Trip of a Lifetime in the BC Kootenays

Oct 21, 2014
by Danielle Baker  


EXPLORING THE KOOTENAYS



bigquotesThe Kootenays hold a special place in my heart because I was raised in Nelson. On this trip I found a great balance of all aspects to mountain biking that I love. Not only were the trails amazing, fun, and flowy but we also experienced steep singletrack, up and down! The communities were as incredible as the food and beer they offered. -Kelli Sherbinin, Endless Biking


Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Take six people, some of whom have never met, and put them on the road for a week of big 'Kootenay' rides, close living quarters, and beer sampling at every stop, what happens? They form a travelling family that is full of laughs even when the going gets tough, the sun gets hot, and the tires go flat (over and over). Our trip took us, along with the Mountain Biking BC contest winner, Jason Wright, to Rossland, Kimberly, Fernie, Nelson and Retallack. We played with foxes in the woods, drove through thunder storms, drank margaritas, and stayed off the grid. We braved the rapids of the Slocan Valley and got some of the earliest tracks on the Peak to Creek trail, not to mention that we almost won at 80's music trivia in Nelson. There is a good chance we also bought too much homemade candy in Kimberly, but that was really an unavoidable inevitability.

The photos below capture just some of the highlights from an area that is rich in history, mountain bike culture, and community. As a group we feel lucky to have experienced the balance of the warm welcoming people and rugged, natural trails. And of course we can't wait to go back!

bigquotesI think the highlight of the trip for me was meeting the contest winner, Jason. He is a great guy, very intelligent and a very capable rider. We could take him anywhere and he was cool with it! -Darren Butler, Endless Biking

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com


ROSSLAND

FUN - FAST - FLOWY - LOTS OF LITTLE POPPERS

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

bigquotesThere were many highlights for me; from the instant family that we created from a group of relative strangers to the welcoming hospitality we received part from the amazing riding communities we visited. -Martin Littlejohn, Mountain Biking BC

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

bigquotesLocal mountain biking advocates in each community lead us on tours that showcased the variety of riding in their town. Every location offered a different flavor of riding, but all of them had something for every style of riders. -Kelli Sherbinin, Endless Biking

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC


KIMBERLY

NATURAL - LOAMY DESCENTS - SMALL HITS THAT KEEP YOU SMILING

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

bigquotesI loved having locals join us each day, they helped share the vibe and style of each community. We are all one big happy family in the biking scene in British Columbia, so it was great to connect the dots and bring even more people together. -Darren Butler, Endless Biking

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC


FERNIE

LONG DESCENTS - HUGE VARIETY - AMAZING VIEWS

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

bigquotesThis trip had an awesome variety of mountain biking; some serious climbing, sweet shuttles, giggly and flowy stuff, and giggly rickety stuff too! Each ride was unique and unlike the next. -Darren Butler, Endless Biking

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC


NELSON

GREAT CLIMBS - FUN JUMPS - ACCESIBLE FOR ALL LEVELS

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Exploring the Kootenays with Mountain Biking BC

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

bigquotesHaving the opportunity to meet super cool people all over the province, who were all so passionate about their local trails, and then to rip with them was such a great part of the trip. Meeting the locals gave me a broader perspective each town. -Jason Wright, Contest Winner

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com


RETALLACK

BEAUTIFUL SCENERY - SHALE - EXPOSED - INCREDIBLE TRAIL WORK - ALPINE

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

bigquotesThe variety of trails and locations was perfect, especially for a 8 day trip, it had enough of all types of riding that it gave us some down time from pedaling when necessary, yet still was still super fun. -Jason Wright, Contest Winner

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com

bigquotesThere is something wild about the Kootenays, it is raw and authentic, steeped in rugged history and mountain culture. It's not the easiest place to get to, but it's a hard place to leave! -Martin Littlejohn, Mountain Biking BC

Photo Credit bengavelda bengavelda.com
  Photo Credit: Ben Gavelda / bengavelda.com




Kootenay Rockies
Trailforks.com


41 Comments

  • + 35
 Yup BC is awesome
  • - 14
flag lgill (Oct 21, 2014 at 20:37) (Below Threshold)
 You know whats even better than BC? British Columbia
  • + 3
 ^dont know if joking or just stupid

But I agree with leelau, Bc looks heavenly
  • + 12
 These photos are amazing, and I want to go ride each of those trails...the problem is that I don't know what trails they are. It's great that you tell me which city they are located in, but in articles like this one it would be nice to know which trail the photo is taken on. This way, I'm not spending days trying to figure out how to get to each location.
  • + 3
 Was going to comment the same thing - a little more description would be helpful. Otherwise, good article.
  • + 2
 Your local bike shops will tell you where they are.
  • - 7
flag lightningskull (Oct 21, 2014 at 15:40) (Below Threshold)
 Gotta put in the effort. Ask people, do some research. Check trail pages like bikepirate.com etc to figure out where these goods are
  • + 12
 I disagree - in an article that is aimed specifically at promoting tourism and use on legal trails (that is what the MBTA does, after all), the name of the actual trails would be helpful. I've roadtripped through the Kootenays twice for riding, and done my fair share of research, but this article does little for me with respect to actually deciding where I'd want to go next time. Pretty pictures, sure, and a list of town names, but that's about it. Take that in contrast with the types of articles that @leelau creates (for example), where many details are documented and results in a very useful and informative article.
  • + 4
 Or they could just say where the trails are in the article, you know just like every mountain bike magazine does. Awesome article nonetheless
  • + 3
 Great photos. Yep. I would love to hear the trails ridden. I live in the Kootenays and have likely ridden lots of them but would still like to hear where they rode out of curiousity and as a way to place their feedback. Looks like a great trip and I agree that the people in the Koots are a big part in what makes it fantastic.
  • + 1
 Indeed. Why not include trail names. With this article so obviously promoting mtb tourism, trail names would provide a useful incentive for would-be visitors. Although with the recent release of www.trailforks.com you could probably line up several days worth of killer rides and only visit the local bike shop for spare tubes and directions to the nearest pub.
  • - 2
 Sirkpeak I was just going to say that haha. People want to be spoon-fed. It's called an adventure. Or try talking to locals for directions and meeting awesome people :p
  • + 4
 The Rossland segment: Red Top, Larch Ridge, Monte Cola, SMD
  • + 8
 The trails are listed in each photo description. Just click on the trail to find the location and trail. Cheers.
  • + 1
 Thanks Danielle!
  • + 2
 Nice, thanks!
  • + 3
 Oh and for those that NEED to know the names of the trails.. Buy our local trail guide. It's 20 bux and proceeds go to maintaining the trails. You can buy this via pinkbike also. Cheers!
  • + 4
 Already have, although it'd still be nice to know which trails are featured in the article.
  • + 3
 Between Kimberley and Fernie is Cranbrook. Don't overlook the endless flow there!
  • + 1
 shhhh...best kept secret in the east Kootenays.
  • + 2
 Yeah, keep it down. I used to live in Cranny and the best part was the lack of crowds. The guys down in Favorit were always great.
  • + 5
 What an amazing trip!
  • + 0
 Being a resident of Nelson... I can honestly say after travelling the globe and experiencing many different places I'm glad I've made Nelson my home the last 7 years and have 2 children born here. I'm stoked my kids are growing up in one of the best places on the planet...
  • + 0
 I grew up there, best place in the world! I'm back at least once a month!
  • + 1
 Very jealous! Although that first pic from Retallack of all the slate gave me a flashback to going face first into that stuff in Wales earlier this year... ouch.
  • + 4
 How's the serenity?
  • + 2
 Nice photos. I need to make it up to BC! Anyone find it funny that the tattoo wouldn't actually work?
  • + 1
 Tru dat. Locked up gear train.
  • + 1
 This seems like the definition of having a good time. Awesome trails and scenery.
  • + 2
 The agricultural crop in the Kootenays is pretty good too!!
  • + 0
 sweet that you hit Smallwoody! rad little DH trail. lol @ the slocan valley's rapids!! I guess the more you drink the scarier they are
  • + 0
 Gorgeous. Noticed a Slayer in there. Funny how RM dropped the horst link altogether just when Transition switched over to it. Long live the Slayer.
  • + 2
 RM bikes aren't horst links
  • + 1
 Haha my bad.
  • + 1
 i've got the same green dakine shorts as the guy on the first pic
  • + 1
 Nice job, always good to see Kootenay content
  • + 1
 Such an awesome place to live!
  • + 1
 Awesome write up. Some great pics of Tash shredding in Rossland, yeww!
  • + 1
 Sweet pics Ben and Danielle!!!
  • + 1
 Awesome article and even better photo's!!
  • + 1
 帅气

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