Tito and Friends Hit the Backcountry in Canada - The Quest

Sep 26, 2017 at 3:55
by Tito Tomasi  
My pal Alexis and I have set up our own mission, riding some alpine trail and experiencing the backcountry in Canada. We prepared for the trip for months to be sure we make the most of the three weeks. Looking for long and high trails, we defined our zone in British Columbia from Vancouver to Nelson on the east and Revelstoke at the further northeast. Where the Chilcotins would mark the north-west limit and of course the zone included the Sea to Sky corridor; Pemberton to Vancouver.

The trip started at the Rocky Mountain Bicycles office in North Vancouver where a beautiful Altitude was waiting for me. I installed my own Mavic wheels and we left for Kelowna, our first stop.

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Kelowna

The zone is four hours from Vancouver, it's a dry and fairly flat zone if you compare it to the rest of the Rockies but the area offers some great rides. Unfortunately, the wildfires were massive this year in Western Canada and the Okanagan lake area was closed for mountain bikers. So we went to West Kelowna and rode the Rose Valley trails—some fun trails and fast lines to acclimate to B.C. This was the first ride in Canada for Alexis and his first crash too. Alexis lost control in a fast turn and drifted on the left side, leaving some blood and skin on the trail. Because of the huge fire 50 kilometers from the city, we decided to jump to the next step.


Seven Summits

A great experience for the two of us, this trail crosses the alpine passing seven summits above the town of Rossland. We decided to camp on the highest summit at 2,200 meters, to enjoy the sunset and sunrise and ride this awesome trail in the best light conditions. A good moment for the two of us as we both love the alpine.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
The van and bikes for the next three weeks, let's hit the road!

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Massive fire right behind Kelowna.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Light bivouac style. Seven Summits.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Sunrise at Mt. Plewman.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
The boys are stoked!


Nelson

After driving from Rossland I jumped on my Altitude and climbed the access road to discover 'The Vein,' an awesome trail down to the lake. The next day we went to the summit above Shannon Pass, getting lost we climbed the whole thing on a trail, we are so used to hike-a-biking that we decided to hike it, with no turning back! At the top, I ran into a black bear with two cubs in the pine trees. Soon the bear charged us and after a short wait, we went back to the trail to ride down to Shannon Pass trail—one that will remain among our favourites in B.C. A good mix of loam, steeps, jumps, and fun sections. The smoke was coming back as we reached the lake, so we decided to not stay and drive north.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada


Revelstoke

We were so amped to ride this famous zone, after driving during the night we discovered the lake and the beautiful landscape in the morning, riding the Mt. Macpherson trails. These are some fun trails and there's nice light above the lake. After refilling with tacos in town we climbed Frisby Ridge from the road at the bottom and finished with Ultimate Frisby. What a ride! It starts from the alpine with small snow patches and lakes, surrounded by massive mountains, glaciers and huge valleys. Then the trail enters the forest, gets loose, fast, and so fun! Ultimate Frisby is more gnarly, with more steep sections, dusty turns, and awesome rough sections.

The next morning, a bit sleepy we left our van at 3:30 am… Climbing Mt. Cartier in the dark, we climbed more than 2,000 meters and 15 kilometers—it was a tough one. Trying to get on top before the first helis was impossible, still, they were psyched to make it and be on top of a huge downhill. Again the fires from far made for a lot of smoke, ruining the view from the summit. But the riding itself was worth it. Crazy fast at the top with funky switchbacks that turned into a flowy and awesome trail in the forest. The middle part is rougher but still fun with a crazy high line to take. The last part is fast and fun, flow and easy. Great!

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Frisby Ridge trail is a pretty cool ride. Alexis takes a break to look at the impressive glaciers.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Jumping into the Frisby downhill.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Alpine life.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Almost done, Alexis checks the landscape and smoke right before the Mt. Cartier summit.


Kamloops

A very quiet stop in the birthplace of freeriding—we are well tired. We mainly came to meet Matt Hunter, after talking through messages for years, Matt and I finally meet. It was a great moment, talking about bikes and surfing, food and Canada. Matt is an awesome guy. He showed us a cool jump trail before we took some time to rest and hit the road west.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Tito and Matt, two life lovers, mountain, bikes, and surf. One just jumps higher than the other one.


Chilcotins

Parked at Tyaugthon Lake, our excitement is high. We are packing our stuff for a self-supported three-day trip deep in the park. While preparing the tent and the bikes a female grizzly showed up with her three cubs, walking around and eating berries. Letting us have the time to admire the beautiful animal. We left at midday for a solid day, passing the lakes on Gun Creek trail, past Deer Pass and camping on Tyaugthon Creek. While riding the bottom of the valley the trail goes along the river in the forest, the terrain is dry and sandy and rockier around the lakes. Finally, at the pass, the landscape is super open, dry and beautiful with great views of the peaks and the glaciers around. The riding is fantastic, fast and fun—this is the pinnacle of bike packing; great views, true wilderness, and mindblowing riding!

The next we cross Mansion Pass, reaching Relay Trail and climbing to Graveyard Cabin, lost in the middle of that huge valley the cabin seems to be out of a western movie. Finally, we ride to Lorna Lake and camp in that beautiful place. Spectacular landscape, with the blue lake surrounded by huge mountains and forests. For the last day, we decided to come back down to Tyaughton Lake through Lorna Pass and Spruce Lake, riding some of the best trails in the park. An awesome day, going down fast with the empty backpacks, we were psyched to be riding and among the beauty—we arrived back to the van early, with enough time to have a rest and a beer by the lake, and prepare our next day in the Chilcotins. The last day was a shorter trip, just a few passes and a lot of fun! Enjoying this special place, where nature is untouched.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Somewhere around Mansion.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Relay Creek lunch.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Lorna Lake camp. Travelling light with the Topeak bikamper tent.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Early morning on Lorna Pass, right before one of the best downhill in the Chilcotins.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Harris Ridge.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Grizzly, because, Chilcotins.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada


Sea to Sky Corridor

We started to discover the corridor with some famous trails in Pemberton. The trails were dry and sandy, loose and fun. We were having a great time despite the fatigue. Walking in town was fun, Pemberton seems to be a great place to live.

Whistler, on the same day we went for a sick ride in the Blackcomb area with Audric a good friend of mine. We jumped in the lake, drank some beers and ate burritos. Over the next few days, we were riding around Whistler on some very diverse trails and got the chance to experience the famous Lord of the Squirrels loop high in the alpine. A pretty cool ride away from the resort, unfortunately, the smoke was around again and the views were really bad at this point.

Squamish was an incredible discovery for Alexis who rode this place for the first time during the trip, and the place is unique. An incredible number of trails, diverse and awesome. We rode some jump trails, some rock faces and more. What a good time for a few days. Then I got a random email from Wade Simmons, asking if I was free for a ride. So the last day, I had the honour of meeting Wade and riding with the legend in the legendary North Shore on some secret trails! And because things couldn't be different on The Shore this was the day the rain decided to show up after such long dry period. What an awesome moment. Wade is an impressive rider and an awesome guy, easy going and humble.

After that it was time for the boring tasks, cleaning bikes and the van, returning the Altitude to the Rocky Mountain bicycles office and finally fly back home. We are stoked about our trip, the mission was accomplished and even more. With a deep dive into the mountain biking Canadian culture, lots of meetings and a great time in the mountains, Alexis and I couldn't be happier. We came home with pictures and feelings in our heads, ready for another adventure. Because where one trail ends another just begins!

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Tito was so stoked to meet Wade, great ride and awesome sharing.


Tito's Art

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Revi.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Into the Alpine.

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada

The Quest - Tito and Friends Backcountry in Canada
Seven Summits.



MENTIONS: @TitoTomasi / @RockyMountainBicycles / @mavic



30 Comments

  • + 18
 Like the ancient Hawaiians always said ... "the best surfer is the one having the most fun."
  • + 3
 "I can tell you're lame by the way you where your shorts" -North Shore-- Scrub it Kook.
  • + 6
 Looks like it was a great time. I'm a geography geek, so just to note, none of this trip took place in the Rocky Mountains. You guys hit the very southern end of the Monashee Range at Rossland and mid-Monashee at Kelowna. Next you were in the Selkirk Range in and around Revelstoke, the Chilcotin Range and finally the Coast Range in the busy Sea to Sky area. The vast majority of the Rocky Mountains are in Alberta. You need to head east from Golden to hit the Rockies in BC.
  • + 4
 Hey! Thanks for your comment, we just rode BC bro but on Rocky Mountain bicycles!! With only three weeks and starting from Van city we stayed focused on the west ... next time! Aloha
  • + 3
 "The vast majority of the Rocky Mountains are in Alberta. You need to head east from Golden to hit the Rockies in BC." No, the majority of the Canadian Rockies are in BC. The Canadian Rockies stretch from the US border to just south of the Yukon border. The eastern reaches do indeed go through south western Alberta, but overall the larger percentage of what is referred to as The Rockies, resides in BC. If you ever get the chance, visit some of the more northern reaches, the skiing, climbing & what biking there is, is unbelievable.
  • + 8
 Props for not just taking the easy way up Cartier Tito!
  • + 3
 Best story I've read in a while. If you ever come back to Kelowna, try Myra-Bellevue provincial park. Easily the largest and most diverse riding in Kelowna. You can ride all day long never hitting the same trail and the fun never ends. Anyhow, great images and artwork. Thank you for a great story.
  • + 2
 Fun read about a great adventure! That was a lot of mileage in a relatively short period of time... great planning! Too bad the fires took some of the views away. Come by Golden on your next trip Smile
  • + 1
 Hi guys, it seemed so awesome! Do you have by any chance a mapping of the trails you rode that you can share? Thanks!

Salut les gars, ça avait l'air malade! Auriez-vous par hasard une carte des sentiers que vous avez roulé que vous pourriez partager? Merci!
  • + 1
 Check the pictures, trails are in the caption !
  • + 2
 Super voyage les gars!! Je reviens de quelques jours à Revy ou j'ai fait Frisby et Keystone. Ça me rappelle d'excellents souvenirs. Il y a déjà de la neige en haut de Keystone Basin!
  • + 3
 Nice work Tito. You hit some of the nicest places in BC, thanks for sharing.
  • + 3
 My lord you covered a lot of ground! You guys are animals!
  • + 3
 Ridin Rockys on Rockys Wink
  • + 1
 Sorry we were in the Yukon TIto - it would have been good to meet you. Next time start at 2am and you will beat the helis to Cartier!
  • + 1
 Three of my favorite riders (Hunter, Tito and Wade) who also love my two sports. Blessed to be able to ride and surf - sometimes on the same day...
  • + 1
 Wow! What a great trip. Glad you had a time, and filmed it for "time machine" purposes.
  • + 1
 I've always wondered how you handle coming across Grizzly Bears. What is the standard protocol - ride the other way?
  • + 1
 Talk about taking big fancy ideas right out of my head and actually going and doing them!
  • + 2
 looks so so sick but how do you carry beers if you travel light?
  • + 8
 You bring weed instead.
  • + 3
 Beer was a must have for that first night out there. The savrifice was worth it! Ahah Aloha
  • + 1
 @TitoTomasi: how did you find that Topeak tent, Tito? I'm considering one for next year's adventures. Love the idea of my bike replacing all the poles.
  • + 2
 @Crooks: check online for a local store! It's a must for true adventures
  • + 2
 Tito Tomasi meet Matt Hunter, finally my dream come true.
  • + 2
 What a great story! You guys win for most trail time in 3 weeks
  • + 1
 Great job...really captured your epic adventure !!
  • + 1
 Excellent vid my friend! What an amazing trip, congrats!
  • + 1
 That was mint
  • + 1
 nice! come to Chile..

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