East of the Divide: Riding Alberta's Rocky Mountains

Sep 26, 2018
by Rocky Mountain Bicycles  
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb
Riding Alberta s Rocky Mountains with Noah Brousseau and Matt Monod. Photos by robb

Produced by: Rocky Mountain

Crew:
Riders: Noah Brousseau & Matt Monod
Photos and Design by: Robb Thompson & GRAIN
Words by: Stephen Matthews

Locations:
Jumpingpound Ridge / Cox Hill
Razors Edge
Black Rock


MENTIONS: @RockyMountainBicycles @noahbbrousseau @mattmonod @robb @stephen




84 Comments

  • + 139
 HOLY DAMN! I hope you sold this story to PB and RM for lots of money because that is the best editorial I have seen on this page and possibly best online editorial I have ever seen at all. This is above the caliber of printed Dirt from back in the days. I don't know how you guys arranged the trip but it got it all without dorky "bikepacking" twang to it,

Amazing scenery, great riding, pictures speak for the journey and adventure you went through and... NOT A SINGLE PICTURE OF AEROPRESS, STAINLESS STEEL MUG, FIREPLACE AND A TENT!!!

The whole outdoor industry is wondering how did you pull that out. They spend millions on financing trips hippies in super expensive clothing and you delivered material that rivals most of what can be found in magazines.
  • + 15
 I was thinking how I haven't seen a cooler photo essay / editorial since printed BikeMag. I wish I lived closer to the Rockies, they're so damn magical.
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns It wasn't until I finished reading your entire comment that I realised you were being serious lol. Agreed, great article.
  • + 23
 @Tmackstab: haha. Look, most editorials of this kind show a place that suck balls for riding where scenery and glorification of misery are the only currencies. There is a cliché to them. Then the North of Nightfall thing - huge enterprise, helicopters, yeah cool but who the fk does that? Great that people do it, fine. But what I love about this thing here though: you can see folks who ride well, on what seems as great trails, it still looks magnificient and carries the message of: GET OUT THERE!

It has a human scale to it yet still holds your breath. Cheers!
  • + 7
 @WAKIdesigns: waki they are great trails. Rideable almost the whole way and not bike a neering
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: All those trails are about an hour from the Calgary international airport. Get out here and try them. They are as fun as they look.
  • + 11
 A part of it might be that it was written by a local that grew up on the trails. When you know the rides that well writing about them can be genuine and real. Great job Stephen Matthews for highlighting the trails and finding the right words to describe them.
  • + 13
 I love my home. Thanks Matt and Noah, Robb, Grain and Stephen Matthews for showing how truly special it is Smile BC gets a lot of hype (deservedly so), but there is a special magic on this side of the Rockies!
  • + 4
 @jitenshakun: Totally missed the Matthews did the words.. One of the best exports from Calgary, both amazing skills and rad character! Top notch Stephen!
  • + 4
 Haha! Nice one@wakidesigns.

I coach with Matt and these boys are true next generation ambassadors to the sport.

All the parts / trails features are truly World class and offer a mix of riding challenges. 10 minutes drive from my place to Razors, my favourite local trail!

One always dream of worldly trips but the Rockies are pretty damn fun????????????????
  • + 3
 Yup. More of this pb please! This is mountain biking
  • + 1
 Firstly: Yip. Great write up and pics.
Secondly: Pinkbike is basically an online magazine.
Thirdly: This was a Rocky Mountain advertisement. So..yeah...
  • + 5
 @mackienz: if this is how advertisements can look like then yes please, more marketing in MTB.
  • + 30
 Kudos to the photographer who made the riding look as hard as it actually feels. All my pictures make things look lame & easy.
  • + 13
 Robb Thompson with banger after banger. Inspires .
  • + 19
 This is fabulous. We love our area too! If anyone needs a guide, check us out :p.
  • + 15
 Great article.. Wish it had one of "the" ambassadors of Kananaskis and area, the venerable Reg Mullet.... Then would be the best article PB has posted in years!
  • + 4
 fuk yes!
  • + 13
 This is totally sick. More of this type of content please Pinkbike!
  • + 11
 wow this is amazing. i love the way they did the photographs in this presentation.
  • + 8
 These are some of the most breathtaking examples of mountain biking photography. Never mind blue skies and far off mountain peaks. This is riders on gnarly peaks with a surreal moody atmosphere. This is mountain biking.
  • + 6
 Really nice. Finally returned "home" this summer to ride and hit two of these areas. I've always felt spoiled moving to BC over 20 years ago, but man Alberta Rockies were fun. Razors Edge and Cox are modern classics, but the old timers like the Nordic Centre, Benchlands, and even Banff have new goodness. Biggest surprise of the trip was the riding in and around Jasper. I'd love to see this team do a central Alberta Rockies follow-up - Jasper, Nordegg, Rcky Mtn House.
  • + 9
 Good stuff guys, love these kind of adventure posts. Keep em coming.
  • + 9
 Not a single berm in sight! Good ol' Alberty.
  • + 4
 Fantastic story guys! Brings back a flood of memories from biking all of these locations Smile The Ghost wilderness is truly wild and free, excellent rock and ice climbing and the biking is epic! Miss riding in the Rockies for sure. Wonder if there is a link up from the Powderface trail to Cox hill? Or the other side of Moose to Jumpingpound/Sibbald?
Great story again, real people who are really riding! Makes me want to celebrate with a Drake burger in Canmore Smile
  • + 5
 Matt, Incredible job by you and your team. It is hard to over overstate the beauty and year round outdoor opportunity of where we live but somehow you guys captured it perfectly.
  • + 3
 The scratches on the rocks show how many chainrings have been damaged - remind me again why the bashring vanished from the modern mountain bike?
Is the lure of direct mount really enough of a trade off in the age of the low BB?
  • + 3
 Simply amazing photography. Living locally and riding these trails countless times, I sincerely hope this editorial gains traction locally here in the Bow Valley. It would surely go a long way towards getting one of these 3 incredible trails sanctioned (go check it on on trail forks). Alberta Parks, at a policy making level, will hopefully agree to continue to build a working bipartisan relationship with local trail alliances and local government here to maintain sustainable growth in mountain biking.
  • + 4
 BC gets all the glory but the Rockies are pretty spectacular. It doesn't hurt that all the spots are an hour from my front door.
  • + 3
 Knowing Cox Hill and that the images of the descent are taken at the very top, it must have been dark as balls by the time they hit the bottom. Great layout and content on these rides!
  • + 1
 One of the best articles on PB in a long time. Cox and Razors are two of my favourite trails. Amazing photos that capture not only the incredible terrain but the wild and often unpredictable weather we have on this side of the Rockies.
  • + 2
 I was in that area last fall (Canmore), and it is like no place on Earth! I only rode one day at the Canmore Nordic Centre, but I'd certainly love to get back and ride more in that area.
  • + 3
 Alberta Mountain Bike Trails, my home, my passion and my place of employ. This is an incredible article! I actually got a little verklempt reading it.
  • + 1
 The only thing "off" about this article is how serious Matt Monod looks in the photos - the man is PERMA STOKED, especially when riding a bike! Can't say enough good things about this article, well done everyone involved!!
  • + 1
 All this sentiment is, is...making me sad... boohoo...!! Really joking aside, this is a nicely done article and I am thankful these trails are in my yard so to speak. Cox Hill is a great ride from highway 66, Prarie Link.
  • + 2
 Iv'e been all over BC and read dozens of PB articles - this looks amazing. Well done @RockyMountainBicycles . Wow. Have friends to visit in Canmore, now I have to visit.
  • + 1
 Great job, folks. Loved the pics and article. My wife and I honeymooned in Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper many years ago and that place is like heaven to us. Can't wait to go back sometime soon.
  • + 1
 Such a masterpiece, and very cool seeing my hometown trails showcased like this. You ride this stuff all the time and a person can forget how lucky we have it around here. Well done!
  • + 3
 Just a small taste what awesome adventures lie on the eastern edge of the canadian rockies. Amazing job on everyones part!
  • + 4
 Ahhhhh....home! Bought time she got some PB love!!!
  • + 2
 Very enjoyable! less words, more pictures, less finding yourself sappy bs, more rocky mountains (bikes and geography). Im going riding.
  • + 4
 Wow. Fantastic images and layout!
  • + 3
 thank you for not using e-bikes on this adventure.
  • + 3
 Booking flights to calgary!
  • + 2
 Great photos but those grey socks just ruined it for me. Grey? WTF man. This is f'd up.
  • + 2
 I voted this up by accident. It's weird you care about another man's socks.
  • + 1
 Flip me those were rad photos!!!! I saved 10 of them to my background folder. Looks like a rad adventure. Thanks for sharing.
  • + 1
 Was lucky enough to do each of these rides this summer (a couple more than once). Your article has me eagerly awaiting next season =)
  • + 2
 Wow. This is the coolest thing I've seen on PinkBike in a long time. Well done.
  • + 1
 One of the best articles I've seen in a long time, love the little sketches and looking at the little tree, rather than roosting the crap out of everything.
  • + 1
 Super proud of our trails and very happy to see them presented in such an excellent portrayal of beauty and realistic difficulty.
  • + 3
 Goddamn, my photos from Razor's Edge never look that good....nice work.
  • + 2
 Live in Calgary and have only done one of these three rides, better go to trail forks and add some to the wishlist
  • + 1
 Rule #1 of backcountry riding - always bring a trail beer.
Will give you refreshment, can be traded for parts or a ride back to your car....

Awesome story and pics.
  • + 2
 Holy crap, that's gorgeous. Time to plan a trip.
  • + 1
 Underrated Canmore! We're pretty lucky to have eastern Rockies accessible backcountry right out the back gate.
  • + 1
 Well done to all involved in producing that. It is really engaging to read and look at.
  • + 2
 Best article on PB in a long time. Wonderful art direction and sketches.
  • - 2
 Jumping Pound/ Cox photographs better than it rides, by which I mean it is a *heck* of a lot of work to get up there and the trail is meh.

Razor's Edge is the real deal and pretty unique for the local area. It can be windy in the corridor which amps up the challenge.

Haven't ridden blackrock but it looks like even with a bike you're doing a fair bit of hiking!

Amazing photos and great job on the entire article!
  • + 8
 JPR to Cox is an absolute classic and world class ride. The only thing meh about it is the gravel road. The first time I rode this I was woefully unprepared and not fit enough. Still loved it. Learned never to leave the gravel road for the end, thankfully a trail angel fed me and shuttled me back to my car. Which we reached in the dark. The climbing is really hard and brutal. But that is why it's so awesome. The middle part of that climb is so much fun I always forget my heart rate is sky high. And the descent. It's simply an old school masterpiece. Steeps, roots, loose rocks, hard rock, fast chutes. It's got everything in those 700m of down. I miss that trail.
  • + 2
 What fork is Matt running on his Instinct?
  • + 2
 absolutely stunning photos and dope article
  • + 1
 Really well done piece. More storytelling like this, please. Also I loved the sketches. Who drew them?
  • + 1
 Awesome article and inspiring pics! Very cool to see my local trails on pinkbike!
  • + 2
 Great story and great pictures!
  • + 2
 Great pictures, nicely done.
  • + 1
 Correction-my photos in general never look that good.
  • + 1
 Mountain biking photos are difficult, because as you're riding along the trail, you aren't looking at the composition you're going to take. You have to spot the locations where the view is to the side, or behind you. Tough to find the ideal spots!
  • + 1
 Smashing that favorite button. Great write up. top notch photos
  • + 1
 Respect to the photographer, nice work!!
  • + 1
 Nice work all round. Robb: Hell yeah!
  • + 1
 Killer job boys , very very good yahhh !
  • + 2
 Beauty work gents!!!
  • + 1
 well done! Awesome stuff!!!
  • + 1
 Love it! Great work guys!
  • + 1
 Cant keep a loop on paradise. I'm curious on Matt's hike a bike system.
  • + 1
 Fantastic!!
  • + 1
 @stephen awesome
  • + 1
 Absolutely AMAZING.
  • + 1
 Rad, well done fellas!
  • + 1
 Really amazing !!!
  • + 1
 Wow, Just AWESOME !!!!!

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