive structures in the woods that demand a huge skill level to navigate. He also has this dog named Polly who would follow him down every line he rode, and chase his van up the service road to the top all while attacking the tires.

In reality though he's one of the easiest guys I've ever had a conversation with, and is just open to having a really good time and refuses to let something he's so passionate about die off.

http youtu.be qwzYoH1Q7ls

Little steep.

More of more that thing.

After hiking for about an hour without seeing any footprints in the snow, we were floored to see a full work-crew on the summit of Mt. Gardner, who were working on fixing the towers and waiting around on a chopper to land with some fuel. That was some cool stuff to see it come in with the barrels hanging, the view at the top was also exceptional.

Great vantage point of the lower mainland. All that needs to be said.

View at the top and the first descent of the trail.

Steep on a bluff.

So after some fairly epic descending we set up camp. The story here is honestly about the descents though. Dan's been living on Bowen for a hot minute now, and he has the trail network to show for it. The best part of this situation that the number of people who ride there is so minimal it leaves all the trails in pristene condition... if they're even recognizable at all.

There's a huge amount of big boy lines that Dan has built ranging from jumps, drops, rock rolls to just technical loamy steeps. Dan had no problem on any of them even with a foot of fresh snow on the trails. To be completely honest though, the three of us walked a few sections with our packs.

We finished our descent after a few hours, and were still only half way down the mountain at Dan's van ready to get a lift back up to where we were camping. Dan parted ways with us to head home to his family for the time being, but the dog didn't clue into the situation and appeared out of the woods while we were hiking into where we planned to set up camp. It was clear that we would get to spend some more quality time with Dan before the day was through.


This is like a down flat down flat down rail... but single track for bikes and on a rock.

Mist from breath lit up in a head lamp snow on mountains some other snow.

Steep rock with a janky run-in.

Once we set up camp and cooked up dinner the liquor began to flow while we waited for Dan to arrive again. Once he got to our camp he spent some quality time with us over some drinks. It was awesome to just have a sit down chat with the guy for a while. He definitely brought a good atmosphere to the camp fire.

The whole feeling of being around the fire with drinks in hand just sharing stories old and new about where riding had taken us in life was great, I haven't really had camp fire with a vibe like that in ages and there were definitely some gems that were shared.

Camp vibes and crash vibes.


Serving up breakfast

Cornering around an alder snag on a bluff.

More sunspots and snow.

The next day kicked off swiftly after the night was a bit on the cold side and some loud ravens on the bluff at dawn, we were all up early.

Dan took us on another round of great trails and focused the area on a different side of the mountain. The goal for the day was to find more open trails in hopes of beating out the sun spots and the locations delivered.

By the end of the day Ross, Connor and myself were left clueless as to what fuels Dan... We were wrapping up final shots near where we started the single shuttle lap and none of us could barely stand up our legs were so tired... Some how Dan was still getting dangerous, even after pedaling his downhill bike around all day he was still loaded with energy as we parted ways.

More bluffs. This was leading out from our camp spot.

Steep section that rounds out under a cliff.

Sun beam on a bluff with some single track and some moss

The birds nest 1 match and not fire starters to get this thing roasting the shoes.

Mountains at dusk and tree tops

Sad to say Ross also had to part ways for that night due to prior commitments. This is where things get interesting. Given that we came over in Ross' truck, there was a bit of a mentality by some that we were partaking in some sort of a 'car camp'... With Ross hightailing it out of there that night Connor and I were left trying to consolidate camera and camping gear between my camping bag and Connors Camera bag.

- There are some clips in the video of us descending with these bags if you're interested to see what that looked like.

This was a fairly steep chute with a super tech run in. Big boy moves.

Single track through some ferns.

Sun spots in the AM.

After a weekend of sun and solid weather that Sunday Connor and I packed up what remained of our gear and began our descent on a new trail that Dan had told us about, but we didn't have the chance to ride until that morning.

We wrapped our final shot list of the trip and by 14:00 (2pm for hour-hand folk) we were exhausted, but as fortune would have it on a small island the pedal to the ferry isn't too long. We scarfed down another meal at our new favorite spot (Snug - if you're actually reading all this) and it really hit home after living on the camp diet for the last two days.

Snow and some sun-kissed single track.

Bluffs were a great common theme in this release.

This was the biggest drop of the trip to Bowen Island. It seemed fairly effortless to him.

Just a quick little bit of info in here... mainly because I'm attempting to break up the massive number of photos. The following shots are from a solid day on Cypress had by Ross and I. Connor couldn't make it out on this one and it's part of why the Bowen trip happened to get us all in one place focused on shooting.

Varieties of terrain but one species of moss.

Steep roots on the trail. Ferns growing in the woods.

Something that s like a bluff but not completely.

Mossy rock with a corner around it and some ferns growing.

Snow and Sun. Weather really was contrasted in the last two weeks.

In the shot below Ross had a solid biff on this tech section of trail and landed himself a great charlie horse. There's a shot of his leg up in one of the collages way above. That's all.

Steep tech section. Ross fell and got a pretty harsh Charlie horse.

Another bluff with more moss on a different zone.

Some lens flare and bark.

This next round of shots comes from an adventure Connor and I dove head first into on Tuesday.

We set out to find some epic descents in Howe Sound, our adventure delivered with ample moss on steep bluffs with somewhat great vista views. There were plenty of steeps and plenty of trail work needed. This is going to become a future project for sure breathing life back into this line.

For now take in the photos and speculate where this could be. There's some sneaky hints...

More exposed bluffs with some moss varieties.

More moss and more bluffs.

Forest on forest. Old bordering on young.

Loads of different things from spooky islands to gps coordinates for the trail head to a slippery moss on another bluff.

Young forest and singletrack.

Rock ledge roll-down

Steep under another big cliff

Learning about nature is cool

Bluff again.

Corner near a big tree.

Steep roll on another bluff.

More mossy bluffs overlooking Howe Sound

Some good guy b-roll of trees and lights at night.

Mossy bluff -- one of many

Steep section under a huge overhang

That concludes Ultramontane No. 06 - Our next release will still be decided on, but expect something very interesting to come and with more of a spring and summer feel. We're also lining up some more amazing new people to work along side with. Huge thanks to Peter at Rocky Mountain Bikes and Chaz at Cove Bikes for landing us on fresh bikes for the final episode and keeping the ball rolling.

We are going to be giving away a framed print. The frame is hand milled by Chris Fisher of Ultramontane & Co. - Chris Fisher Once we hit 1000 Likes on Trusty 'Ol Facebook we will pick a winner at random, so be sure to like and share.

Thanks to these guys for all the support. this series wouldn't have come together without them: Spicebox Whiskey | Mountain Equipment Co-op | Sombrio | Smith Optic

If you do the social media thing don't be a stranger: ultramontane.ca | Twitter | Facebook | Vimeo | Tumblr


  • + 17
 These films make it easy to feel what riding on the BC coast is like; a low key, spiritual, kind of sombre and beautiful experience. It's obvious that the riders/filmers are very connected with that aspect and know how to show it to everyone. Really outstanding.
  • + 6
 theres some gnarly stuff too.
  • + 10
 Once again, another quality article! This series has been so good, nice write up, amazing photos and top notch videos... I can't wait to get out on my bike...
  • + 7
 Big thanks Guys. This series has been top notch, both quality and quantity. Such adventurous spirits that you've definitely motivated me to get out riding at every opportunity. Sorry to see it end, but this project should showcase you guys in the absolute BEST light possible, and I look forward to more in the future, just in a different format and setting. GREAT JOB!
  • + 5
 I loved this series of articles. The style, the lifestyle, the videos and the photos are great. The darkest of them along with the grit of the lifestyle made them look inspiring. Every submission I would find a new desktop backgroud to get me stocked about the upcoming summer. Good job and thanks for sharing this with us. I kept looking forward to the next issue, hope you guys come back with a nother series.
  • + 7
 In a nutshell, These films are incredable, in my opinion there have not been another set of films that inspire me so much to ride through winter. Thank you so much guys.
  • + 6
 So contrived! Just needed inclinometers. Seriously enjoyed the series. Nice way to finish it off; but you guys set a high bar for yourselves.
  • + 0
 Nice jab buried over here.
  • + 0
 I didn't bury it. On the contrary I'm being as subtle as a brick.
  • + 3
 Hi guys - just wanted to say thanks for a great series. I looked forward to each episode and I'm genuinely gutted that the series has now finished. The riding was incredible, the cinematography captured the mood and the passion of the riders really came through - it sounds cheesy but I feel each video had real soul. Best of luck for the future and hope to see more from you soon!
  • + 2
 Nice Connor, This has been an amazing series Highlighting some great riders and trails.
Thanks for all your hard work. we live in shangrala.
How has the G-Spot been working out?
Like Lee said you have set the bar pretty High.
  • + 6
 And that is why I am never, ever, going to move away from the B.C coast.
  • - 4
flag samminett (Mar 30, 2012 at 2:28) (Below Threshold)
 Also probely becauce you might wont be able to get back into canada your country is soo hard to get into, to live in the rules are soo strict lol to move to canada you have to have somany things before you can enter it god i could go on forever about it but i wont.
  • + 3
 Canada? Try getting into the states. We look like an open door compared to them. Any government has some sort of requirements.
  • + 1
 Nice Vid and photos.Dam that place looks awesome but if those are like the mags i got a couple of years ago and put on my sis bike. hers where cheap aluminum cast wheels i ordered off of e-bay from some Chinese company for like 200 bones and i sure wouldn't be doing riding like that on them. they are probably not the same brand. i am sticking to real wheels.
  • + 1
 Honestly, with so many people acting like freeride is dead, and wood stunts are old-school, this was a breath of fresh air. I personally love all styles of riding, but steep rock faces, loam, and STUNTS will never get old to me. Once this *$&@'n leg heals up I'm gonna go on a loam bender!!!!! Great video, and vibe.....this is what it's all about!!! Dan, keep it up man!! Can't wait to shred with you!!!
  • + 1
 Inspiring series of articles. Stunning pics and vids. It gives a real flavour of BC coast riding. Just looked up Bowen Island in google maps. I can't even begin to imagine how good it must be to have such a place to live in and build trails... incredible.
  • + 3
 I love how the Ultramonte folks managed to capture and live life as we all love it. Outdoors, in the nature, shredding the places that we enjoy the most. Good job.
  • + 1
 i was hoping someone would hit that wood in the air tied up by wire. and it sounds like the bike with those plastic wheels, his rear shock needs a rebuilt. it makes noise every time he goes off a drop, same thing happened with my dhx 5.0
  • + 1
 i used to hike these trails on a near daily basis. bowen is a beautiful spot, that i hadn't thought of riding since converting from hiking boots to wheels. inspiring stuff, nice work fellas.
  • + 2
 Anyone else seen an alcohol sponsor before? Definitely working though because i have the sudden urge to go buy Spicebox whiskey
  • + 1
 As soon as i hear the word "whiskey" my mouth waters.
  • + 1
 Loved this series, Probably the best web based bike content I've seen, heck probably the best bike porn ever. The riding has been exactly what I imagine I do. Fun, fast, steep and FUN. Can't wait to see more.
  • + 1
 Some people ask me why do we spend so much time on a bike. If they saw this video they would know why. Really great job on the whole series and this video is something special. Thank you.
  • + 3
 just incredible...best thing I've seen for a long time
  • + 3
 Those mag wheels look amazing! :-D
  • + 2
 do you know what bicycle is that?
  • + 0
 The only way to describe ultramontane is epic. This is mountainbiking!
  • + 2
 they are Tag wheels, they don't make them anymore I believe. Dan is still rocking the Czech brand Racebike he has had for years.
  • + 1
 Dans bike is Racebike Boxster, unfotunately that model is not produced anymore.
  • + 1
 Thanks Baba-Ji Wink
  • + 0
 isn't that an aniclotti ? that's from my angle of view
  • + 3
 Epic. What an amazing series. Inspirational on so many levels.
  • + 3
 Dan Cowan has got to be one the coolest dudes on the face of the earth.
  • + 1
 Holy nuts that was a lot of gear to ride with! Awesome series, kept me company during these winter months!
  • + 1
 Great installment in a great series - thanks for the terrific pics and vid. The DH backpacking put a smile on my face!
  • + 1
 f*ck this makes me want to get out and ride! Now I have to get ready for work. :-(
  • + 2
 favorite mtb series ever-
  • + 1
 What are those skyway lookin wheels? Seen them b4 but don't know where to get.
  • + 1
 Wow, ya very nice. Dan, in my mind you will always be Dangerous. And king of the skinnies. Keep on rock'n on Cowan Island.
  • + 1
 Man, as many have said thanks again for sharing! Always inspiring me to go out and ride - great quality stuff and real!
  • + 2
 Another top quality vid, brilliant series!
  • + 2
 thanks guys puts a smile on my face every time!
  • + 1
 This is an assault... with this episode you guys stolen my dream! ... so boring around here, even hurts more now!
  • + 1
 Great series lots of real riding, looking forward to the next.
  • + 1
 This makes me ache to get out and ride.
  • + 1
 What are the advantages to the 5 big spoked wheels?
  • + 1
 What's that green (cove?) bike?
  • + 2
 G -Spot
  • + 1
  • + 1
 Dope ass MAG wheels!!!!!!!! LOL YEAHBig Grin Killer Video. Thanks
  • + 1
 These articles are awesome guys! Thanks.
  • + 1
 looks like such a beaut place to ride!
  • + 1
 thank you guys, for sharing
  • + 1
 what kind of wheels were those?
  • + 1
 That's some inspirational sh*t!
  • + 2
 wow. That is all.
  • + 1
 Keep up the amazing work, you guys are extremely talented.
  • + 1
 Now thats life !! Gr8 video !
  • + 1
 I want wheels like that for my bike... Frown
  • + 1
 i applaud you guys
  • + 1
 That was just Epic.
  • + 1
 is this DreamLand?
  • + 1
 So many PODs. Lovin it!
  • + 1
 again; awesome
  • + 1
 So great...more!
  • + 1

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