First Impressions: One Insane Lap Down Retallack with Casey Brown, Ryan Howard, & Thomas Vanderham

Sep 23, 2019
by Pinkbike Originals  

First Impressions: Retallack
Words & Video: Jason Lucas // Photography: Trevor Lyden

Earlier this summer, about half of the Pinkbike office along with Casey Brown, Ryan Howard, and Thomas Vanderham made the pilgrimage to the famed Retallack Lodge. For many of us, it would be our first time riding the legendary trails that surround the lodge. To say we were excited would be an understatement. Once we arrived, we were met with tacky dirt, blue skies, and the amazing hospitality of the lodge staff.

Wake up, smash some coffee, and get ready. Your chariot awaits.

After a rough night of glow in the dark frisbee golf, R-Dog graciously loosened up the crew before a big day.

A proper stretch is important before long durations of physical activity.

The second chariot has arrived.

Horns out for the choppa.

Casey Brown gettin' the Gram.

Nothing like a steep shale chute with some serious exposure for a warm up.

Keep your eyes on the trail, it's a long way down.

Spot the freeriders.

Shout out to the trail builders for all their incredible work in these remote mountains.

Liam, one of our guides, was an absolute shredder.

An all-time crew of rockstars.

To lean more visit Retallack's Website.

This video was shot entirely on the GoPro Hero 7 Black.

Regions in Article


  • 51 19
 I never get why more than half of the fotos are about hailing huge trucks and helicopters. Looks like a really nice riding area, yet those vehicles seem to be a big part of the fun for those guys. Call me old school, I really like simply riding my bike.
  • 15 1
 I don't agree with you on this one. I think the addition of shot that are either landscapes, buildings or shuttle rigs help bring the reader/viewer closer to what the experience is actually like. Just a thought.
  • 7 0
 The heli (and the trucks too I assume) are part of the experience there, I don’t see why they shouldn’t include it.
  • 2 2
 @ejopdahl: totally agree with you on that. Didn't think of it from that pov. Probably simply not my approach to a backcountry/outdoor/nature sport - which mtb is supposed to be in my opinion.
  • 21 0
 I’m not a Dentist by any means, I saved a bit of money each week to visit Retallack & was one of the best biking weekends of my life. The riding is primo & just the experience they provide is amazing on all levels.
I highly recommended it.
  • 11 2
 Looks really cool but I'm sure one day of riding there cost more than a full season pas at whistler, can't put a price on experience but I do.
  • 12 2
 Heavily marketed to Dentists and Americans/Euros. For the average BC resident mountain biker, the value just isn't there.

For the price of the three days at Retallack, I can fly to Italy for a week of riding with my better half.

To each their own though. If ya got the $$$, spend it as you please.
  • 2 0
 @partswhore: you can shuffle the trails there. It’s on Crown land so knock your boots.
  • 2 0
 @jaydawg69: Have you ever done that? The crew at Retallack don’t mind you going there riding their trails for free?
  • 3 0
 @esm5159: friends have.... they have a commercial tenure on the land but that doesn't mean you can't go there to ride.
  • 2 0
 @esm5159: they literally can't do anything to stop you. they don't own the trails legally.
  • 5 0
 Yep! I live 2 hr drive away in Rossland. Drive half up Reco mtn and ride/hike-a-bike up Texas Peak (where heli drop/shale chute is). All good on Crown land as long as you respect their operation. Bring yer own samwich/brew and camp nearby and its about $700/day cheaper.
  • 2 0
 @partswhore: Definitely prefer spending my budget all over BC exploring all the different riding spots, than blowing my money out of the window just for one place like this..
  • 8 0
 I am missing that part, where rest of the crew shaves off Jasons beard while he´s sleeping...just an idea for next time
  • 10 0
 Hahaha please don’t give them any ideas!
  • 4 0
 @jasonlucas: yeah that would be the "2 pieces of ID please" moment Big Grin
  • 6 0
 3:30 "If there's one thing they know how to build here its 2 things, corners and jumps".
  • 9 3
 Nice place for Dentists to go ride their Dentist bikes based on the prices I saw online
  • 5 0
 Reminds me of the freeride ski/board videos, helicopter access, really expensive for the average joe, more or less a marketing video. Like skiing, I prefer to earn my turns.
  • 3 0
 True statement about "breaking that carbon frame in half." Seen it twice.
  • 5 1
 Sweet, heading there today
  • 1 0
 Hows the snow forecast?
  • 2 0
 @JDFF: there was some, just enough to make it interesting on the heli trips to the summits.
Photos were all time. Got tot hang out with Amaury Pierron in the lodge a bit too.
  • 5 0
 Favorite place on earth.
  • 5 1
 Just so happens I'm headed there today!
  • 2 0
 Man...RDog carving through those corners at a lightening pace is just insane. That'd be tough to control on a video game let alone a steep trail.
  • 5 1
 The same day as Greta Thunberg's speech at UN...
  • 2 0
 I think I talk to myself this much riding by myself and without a go pro...
  • 6 4
 Are you sure you want to encourage people to go on top of the mountains with a helicopter...seriously !
  • 1 0
 MTB HEAVEN. That's all you need to know. Didn't see any dentists while we were there. Just average Joe's and industry people who are in the know.
  • 2 0
 Jason is nice on the Big Bike
  • 2 0
 So wasn’t that TWO insane laps?
  • 2 0
 That chute is chill . really confused why there's so much hype over it .
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 @amarmurthi can i be your maid?
  • 2 0
 You can be Piper's personal assistant @elepizzle
  • 1 0
 @amarmurthi: don't tease me with a goodtime. I can be the office dog walker, cleaner, bike maintainer, shuttle driver and all around rad dude
  • 2 0
 R-Dog: "Yo"
  • 26 27
 Seriously theses guys needs helicopter to go to the top of their trails ? That's f*cking ridiculous. Thank's for global warming guys...
  • 40 8
 Yes, this group of bikers caused global warming, not the fruit in your fridge that was shipped 3000 miles so you can eat fresh apples in January.
  • 6 9
 @Bomadics: damn... thank's you, I have enough apple trees in my garden.
I means that's in our global context, it's f*cking not adapted to use helicopter to ride, even more for professional riders who ride for mtb brands Wink
  • 9 5
 @Bomadics: I can choose, you can choose, so I choose to eat local produce and pedal my bike up the hill.

So yeah, Blexef is on target, this is a silly video that glorifies the use of helicopters and giant UTes over the use of muscle power.
  • 7 0
 I'm just making up up the numbers, but I bet my bike that all the shuttle helis in the world (not that many) polute les in a year than a single container ship in one hour. And those run 24/7, 300 days a year. But yeeah, having pineapples all year round... in London. Organic, fairtrade pineapples, of course Wink
  • 1 0
 Heli only for the top access. It’s on Crown land as well so you shuttle your own vehicles or climb up.
  • 3 0
 @jaydawg69: @ismasan if you like to compares figures and kinds of shuttle, take a look on this :
10 -20 liters of gazoline / 100 km for a shuttle truck VS 180 liters of kerosene / hour for a small helicopter Smile

To take or not to take helicopters shuttle will not change the world. But it seems to be basic to take care about our playground Wink
  • 1 0
 @Bomadics: “an apple a day keeps the dentist away” Facepalm
  • 9 1
 @Blexef: OK then lets talk about the industry needed to make your bike shall we? The mines, factories, rubber plantations, smelters, machine shops, oil, not to mention what is needed to build the trucks to move all that stuff around.

So biking is NOT a planet friendly activity as it turns out, so which leg you gonna stand on now? Give up biking and preach all you want, or admire the pretty helicopter and just admit you are a bit envious of those guys!
  • 1 1
 @Bomadics: Why don't you simply stop eating imported fruits - I stop flying in Helis. Let's see who does it longer...
  • 1 0
 @tofhami: I never told anyone to stop eating fruit or flying in helicopters, so you go right ahead do your thing. I was pointing out the hypocrisy of admonishing others for presumably lighting a fire that everyone in modern rich countries have been dancing around for years! I am one of the abusers, I ride a bike, own a car, I buy apples in January, but I don't crap on others for doing what they do environmentally.

You want to stop global warming, or climate change, then go to the source of the problem, the quiet wealthy families that control most of the large corporations that are laying waste to our planet. Or the US military which pollutes more that 140 countries COMBINED, they buy over a quarter of a million barrels of oil per day, PER DAY!
  • 2 0
 You have effectively taken this discussion about heli biking to the oil used for the US military. Relaxm it's just mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 @sigzurus: Pay attention, look at the original post and see who brought the discussion onto climate related topics. Where exactly are you planning on riding your bike in 10 or 20 years, Mars? You won't be riding it on this planet in less than two decades for sure, probably less.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: making e-bikes look interesting Wink
  • 2 0
 @Bomadics: I don't want to tell anyone what to do either - it's just total nonsense to compare flying or driving huge vehicles with eating food. This is a common argument of transportation lobbyists, comparing their CO2 output with the one of agriculture. Agriculture isn't clean at all but it's necessary for our survival. Driving cars or flying helis isn't at all.
  • 1 0
 @tofhami: It is best not to begin a sentence with a statement that you contradict before you finish that sentence, just sayin! Pointing out that we all need food for survival is just a tad condescending don't you think, I think most people get that one!

Now to address your "total nonsense" statement, my comparison is very logical as I will explain. To start, where do you get your food from? I am going to assume mostly from grocery stores like the rest of us, or even local markets maybe? Lets say you a very very green individual for the sake of argument then, and make this as fair as possible.

You to down to the market on your bike of course, eschewing the car to minimise your carbon footprint. You buy some great fruit and veg and back to your home. So your bike is heavily subsidised by oil of course, the things that are needed to manufacture a bike do not come easy. Then your fruit and veg are in the oild picture with the tractors to work the fields, the transport to get your food to market, the roads built for easy of that transport etc.

Ok that's fruit and veg, what about the rest, bread, eggs, canned goods, pasta, ALL subsidised by oil to get the goods out of the ground, processed, transported and into your hungry hands. A very big item that most people don't seem to grasp is our civilisation is built and run on energy. Almost all of that energy is provided by oil as it is the only way we have found to produce enough energy cheaply enough to run our culture.

Absolutely everything you do every day is about oil and nothing else, if you pulled oil out of society it shuts down and chaos ensues. Moving food around this planet does exponentially more damage than recreational flying or recreational anything that involves engines really. Joe and Jane average are not the problem, corporations are the problem.

And to finish, the way our society grows food is fundamentally flawed, just imagine if all the trucks stopped running how quickly we would all run out of food.
  • 1 0
 @jasonlucas where did you get that hang loose sticker?
  • 1 0
 They sell them on the IFHT store
  • 4 5
  • 1 0
 Ten minutes from my house!

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