A two-day Okanagan All-mountain extravaganza - A two-part picture story by Margus Riga
After a sound sleep and a slow start, it was decided that we would return to The Rock Oven to snag some shots we missed the day before because of nominal light.Amazing pics inside
!Incase you missed Part 1, click here to check it out.DAY 2
The ride up to the start of The Rock Oven is quite a bit shorter than our previous day's ascent, but for some reason it still felt brutal climbing up the double track from the Skaha Bluffs' parking area. I mentioned to Smoke that it sure felt steeper than it looked. Smoke then mentioned that it's all to do with the high plateau we were on and the fact that the sparseness and the smaller trees trick your mind into thinking that it's not as steep as it really is. So a word of advice: Don't let the gently rolling slopes and apparently easy grade of the climbs fool you. This place is just as steep as any other zone in BC...it just looks easier.
Ryan Berrecloth takes advantage of about two seconds of down on the way up to the top of The Rock Oven. Sick.
Alright, we arrive at the lookout once again...this time with better light.
Three Knolly Endorphins on standby, ready for action. According to Smoke, there's nothing better for these types of conditions. Ryan and I would agree...the Endorphin gobbled technical climbs, and hammered these burly rocky descents like a DH rig. Thanks Knoel at Knolly for producing such a sick all-mountain monster.
Hwy #3 the more relaxed route into wine country. Also, the more scenic.
Ryan Berrecloth according to Johnny Smoke, according to Margus Riga.
If you have the means to acquire one of these lakeside cottages, I highly recommend it.
The Skaha Bluffs overlooking Penticton and Okanagan Lake. Penticton is so fresh that no-one's even thought about riding any of these majestic rock lines.
Back to the business of going down...fast.
If you look behind Smoke and Ryan, on the right hand side of the shot, that's the lower section of the Derenzy DH. Looks like there's room for a few more trails up there.
Skaha Lake, in all it's heavenly glory.
This zone reminded me of Moab and it's exposed cliffs. Throw in some teched-out, spandexed, cross-country freaks, a jeep or two, some de-alcoholized beer, and let's just call it Utah.
This here's where I hung my camera over the cliff and told it to take some good shots or else.
"You want me to ride this how many more times?"
After dropping down from the exposed cliff lines with Skaha Lake in the background,
the trail really ramps up, and you can just let 'er rip.
Smoke doing his best slithering snake impression.
We were having so much fun, that even the dreaded, "can you do it one more time" sentence was met with eager acceptance.
This is the actual "Rock Oven". And I thought the trail was called that because in the summer it's like an oven amongst the sun-scorched rocks.
Near the bottom part of the trail I wanted to wait for the light to hit the inside of this canyon...but an hour of waiting later, when the light poked through the clouds, it hit the wrong spot. This is Smoke giving me the "I told you so" look. Always listen to your guide.
This is the light not hitting the sweet spot in the canyon. Killer section though.
The day was coming to a close and it looked like the light was not going to show up.
Ryan was being a good sport and working it regardless of the light not making it's evening appearance. Hell, with rock faces poking out in every which direction, why not have some fun anyways.
Finally, some evening light to light up the very last section of the trail.
3-2-1 and light's gone. Let's hit it.
Goodbye Penticton. We'll see you again real soon.
Big thanks go out to Johnny Smoke and Bush Pilot Biking
for guiding and keeping us safe from the Black Widows, Knolly Bikes
for making the perfect rig for gnarly all-mountain play, Travis Krochinsky for Beer and the shuttle back to our vehicle, and Ryan Berrecloth for posing down.
We will be back early next season for a new Epic that Smoke says ends at a winery...that's what I'm talkin' 'bout.