Deep in the Monashee Mountains, south of Revelstoke, BC sits one of the fastest growing alpine singletrack hotspots in North America.
Primarily operating as a ski touring lodge since 2005, Sol has expanded its summer offerings to include alpine singletrack mountain biking. Since 2013 owner Aaron Cooperman and his crew have built 20 kilometres of featured, flowy singletrack.
After a lengthy permit process, their latest masterpiece goes straight from the lodge doorstep through alpine meadows and polished rock slabs into Monashee Provincial Park. As a two-way rideable multi-use trail, it climbs to Sol Lake, then beyond to Mission Ridge.
Their next project is to extend a branch from Sol Lake to Caribou Pass at the foot of 2700 metre Mount Fosthall. This trail is slated for opening in the summer of 2017. For now, here's a look at the featured alpine mountain biking at Sol.Purpose-built alpine singletrack is part of the package at Sol Mountain Lodge.Trails extend into nearby Monashee Provincial Park.The feature-filled trails include jumps, berms and rock slabs.Kappler and Evans ripping down the Bunny Slope slabs.New Alpine Singletrack Out the Door
From the lodge doorstep, twenty kilometres of singletrack extend through meadows and forest all the way to alpine ridge-top. Family friendly trails loop through the meadows while the mainline climbing trail to Sol lake takes a direct route up past West Loop and Beacon Check before weaving amongst the numerous rock slabs of the bunny slope on the way to Sol Lake.
The trail winds in and out of Monashee Provincial Park, which has taken three years to gain approval. From Sol Lake the trail continues to ridge-top with views of the Gold Range of the Monashees and peaks further distant.The morning's first rays of light illuminate Mount Fosthall.Singletrack extends right from the lodge doorstep.Tim Auger goes for a morning rip on Pussy Toe Loop.Riding in the alpine meadows at Sol Mountain Lodge.The climb up to Sol Lake begins by crossing the meadows and climbing through sub alpine forest.Crossing the bunny slopeOverlooking the Bunny Slope, Sol Lake trail and Sol Mountain Lodge.Stocked with cold, local Mt Begbie beer, Sol Lake offers a great spot to rest and refresh with a swim before continuing the climb to Mission Ridge.The trail continues past Sol Lake up to Mission Ridge with views of the Gold Range and Monashee Provincial Park.Overlooking the Gold Range of the Monashees.Ripping Ridge at Sunset
After enjoying the views from Mission Ridge, riders are treated to an all out shred-fest extending over five kilometres to the lodge. Adding in Beacon Check and Sassy Toe extends the descent to 8 kilometres of feature filled alpine singletrack.Rock slabs, berms and a little air time are some of the highlights on the descent.After climbing to ridge-top, nothing beats an all out shred-fest back to the lodge. Evans blows up a corner just above Sol Lake.A late summer rip above Sol Lake.Evans hits a rock slab wallride.More features await on Crazee Train and the Bunny Slope slabs.Featured rock slabs above the lodge.Continuing on to Beacon Check leads riders into some jumps and drops.Sunsets at Sol are simply stunning.Some days the riding is so good it's tempting to ride into the night!Nothing beats reliving an epic day of alpine riding with your buddies around the camp-fire. Oh,except staying the night at a stylin' backcountry lodge and waking up to exclusive alpine singletrack out the door. It's a fun place to ride bikes!
For more information, visit Sol's website
or trail network details onTrailforks
.Words and photos by Steve Shannon.