Organized by Matt Yaki of Wandering Wheels
, we flew with Glacier Helicopters out of Three Valley Gap to ride the Mt Cartier Recreation trail
. This heli flight is around 20 minutes round trip; incredibly scenic and saved our lazy asses a 6-8 hour hike up the trail for the 3 hour descent. Cartier is often done self-powered by locals so read this
if you want to tackle it without assistance.
Cartier is an old trail - 17km long it loses 2000m elevation. The top part is slightly exposed and meanders through the alpine with switchbacks traversing across a planar avalanche prone face that affords some insane views. The middle section is hilly with steep switchbacks and technical bits with the addition of eroded surprises along the way. The bottom section is fast, rooty and has more than its fair share of pumpable duffy flow. The finishes culminates with a flattish 2.5km back to the trailhead!
All in all it isn't an easy trail and we found mid-travel bikes with aggressive rubber and good brakes to be good, although those with the full-faces and DH bikes seem to have a lot of fun. More info on Mt. Cartier is HERE
The slope where the Cartier trail is located is here; photo taken from Revelstoke.
Preparing the bikes at Glacier Heli pad.
Matt brought a bunch of extra padding to ensure the bikes were not damaged during transport - he's pretty conscientous.
We hike up to the summit
Here is what remains of an old fire lookout shelter.
Then we hike down as the others come up
Now here comes the 2km+ vertical descent
Trail is not that worn up here and switchbacks across Cartier's broad face with outstanding views looking down to Revelstoke
Matt's enjoying his day.
At treeline the switchbacks are steep and sharp - this is a hiking trail after all.
Bottom of the trail, now we ride back to the helicopter pad where our truck was parked. The road ride is pretty flat but a tad long and you should leave yourself some water for the 13km. It took us less then an hour to get back.
If you missed the rest of the alpine adventure find them here:Part OnePart Two