Fifty-six Twenty

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - by Cas­sidy Ran­dall

15 km of newly minted, ma­chineb­uilt flow in Revelstoke

While Revelstoke has been a hot spot on the ski cir­cuit for years, the moun­tain town has stayed rel­a­tively off the radar for moun­tain bik­ing, even though the sur­round­ing ranges are home to some of the most beau­ti­ful alpine trails in B.C. Un­til re­cently, that list of alpine trails didn’t in­clude the sub­lime sum­mer ter­rain above Revelstoke Moun­tain Re­sort’s (rmr) tree­line. Var­i­ous bike trails have been built on the moun­tain dur­ing the past decade (not all of them sanc­tioned). But in the tra­di­tion of the am­bi­tious hu­man-pow­ered ethos at the base of lo­cal Revelstoke cul­ture, none were

lift-serviced. All re­quired climb­ing to ac­cess, most up burly black or dou­ble black di­a­mond de­scents aptly chris­tened with gnarly names, such as Crow­bar or Pipe Wrench. The soli­tary blue de­scent on the map, Big Easy, fit in de­spite its chill name be­cause it re­quired rid­ers to head up the most puke-wor­thy climb trail to ac­cess.

On July 26, rmr opened Fifty-six Twenty, a new gon­dola-served moun­tain bike trail. Named for the amount of ver­ti­cal from the top, the trail is 5,620 feet of ma­chine-built flow un­like any­thing most rid­ers have ever ex­pe­ri­enced. This isn’t to say that it’s easy ac­cess. Although rid­ers can take the gon­dola most of the way up, in typ­i­cal Revelstoke style, get­ting to the top of Fifty-six Twenty still re­quires ped­alling 7 km up 518 m into the alpine. The climb through wild­flow­ers is well graded, though, with in­cred­i­ble views of the Columbia River me­an­der­ing be­low and peaks of the Monashees with their glaciers across the val­ley. At the top of the climb, rid­ers are re­warded with rmr’s sin­gu­lar sky­line view de­fined by Cartier and Ghost peaks.

And then it’s all about the well-earned de­scent – 15 km of it to be ex­act. With berms and jumps for what feels like days, it’s the long­est flow trail in B.C. – maybe the world, but that has yet to be con­firmed defini­tively. Re­gard­less, while you’re fly­ing down the trail, the never-end­ing de­scent def­i­nitely feels like the long­est stretch of pure fun any­where on the planet.

“With berms and jumps for what feels like days, it’s the long­est trail of its kind in B.C. Maybe the world.”

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