The text message read, “You interested in an alpine adventure?” Having no idea what that meant, I (of course) said yes.
My guide was Jake, a local from Canmore I met through Instagram who offered to show me around. Our destination was Black Rock Mountain, a peak in the Canadian Rockies near Canmore, Alberta.
Jake’s truck easily bombed through gnarly 4×4 roads and river crossings to the bottom of the mountain. We were ready to rumble.
Well, almost: For the first time in my life, I forgot my cycling shoes, making a great impression on my new friend. Nothing like downhill mountain biking on SPD pedals while wearing thin, flexible barefoot shoes. Sigh. I’m sure he wondered whether this total noob was going to survive the day.
We pushed and carried our bikes 3,000 feet up steep rock chutes, scree slopes, and other “holy crap, this is unrideable terrain” and finally arrived at a fire lookout. Peering down the 45 degree slope, I admit to having a questioning moment. However, I sure as hell wasn’t going to carry my bike back DOWN the mountain.
Up next was one of the gnarliest, scenic, fast, and exhilarating mountain bike rides of my life. Words don’t do it justice, so check out the video I made and Jake’s incredible pics of our descent (see below).
For reference, he’s in the orange jacket, I’m in yellow. Follow him on Instagram for more amazing alpine shots. Unlike me, he does this all the time!
P.S. Don’t worry, mom, this isn’t my typical kind of ride! There were no wrecks and I only used up one of my nine lives (and one carbon rim).