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Fatbikepacking Adventure With Teens

The teen years mean father and son trips are a lot lamer than they were when my son was young. Not that I’m slower, or less adventurous, but I’m just not as cool as his friends are.

[as usual, click photos to enlarge.]

The solution to this, is of course, to bring friends.

Adam had been on a spring fatbikepacking trip with us, and he is good company and competent outdoors. He has many skills, and can keep both Tadhg and I interested with his memory of interesting facts. He also has his own fatbike.

This trip ended up being a bit more challenging than I originally anticipated, but with the challenge came adventure. We had some of nearly every type of snow, lots of pushing, a river to ford, and nearly a full day of blizzard conditions. And yes, we did eat a bag of chips and hummus for breakfast.

Adam may have to sleep for a week after riding, pushing, and carrying his bike on over 80km of winter trails, but I hope he’ll have memories for a lifetime. This was full-on adventure riding, and when things got tough, the kids were up to the challenge.

I posted. a route on RideWithGPS here

For those who have been asking, I make the pogies, aka bar mitts by myself, in my basement, I sell them on this very site, so click on this link to buy some..

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In Which My Friend Guy and I Stumble Into a Surprise Winter Adventure

My friend Guy is a super positive influence to take on bikepacking trips. He always has a new piece of home-made gear to show off, or a new idea to solve a common problem. He never whines, which is good, because…

The Sensible Part

Our first night out was led by our mutual friend Steve O’Shaughnessy, the host of the Bikepack Canada Podcast. Since Steve had to get home to his kids early,  he wanted to show off his favourite camp spot within an hour of his home. Steve is very fortunate (and grateful) for the beautiful Lake Enid that sits an easy ride from his home.

In what I think of as the middle of the night, Steve was up and away at 4AM (sorry Steve, we did not get up to see you off). That left us with my speculative plan of reaching a camp spot near Dave White Cabin, about 1000m higher in the mountains. There was ice on the water in the morning where we were.

We Find Winter

Around 30km into our ride, things started to get really scenic, and also somewhat covered in snow. Just a few km later, and a couple hundred metres higher, the somewhat covered became completely covered, and the snow started getting deeper. We hadn’t brought fatbikes, who does for unknown conditions high in the mountains in late fall?

We got to some steep, rocky, snow-covered trail, we pushed the bikes onward. Guy didn’t whine, in fact, he seemed happy, just like I was. We didn’t make it to the cabin, we did make it to some nice larches showing their beautiful golden fall colour. The mountains were stunning. Don’t go, you’ll hate it. We set up camp early enough to eat in the last of our natural light.

We Sleep Through a Cold Night

The cold warning went off on my InReach at some point in the night. That usually means -18ºC, though the temperature on my thermometer was -14 when I got up after sunrise. I am very glad that both of us were prepared, because that is definitely into the realm of cold temperatures. I usually use my jacket in its bag as a pillow and I was within a couple of degrees of swapping it into a jacket and using my clothing bag as backup pillow instead. With my -10ºC quilt, and my hacked Costco blanket, I was theoretically good to about -17ºC plus a wool sweater.

Coffee, breakfast, a ride back to Invermere filled out the rest of our winter mountain adventure.

I’m told this area is popular with snowmobilers in winter. I think we may need to go back and try our luck after a few snowmobiles have packed a trail for us. Worst case, we have fun again.

Thanks to Guy Stuart for the pictures of me and the better scenic shots, to Kimberly for the group shot, and to Guy and Steve for being the kind of friends they are.