Three Day Rodeo! Helicopter out/floatplane back. Base Camp set up with superb hill biking in every direction. Share the high alpine plateau with caribou and grizzly. Game trail runs, scree jumps and tussock bumps
The alpine has it all!
Live! Learn! Laugh! Love! Hike!
We usually try to meet our guests the night before launch. We find it helps to shorten the orientation and get into the mountains earlier in the day. It also makes for a more relaxed atmosphere for the orientation. We like that.
Everyone meets at our home and base of operations at 9am. We carefully review the gear going out. Our destination is a high alpine plateau separating two major river drainages. Weather can be harsh. There are scant lines of a 50 year old cat train, but every other type of trail is animal made. This is remote and wild country, high quality equipment is mandatory. We expect every rider to be familiar with their bikes. We have a list of mandatory equipment, spare parts and tools. After orientation we load up and head down to the airplane. Have cameras ready for the flight in. The perspective you get while flying is fascinating.
The alpine plateau is a rugged carpet of treeless wilderness with pushed up wrinkles of terrain creating lakes, creeks, rills and bald rock ridges. Tiny lines of caribou trails are feint but still get plenty of use. Seeing caribou from the air is common.
Camp is made with tents pitched for comfort and protection. The cook tent is set up with stove, fuel and food/drink boxes. Bikes assembled and it’s off for a quick ride to the nearest knob. Binoculars come out and wildlife is spotted and observed. Grizzly bear, caribou, wolf, wolverine, black bears passing through and the occasional moose headed for who knows where, are all part of the wildlife kingdom who call this place home. First night dinner is usually local fare including moose, caribou, salmon or halibut.
Day 2 Up for a power breakfast of carbs and protein. Lunches packed, extra gear and water loaded and secured. Point and pedal, rockin’ out, the highest landmark is a two hour workout but offers splendid views from the perch. There are few trails to follow, much of the biking is done “off-road”. It is challenging, but oh so rewarding. When you reach that high point and scan the western horizon, you’ll be taking in the entire massif of Denali National Park. The highest mountain in North America, Denali, dominates the skyline. Peaks of snow and ice span 100 miles north and south of Denali. It is an impressive sight. From this vantage point, cool lines can be picked out for bike runs in every direction. Heading north, we run into an old “cat trail” and hop on the parallel scratches. This “trail” bisects the plateau east to west. Heading west we have rising terrain and to the east it slowly drops down to Stephan Lake, an ancient meeting place of indigenous tribes from the Copper River, Cook Inlet and as far north as the Yukon. Adventure awaits in every direction and on the backside of every hill.
Day 3 Breaking out the cinnamon rolls and bacon sandwiches. Boom, we are off and running for the next 6 or 7 hours. Exploring with a bike offers the distinct advantage of an accelerated travel rate. The trick in the tundra is to pick your line far out ahead and avoid willows and dense shrubbery. Everyone leads and it’s follow-the-leader for a giant circumnavigation of the area. We try to get back to camp an hour before pick-up so we can break everything down and prepare for the flight home. Our guides usually bring fishing tackle and a gold pan for times when you want to relax and enjoy another pursuit. Cameras, GoPro’s, Phones, take every opportunity that presents itself to document the trip with photos and videos. Share the memories with family and friends. This is truly a trip of a lifetime for all bike enthusiasts.
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