Huge days in the South Chilcotin Mountains, BC


Just got back from one of the best and most fun muni trips of my life, in the South Chilcotin Mountains of BC. This area has long been known to locals as a worldclass place for alpine mountain biking, through gorgeous alpine bowls, ridgetops, and glaciated alpine peaks. There were also some great shots of the area in the bike video The Collective, if you’ve seen that.

The trip was with 8 ambitious and fit mountain bikers to an area with technical cross-country, so I was curious to see how it would be to keep up on a muni. With perfect conditions and nearly cloudless skies and no equipment issues to speak of, we basically rode our brains out. We rode 8-12 hours each day and covered about 185 km (114 miles) and about 12,400 metres (40,700’) of vertical (equal climbing & descents) in 4 days, all on beautiful technical singletrack through alpine and subalpine terrain. I was on a geared KH26, although I spent most of the time in 1st gear due to the steep terrain.

Located about 30 km northwest of Pemberton BC (north of Whistler) this area is amazing in that it is mountainous and remote, with spectacular glaciated peaks, yet unlike most of coastal BC it has an extensive trail network thanks to a generation of wranglers grazing horses up the valleys. These trails can be used to access sometimes trail-less yet completely rideable ridge tops and valley system singletrack extending way into the wilderness.

We were self-propelled (no shuttles) but not self supported - we hired a wrangler with horses to take our stuff into a high camp and then a 2nd camp on the 3rd night.

Here are a few videos from the trip; we didn’t all ride the same options and this account misses a few added “bonus” rides, but you can get a sense for the terrain. Attached are a bike and uni photo.

I’ll try to write this up for UNI mag if I can; it’s well worth a trip here and lots of easier and harder riding options exist compared to the ones we did.



Looks gorgeous!

Wow, that is so my kind of riding. I will have to put that HIGH on the list of must do rides. So much climbing, and so much high country singletrak, yeah! Thanks for sharing, would love to see more pics. Beautiful.

Wow, that is quite a trip! I can’t imagine how your body can sustain such an intense and prolonged effort. Amazing.
So did you manage to keep up ok with the bikers?
Would love to see more pictures too.


That looks like some pretty cool high mountain riding. I love those endless singletrack descents, and there must have been some awesome uphill there too. There is nothing more fun than a 1000m uphill (assuming some of it was rideable on the ups?)

By the way, if you’re going out to Unicon, you should try and get Tony M or Ken or someone to go on a muni trip with you after it, there are some jolly nice mountain rides to be done, particularly on the S Island, and it is dead easy to do multi-day rides with a light pack as they have tons of mountain huts.


That is exactly the type of riding I’d love to do. I’ve gotten just a taste of it riding in the San Juan mountain range in SW Colorado along the Continental Divide (your pictures look like you were there!). It is wonderful to have that kind of opportunity to do a multi-day ride like that. I’ve got the fitness and ultramarathoning/mountaineering experience just not the opportunity. Some day soon! :slight_smile: I can’t wait to hear and see more about your trip Kris!

looks like a real great ride and 12’400 vertical meters up- and downhill is a lot!

@MuniSano: come over here, we’ve got the opportunity :wink:

@Turtle: I know I’m jealous. I have access to a place in SW Colorado from which to embark on expeditions like Kris has just done. It is just find the time and opportunity to go do it. I’m almost there though. I’ve done plenty of crazy long distance runs with huge elevation gains and losses and have spent some quality time above 11,000 feet doing some fast mountaineering on foot. Now I want to add MUni to the equation. I’ve been a serious ultramarathoner for over 14 years now but am now wanting to change it up and do something totally different. I can hardly wait, I have a BIG PLAN but I’m just waiting for the right time to execute; sometime in the next five years… it is going to be so much fun and a whole lot of pain! :smiley:

Looks awesome Kris!

If you did the trip again would you take the 26 GUni or something else?

Most of the ups were rideable - not buff by any stretch but we rode most of the uphills except for very steep sections and some ridges that weren’t actually trails.

I got the KH26 into 2nd gear in a few meadows, but the area had a lot of sections where it was buff for a few 10’s of metres and then there would be a big rock or root you had to clear, so it was tough to stay in 2nd gear. So for much of the trip a titanium hub would have been a lighter choice. However, at the end, having the 2nd gear was totally worth it as on the last day we exited the trail system onto a dirt road and had to ride about 15 km back to our vehicles. Having the 2nd gear meant I could keep up to the bikes the whole way, which was really nice.

The KH26 size though was really great for me, because the trip involved everything from less technical XC to some hard downhill including an amazing descent of a totally rideable 35 degree avalanche path off a ridge, that was covered in dry heather and as grippy as slickrock.

Attached are a few more photos - from my camera so they are of the others on bikes. Will try to compile a few uni shots once some of the others have organized their photos.

I have to say I was really stoked that my post-surgery knee was totally fine during and after all of this!!





Ha! Is the guy in the upper right photo indicating, “Kris Holm unicycles are #1!” :wink:

Ha Ha. I think Lee was giving someone the finger because it was 9:30 at night and we were still on a high pass, with a ways to go to get back to camp.



Some videos (nos. 101-104)
And a trip report with photos by two others on the trip, that covers most of what we rode. Click the links across the top for Sept 11-14 rides.
Also there are some useful links if you plan a trip to the area. Best time to go would be the first two weekends in September - still warm and no bugs!





Edit: “still warm” means it could be awesome weather like we had, or it could be snowing…

Looks like some awesome stuff. Congrats on a great ride.

kris want tyre did you use?

when we had our five day trip in summer i used a 2.5 (26") from Diesel and had 3 flats in the first three days. on the third flat it was also damaged that i had to change it (now i bought the new kh frame and ride a 3.0 from Point)

I used a Tioga Factory DH 2.5", which is a relatively lightweight DH tire (1100 g). Because I want my KH26 set up as an all-mountain uni that climbs as well as it descends, I want a lighter all-mountain tire on it. I only used the Tioga because that’s what I had, although it I did like it. Probably I’ll switch to a slightly lighter WTB Stout 26x2.3" once I have one again, because I like the combination of weight and sidewall strength on it (about 900g with heavyweight sidewall).