Canada’s impressive land mass means there is much of the country that remains wild, untamed, untouched. These corners and arcs of the country are only accessible via long, gruelling journeys. The toughest paths often have the biggest payoffs.
Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in B.C.’s northern Stikine Region is made up of nearly one million hectares of wilderness and mountains. Glaciers, rivers, and rocky landscapes make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site that borders the Yukon’s Kluane National Park and Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Wrangell-St. Elias National Parks. It is tough, challenging, awe-inspiring terrain.
Up to the challenge of braving the park’s unpredictable weather and coarse topography are four professional freeride mountain bikers, whose adventures there are chronicled in a new documentary that premiered on Red Bull TV in October 2017. Riding the Tatshenshini follows British Columbians Wade Simmons (considered the godfather of freeriding) and Darren Berrecloth, along with Americans Tyler McCaul and Carson Storch, as they embark a two-week journey that takes them from the Yukon’s Dalton Post down to Dry Bay in Alaska.
In honour of Riding the Tatshenshini, we asked its two British Columbian stars to give us their favourite B.C. mountain biking trails (which should only be explored by experienced riders, outfitted in proper gear). Because the west is the best.
Wade Simmons’s top three trails, in his own words
Mount Fromme Trails in North Vancouver. One of my favourite places to ride is at Mount Fromme, and one of my favourite trail here is Ladies Only. It is classic, old school, with all the stunts thrown in.
Whistler Bike Park. Riding at Whistler is amazing. It’s big mountain riding with beautiful views and lots of vertical. My favourite ride here is Top of the World into Khyber.
Powerslave Loop in Nelson. Riding in Nelson is all about big natural descents, beautiful nature, and big trees.
Darren Berrecloth’s top three trails, in his own words
Jughead on Vancouver Island. It’s my favourite because it’s been hand-built by local trail builders, and it flows unlike any other trail on the island. It’s so buff, and barely any pedals are needed.
Camel Pass to Litt Creek in the Chilcotins. This trail is one of the best descents due to the fact this is usually at the end of an amazing Chilcotin single- or multi-day adventure. It drops a ton of vertical, starting out with a buff, flowy single track in the alpine and rolling into some tight technical lines. Beers are usually needed at the end of that day!
Patchworx on Mt Prevost. This is an all-time favourite for any islander. It’s one of the steepest, gnarliest trails around; it is super fast and filled with big jumps and gaps. It’s a quick truck shuttle to the top, and full-on right from the start. Highly recommend for the adventurous folk.
Vancouver’s close proximity to nature is, of course, one of the best things about living here. Whether it’s hiking or snowboarding, we are blessed with an incredible bounty of paths and trails and mountains to explore. It doesn’t so much matter which one you choose, so long as you get outside.
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