Got out for a great ride yesterday evening with Dave and Colin (who moved to Rossland with his family four days ago). The route of choice was an out and back from the North trailhead of the Seven Summits trail system, to the top of Mount Lepsoe, and nearly to the top of Mount Elgood, then back down to the trailhead. The trail is in amazing shape, as good as I've ever seen it. A big thanks goes out to KCTS!

In one of the videos you will see some snow at the top of Mount Lepsoe/Elgood and based on my very informal assessment I was thinking out loud that the Seven Summits trail might not be open for another 10 days or so. Turns out I was wrong; Stewart Spooner who is the KCTS Trails Manager just declared this morning that the trail is ready to go with the only exception being some patches of snowdrift. That's really good news because I would like to do my 'Seven Summits Trail three times in one day assault' before the end of this month. If you want to check out the status of the trails you can go to the KCTS website:

http://www.kcts.ca/

The Mount Lepsoe/Elgood out and back is a good test of fitness, the climb to the turnaround point is relentless at times but if you like to climb you are going to like this ride. If you like to descend, welcome to a winning lottery ticket. This is a trail designed by riders for riders.

On to some stats... My computer shows 1960' of total vertical gain, and 1910' of that vertical occurs during the climb to the top of Lepsoe/Elgood. It's 8kms from the trailhead to the top of Lepsoe, which results in a 7.2% avg grade. As a singlespeeder the gear of choice is a 32 x 22 (on a 29'er), you are going to be struggling in a couple of sections with that gearing but overall it's a nice gear. A fit rider not wasting any time will achieve the turnaround point in approx 1hr. I think most riders should plan for 1.5-2hrs to hit the turnaround, that allows for some picture taking and leaning on a tree or two to enjoy the scenery. Don't underestimate the climbing on this route, I've bumped into people at the top of Lepsoe who required 3.5hrs to get to the turnaround and they looked shattered. However long it takes to get to the top it's worth it, the views are fantastic and the trail is amazing.

On to some videos from last night...

This first video shows Dave and Colin heading up the trail, as always these are best watched in 1080P HD.



This next video shows some of the snow at the top of Lepsoe/Elgood.



This video has me chasing Dave from the top of Lepsoe down to one of the first 'regroup' points, a sweet 12min descent. At one point I called out to Dave and started slowing down because I couldn't hear Colin behind me, but the game was afoot so I abandoned Colin and tried to close that gap on Dave. ;-)



We let Colin go ahead for this second part of the descent, a lovely 5mins of sweet flowy singletrack goodness with just enough technical to keep you on your toes.



This last video shows the final bit of descending before you hit the North trailhead parking lot, the last 90secs of this trail are so good.



There you have it, Mount Lepsoe out and back. Put it on your list.

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