Need local advise for the Alcan- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Need local advise for the Alcan

    Hello, In two weeks there will be two dudes from the States driving to Alaska. Your local help would be appreciated.

    In passing through, we are of course wanting to hit up Whistler and the AM trails around the valley, but maybe Kamloops is better and we should skip Whistler and the mania? We get one, focused shot at this trip of amazing potential. So if the real gems shine out, we can get the best trails possible.
    Up in the air are to do the Sea to Sky Highway, Prince George, Dawson Creek, Ft. Nelson, Watson Lake, of course Whitehorse, and on and on.

    We both like to ride AM/Trail style, and we aren't half-bad, but we have a lot of road to cover in the between rides. So two to three hour beauties are our focus. We're not huckers, but we're not measuring our wattage either.

    Also any killer tent camping spots that you are willing to share would be great too. PM me if you'd rather not take them public.

    Thanks, Adam

  2. #2
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    Don't skip Whistler. The AM trails and XC stuff there is un-crowded and classic. If you were really adventurous you'd take the ferry to Vancouver Island and hit up the wicked trail networks here, and then take the ferry from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert and continue on from there....

  3. #3
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    Coming from Arizona, you'll be a bit shocked by what passes for XC around Whistler. It's off the scale for technical. In general, you'll find BC to be like that.

    Whistler is OK. There's a fire on Blackcomb right now that is threatening Comfortably Numb, but that should be out by the time you come through. If you're going up through Whistler, I'd say hit the riding in Squamish.

    You can easily hit Kamloops after Whistler, it's only about 4 hour, and it only adds maybe an extra hour to your trip. Just bonm north on the #5 to Little Fork and then turn left over to 100 Mile to continue your journey.

    You should also stop in Williams Lake, which is about 60 miles past 100 Mile House. The Shangri-La of mountain biking. Absolutely stunning place

    www.puddlebike.com for info, and all you really need to do is stop in at Red Shreds to line up some local knowledge.

    also some cool riding up in the Prince George area, but after that I don't know much. I've heard that Dawson and Fort Nelson are cool, but I've never been that far.

  4. #4

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    Excellent...

    Thanks Doc and Johnny,
    I have wanted to ride Comfortably Numb for years, and as we get closer to our trip I'll see if the fire did any damage to it.
    I'll take the advice about staying on the main route north. Whistler and Kamloops, cool. I guess the LBS is the place to go once in each locale. I'm guessing there will be rad trails in every town we get to. But I want to see if some real gems come in. Like Porcupine Rim in Moab or Fisher Creek In Sun Valley, I'd love to get a list of trails from south to north that will blow us away. Rad enough to get out of the car, all cramped up, and rip chain smoke and then be able to get back into the car and cramp up knowing another amazing trail awaits.

    BTW, what does off the scale mean for technicality? I've attached a pic of a buddy on one our favorite trails round here. Southern AZ is brutally technical. Cactus, heat, rocks, sand, weird storms, etc. What kind of technical do you mean?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
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    It's sort of hard to explain until you've been here. I ride XC with a short stem and 2.5" DH tires if that helps explain how tech it can be. The best way to describe it would be that the only difference between XC, FR, and DH is what bike you're on. The trails are all about the same. Actually, the XC trails tend to be MORE technical, as they're usually narrower and rougher. The FR/DH trails get buffed out more to enable the speed into the jumps.

    Anyway, just keep it in mind that you need an open mind and you'll have a great time.

    Squamish: 4 Lakes area, finish with Crouching Monkey on Debecks Hill. Local shop, Tantalus Bike Shop

    Whistler: A River Runs Through It (you have to do this, it's mandatory), then go do Thirill Me, Kill Me to the first part of Comfortably Numb. Exit the Numb early on Young Lust. Local shop, FanatykCo or Evolution

    Consider going to Goldbridge(Tyax) instead of Kamloops and ride Windy Pass. this could be the highlight of your trip.

    If yo go to Kamloops, go to Harper. Dewdrop is OK, but you have better stuff of the same flavour in Arizona. Harper is pretty cool. Local shop, Full Boar Bike Store

    100 Mile House, there's a new shop. Worth checking out.

    Williams Lake. Ask Shreddie at Red Shred's Bike and Board.

  6. #6
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    Found some pics of riding XC in Whistler. Here's an idea of what to expect...





    More at https://bushpilotbiking.com/2005/08/...c-tour-day-ii/

  7. #7
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    Definition of Technical

    Johhny is quite right about technical - & it depends on what you are used to (talking about Whistler here). Its been a long time since I rode Tucson area so my memory is not good. But if you are familiar with South Mountain in Phoenix I can give you some comparisons. I think a good comparison to alot of our technical is the National Trail (both going up and going down). We have nothing that is as smooth as Desert Classic or Fantasy Island.

    Johnny has given some great advice. But.....
    Squamish - I would add Powerhouse Plunge
    Whistler - River Runs thru it - no vertical on this one, but one of the funnest (& most popular) trails around & lots of technical opportunities (only an 45 minutes to 1.5 hours)
    Kill Me Thrill Me - Probably my favorite trail - lots of variety & technical - 1 hour to 2 hours
    Comfortably Numb - this one takes most experienced bikers 4-6 hours - there is no resting on the whole ride; even peddling on the flats and all downhills are technical, alot of the trail is soft so its more difficult than it looks- as Johnny said, do the first hour and come down Young Lust and save your energy for all the other trails Whistler has to offer (the middle is much harder than the first hour or so - almost no views becasue it is in the forest, but a really good workout for your physical and technical skills- an interesting trail - a must do if you are spending a week here, but not if you are only spending a couple days)

    I also concur on the Tyax Lodge/Spruce Lake/Windy Pass ride - amazing area (long but not so technical).

    PS The fire is basically out and is several kilometers from Comfortably Numb (or any other bike trails)

  8. #8

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    More excellence

    I ride a 7+6 bike and my friend will be on 6+5. My stem is 60mm and I'm going to lug two wheelsets into this trip. Also we will switch from flats to clipless as the trails determine.
    Thanks for the itemized lists, they will make my planning better. I'll certainly look into Windy Pass.
    Nice pics of CN.

  9. #9
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    Have you considered taking the Cassiar Highway instead of the Alcan? It's much more scenic and a little more remote. The big difference is the scenery, instead of miles, and miles, and miles, and miles of road through boreal forest. It goes up just on the inside of the Alaska Range, through Smithers, Dease Lake etc, and comes out at Whitehorse.

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