By: Magi Scallion
Revelstoke is an established mountain bike and alpine ski destination. With it’s proximity to Roger’s Pass, a huge new ski hill, the town is abuzz in the winter with power hounds. Summer is not much different as equal work as been put into some fantastic mountain bike trails.
Two high-alpine trails, Frisbey Ridge and Keystone Standard Basin, are the “classics” to do, but there are also some fantastic options at lower elevations and closer to town. Last September I did a mountain bike ride on Keystone Standard Basin and posted some photos and a brief description.
We were supposed to do that same trail today, but as a run… unfortunately (or fortunately) there was somewhere around 10 cm of snow at the higher elevations so we opted to explore some new-to-us trails closer to town.
This led us to the trails on Mt. MacPherson. I’m familiar with the area from cross country skiing there in the winter. The “mountain bike” (AKA running) trails are a real treat. We ran approximately 24 km in a solid 3 hour loop at Mt. MacPherson and only touched a couple trails twice (more because we got a bit disoriented and made a few mistakes). The trails are well-signed but running with a trail map (and stopping to reference it on occasion) will make your life a bit easier.
The topography is wonderful for a long trail run. There is lots of elevation change but it’s all very gradual and rolling, so you don’t notice it so much. There is rare huffing-and-puffing on long or steep climbs: you don’t even notice how much you’ve climbed until you’re half-way down a long descent!
The trail surface is great, especially on a wet day. One of the members of our group described it as “Canmore trails in a Whistler forest.” That means that the trails are primarily machine built with wide and smooth tread (and harder dirt) but the forest is very wide-open with big old evergreen trees. It was also raining today, which always brings about the feeling of being on the coast!
I would recommend Revelstoke as a great weekend (or long weekend) get-away for avid trail runners. With the two “epic” high alpine runs and now these trails closer to town, you can certainly make yourself nice and exhausted for your week of work!
Born in Nova Scotia and emigrating to British Columbia via Ontario and Alberta, Magi has been running the entire way. Primarily defined as a cross country ski racer, Magi has competed nationally and internationally in that sport. The highlight of her career was competing in the World University Games and the World Cup races in Canada in 2007. Cross country skiers rely heavily on running for cross training and Magi has become an accomplished trail and mountain runner, representing Canada at the World Mountain Running Championships in 2005 and the winning numerous national championships medals.
Today Magi runs for fun… and it’s a lot of fun! Epic mountain runs, city cruises with friends, and more keep her happy and occupied outside of work and school.