More vertical. Over 3500 m in 3 days.

  • Day 10 68 kms 1200 vertical meters
  • Day 11 91 kms 930 Vertical meters
  • Day 12 48 kms 600 Vertical meters

Day 10

Cycled Phoenix Road out of Greenwood this morning instead of Kettle Valley due to the sand we experienced in the area yesterday. Just turn left and go up the hill the local suggested. She did NOT mention that the hill climbed up for 15 kms and 1200 meters or 3 hours on a bike. This was a steep slog. Probably 10 to 11% grade in parts. We did explore an old cemetery along the way with many Europeans immigrants, born in the late 1800’s and died in the now ghost town of Phoenix between 1911 and 1916. The harshness of their life was revealed in the ages on the tombstones – the oldest we found was 37, the youngest was 2 years old. “Once called the “highest city in Canada” by its citizens (1,412 metres / 4,633 feet above sea level) it was a booming copper mining community from the late 1890s until 1919. In its heyday it was home to 1,000 citizens and had an opera house, twenty hotels, a brewery and its own city hall.” (Wikipedia). Wish I had GTS’d that prior to departure ey Marianne?

The first switchback should have warned me.
The face one gives when you thought you were at the top, but the road keeps climbing.

When we finally reached the summit, a grater had come up the other direction in the last hour and the road down was rutted and sandy so it was a careful ride down. We did get to enjoy the next 15kms down to Grand Forks on the highway which was gratifying!!!

We jumped on the TCT after Grand Forks to enjoy a paved or packed gravel trail all the way to Christina Lake. Beautiful ride into the only open hotel in town.

Day 11.

Heading to Castlegar and had to decide between the TCT route which was less vertical but more kms and the highway. We thought we could choose when the path crossed the highway.

Lana tells me this is a really fun ride down……

This is what we found there.

The highway – about 100 meters above us..

As light as our bikes are, scaling the cliff was not a great option, so the decision was made for us, we were doing 87 kms on the TCT. It was noon and we had completed 25 uphill kms at a plodding pace of 3.2 kms/hour. We started independently thinking, but not talking, about taking the tent out of the plastic wrap and enjoying the delicious looking bag of dried beef stew and two carrots we have been carrying. Fortunately, we found an elevation map on the trail that revealed it was all down hill after 35 kms. In hindsight, probably the best bike packing ride EVER! I almost forget the first 35 kms. Right! Four tunnels, bridge trestles, lakes, huge trees, historical town sites, not one car, evidence of this winter’s avalanches AND we managed to out cycle some nasty looking weather. Thank you to whomever maintains this route and plowed the snow along the summit plateau, where we would have had to otherwise lug our bikes for several excruciating kilometers. So glad we couldn’t get off the trail and got to enjoy this piece of heaven.

It was cold at the 1500 meter summit.

Cycle day 12

Short day into Nelson to visit good friend Bruce. Toured his beautiful heritage home and had special time getting to know his children.

Jay’s Navigation update – We’ve started to sort out our navigation instruments. Garmin we use almost exclusively for tracking our rides. IPhones we use for navigation. The Gaia App has been the most useful for identifying off road routes like the TCT and allows us to download maps. So we tend to use Gaia almost exclusively now for navigation on routes. For cities and towns we switch to Google Maps to identify restaurants, grocery stores, bike shops, hotels, campgrounds, psychiatrist offices, marriage councillors…. That sort of thing.

10 thoughts on “More vertical. Over 3500 m in 3 days.

  1. Laurie Cote

    Really enjoying your blog! Sounds gruelling at times, but love the humour interspersed with the trials. Great photos


  2. Lana Webster

    OMG!! I can believe you took Fife UP!!!! There IS a less steep way, but you guys are up for the challenge right?? I bow down to you!! xo


  3. Scott Lanyon

    Great scenery but a lot of hard peddling. I am enjoying the adventure sitting in my warm house on a nice chair eating good food ….Ha! Sorry about that. Way to go you two!


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