We’ve featured stuff by Tito Tomasi before, such as his solo crossing of the Alps. This time, he’s been and spent three weeks riding over the mountains of British Columbia. The video below is a really great snapshot of the whole trip, though he also sent the text below summarising it, along with a whole load of images. One thing absolutely baffles us: how can anyone get that close to bears and be so unperturbed? Yikes.
(No video? Here’s a link).
Tito and his pal Alexis have set up their own mission, riding some alpine trails and experiencing the backcountry in Canada. They have prepared for months to be sure they will make the most of the three weeks. Looking for long and high trails, they defined their zone in British Columbia from Vancouver to Nelson on the east and Revelstoke at the further north east. Where the Chilcotins would mark the north west limit and of course the zone was including 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 Tito. He just installed his own Mavic wheels and they left for Kelowna their first stop.
The zone is 4 hours from Vancouver, it’s a dry and fairly flat zone if you compare to the rest of the Rockies but the area offers some great rides. Unfortunately the wild fires where massive this year in western Canada, the Okanagan lake area was closed for mountain bikers. So Tito and Alexis went to West Kelowna and rode Rose Valley trails, some fun trails and fast lines to acclimate to BC! This was the first ride in Canada for Alexis and his first crash too .. Alexis lost the control in a fast turn and drift on the left side, leaving some blood and skin on the trail.
Because of the huge fire 50 kilometers from the city they decided to jump to the next step.
A great experience for the two french men, this trail is crossing the alpine and passing seven summits above the town of Rossland. They decided to camp on the highest summit at 2200 meters high, to enjoy the sunset and sunrise and ride this awesome trail in the best light condition. A good moment for the two alpine lovers.
After driving from Rossland Tito jumped on his Altitude and climb the acces road to discover The Vein, awesome trail down to the lake. But on the next day they went to the summit above Shannon pass, getting lost they climbed the all thing on the trail, the two french men are so used to hike a bike that they decided to hike it, no turning back! On top Tito ran into a black bear with two cubs in the pine trees around! Soon the bear charged the riders back .. after a short wait they went back on the trail to ride down to Shannon pass trail. This trail will remain one of their favoride in BC. A good mix of loam, steep, jumps and fun section. The smokes where coming back as they reached the lake and they decided to not stay and drive north.
Alexis and Tito are so amped to ride that famous zone, after driving at night they discover the lake and the beautiful landscape in the morning riding in Mc Pherson trails. Fun trails and nice lights above the lake. After refilling with tacos in town the climbed Frisby ridge from the road at the bottom and finish with Frisby ultimate. What a ride! It starts from the alpine with snow patch and small lakes, surrounded by massive mountains, glaciers and huge valleys. Than the trail enter the forest, get loose, fast and so fun! Ultimate Frisby is more gnarly, deliver steep section, dusty turns and awesome rough sections.
Next morning, a bit sleepy Tito and Alexis are leaving their van at 3:30am … Climbing the Mt Cartier in the night was a thing with more than 2000 meters for climbing and 15 kilometers it was a tough one. Trying to get on top before the first helis was impossible, still they were spyched to make it and be on top of a huge downhill! Again the fires from far made a lot of smoke ruining the view from the summit. But the riding in itself was worth it! Crazy fast at the top with funky switchbacks in turned into a flowy and awesome trail in the forest. The middle part is rougher but still fun with crazy high line to take. The last part is fast and fun, flow and easy. Great!
A very quite stop in the birthplace of freeriding, the boys are well tired. They mainly came to meet Matt Hunter, after taking trough messages for years Matt and Tito finally meet. Great moment, talking about bike and surf, food and Canada. Matt is a awesome guy! He showed them a cool jump trail before Tito and Alexis took some time to rest and hitted the road west.
Parked on the Tyaugthon lake, the exitation is high! Alexis and Tito are packing their stuff for a three days trip self supported 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 the frenchmen the time to admire the beautifull animal.
They left at midday for a solid day, passing the lakes on Gun creek trail, passed Deer pass and camp on Tyaugthon creek. While riding the bottom of the valley the trail go along the river in the forest, the terrain is dry and sandy while more rocky around the lakes, finally at the pass the landscape is super open, dry and beautifull with great views on 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 they are crossing 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 the boys rode to Lorna lake and camped in that beautifull place. Spectacular landscape, with the blue lake surrounded by huge mountains and forests.
For the last day, they decided to come back down to Tyaughton lake trough Lorna pass and Spruce lake, riding some of the best trail of the park. A awesome day, going down fast witht the empty backpacks, they were spyched be the riding and beauty and got back to the van early. Enough time to have some rest and beer by the lake. And prepare their 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.
SEA TO SKY CORRIDOR
Starting to discover the corridor with some famous trails in Pemberton, the trails were dry and sandy. Loose and fun, they 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 they went for a sick ride in the Blackcomb area with Audric a good friend of Tito, lake jump, beers and burritos!
In the next days they were riding around Whistler on some very diversed trail 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 smokes were around again and the views were really bad at this point.
Squamish was a incredible discovery for Alexis who ride this place for the first time during the trip, and the place is unique. Incredible number of trails, diversed and awesome. They rode some jump trail, some rock faces and more! What a good time for a few days. Than Tito got a ramdom email from Wade Simmons, asking if Tito was free for a ride.
So the last day, Tito got the honnor to meet Wade and ride 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 a awesome moment! Wade is a impressive rider and a awesome guy, easy going and humble. For sure those two will have more trails to share in the future.
After that it was time for the borring tasks, cleaning bikes and van, giving back the Altitude at the Rocky Mountain bicycles office and finally fly back home. The two friend are stoked about their trip, the mission was accomplished and even more. With a deep dive into the mountain biking canadian culture, lots of meetings and great time in the mountains, Tito and Alexis couldn’t be more happy. They come back home with pictures and feelings in their head, ready for another adventure. Because where one trail ends another just begin!