A Closer Look: Spring 2024 Trips
In the first installment of our annual “Closer Look” series (for 2024), we’re breaking down two trip locations that are quite popular with Chasing Epic riders: Fruita/Moab and the Sea to Sky in British Columbia, both of which are on the spring calendar for next year. These two trips couldn’t possibly be any different regarding location and terrain… the only common thread is that they’re all about tech! Read on to get the scoop on what to expect, which bike is recommended, expected weather, and much much more!
Technical Level: Intermediate+
Fitness Level: Intermediate+
Summary: Our trip to Fruita and Moab combines the best of both worlds when it comes to high-desert riding in the American Southwest. We’ve put together two of our customers’ favorite locations on the same trip, since we think Moab’s The Whole Enchilada fits perfectly with three days of riding in Fruita, just over an hour across the UT/CO state line. For this trip, we’ll be based in Fruita and will make the pilgrimage to Moab on Day 4.
What should you expect on this trip? The best desert technical riding in the country. Between Fruita and Moab the riding is rocky, technical, tight, rowdy, and quite rugged. We’ll spend the first three days riding technical trails that will challenge even the best Chasing Epic riders… and on the fourth day, we’ll reward you with super fun, flowy trails on 18 Road. Don’t be mistaken, those first three days will leave you tired and sore at the end of the day!
Ride Day 1: Kokopelli Loops Point to Point. A great warmup/intro day, the Kokopelli loops have a good amount of tech but also add in an element of flow on trails like Horsethief and Steve’s. Today we’ll combine those with tech-testers Moore Fun and Mack Ridge to give you around 20 miles and 2500′ of climbing and descending, with options to add more if you’re up for it!
Day 2: Lunch Loops with Double Shuttle. We’ll start today with a 2000-foot “bump” to the top of the Ribbon, which is one of the most unique slickrock riding experiences this side of… well, anywhere. After picking our way down through the trail system and stopping for lunch, we’ll shuttle back up for some super fun tech on trails like Gunny Loop and Holy Cross. Expect 18-20 miles, 2000′ of climbing and around 5000′ of descending.
Day 3: The Whole Enchilada in Moab. We’ll head southwest from Fruita to experience one of the most unique, fun, and rowdy trails in the world. In the spring, we can expect to be dropped off by our shuttle around Kokopelli or Hazard County (ie., not at the top of Geysir Pass), which means we’ll likely get about 3/4 of the Whole Enchilada. Don’t worry, we’ll add in a couple of side options to still give you 25 miles (or more) of riding with about 1000′ of climbing and 6000′ of descent.
Day 4: 18 Road Laps. Finally, time for some flow… and so flowy it is. Trails like PBR and Kessel Run will have you grinning from ear to ear, and Zippity and Joe’s Ridge add in a bit of pucker factor with their steep drop-ins. Today is a “choose your own adventure” when it comes to distance and climbing, but you can expect around 15-18 miles and 2500′ of climbing before we call it good.
Expected weather: Spring in Fruita is absolutely ideal, with highs in the 60-70’s during the day with very little chance of rain.
Recommended Bike: It depends. If you prefer something a bit more efficient on the climbs and “snappier” handling, then go with a trail bike like the Specialized Stumpjumper. That said, if you’re a solid climber and want something more plush on the descents, then we’d go with a longer travel rig like the Stumpy EVO.
The Final Word: For most mountain bikers, their progression isn’t complete without a trip to the high desert of Colorado and Utah… and that’s why we’ve combined these two locations into one in order to offer the best of both worlds, and what we think are the best and most fun rides in each location. Be prepared, however- this terrain IS different, and it will be challenging. Everything in the desert is out to get you, and it’s an inhospitable environment. But you know what? That’s what makes the riding so incredible- when you conquer a tech section, or when you ride a line you never thought possible, it’s so much damn fun.
Technical Level: Advanced
Fitness Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Summary: New to the Chasing Epic lineup for 2023 and back with two trips in June, the Sea to Sky is the trip for our advanced riders. The area is a virtual playground for mountain bikers, with terrain and tech that will challenge the best riders anywhere. Between the three locations, there’s enough challenging black trails to push your limits and help you find new ones. Definitely bring your A-game for this one.
From slabs to skinnies to flow trails to steep backcountry lines… this trip will throw it all at you. Sometimes even on the same day! Expect to be challenged beyond anything you’ve likely ridden before, on features you probably didn’t think were rideable. But it’s all about progression, and you’ll leave for your home trails a much better rider than when you showed up on Day 1!
Expected Itinerary: For this trip, we’re going to break it down a bit differently… because there are SO many trail options in each of the three towns, we’ll go into a little detail on how that will break down, and what you can expect from that perspective. Generally speaking, if the weather cooperates for our trips we’ll spend two days in Whistler, two in Squamish, and one in Pemberton.
Squamish: We started our expansion into BC with our trips here in 2022, and we were in love ever since we scouted these trails last fall. Squamish is the Disneyland for advanced-level mountain bikers with steeps, slabs, tech, and flow all built into the same ride. We’ll start you out easy on some “BC blues” (the equivalent of tough black trails in the US) to let you get the hang of things, but then we’ll get into it with black trails like In-N-Out, Entrails, and Credit Line. The descents in Squamish tend to be a little shorter, but they pack a lot of punch for the effort.
Whistler: New for us in 2023, Whistler is the perfect tech compliment to Squamish… the trails in Whistler tend to be a little longer/bigger and more raw, featuring old-school tech and steeps vs the slabs of Squamish. There aren’t any shuttles available in Whistler (other than the bike park, which we won’t be riding), so you’ll have to earn your turns the old fashioned way: by climbing up before dropping down. But trust us, with descents like Chipmunk Rebellion, Hey Bud, and Working Class all the effort is totally worth the reward on the way down. These trails blew us away… there’s a reason some of the best riders in the world call Whistler home.
Pemberton: Just 20-30 minutes down-valley (north) from Whistler, Pemberton offers an entirely different style of riding and a perfect compliment to the coastal BC vibe of the other two. Pemberton tends to be a bit drier than it’s neighbor to the south, and so the terrain mimics that: more rugged, steep, and raw than most of what you’ll find in Whistler or Squamish. Expect steep chutes, some fun slab riding, and descents that seemingly go on forever.
Expected Weather: Spring in the Sea to Sky corridor usually means temperate weather in the 60’s and an occasional chance for rain. Don’t worry though, the dirt gets better with moisture, and the slabs are still as grippy as ever. But still, make sure you bring a good rain jacket and maybe some rain paints on this trip. If you sign up, we’ll keep you updated with a up-to-the-minute forecast before the trip so you’re prepared!
Recommended bike: Coastal BC is all about the tech, so we recommend a full-on enduro bike for this trip. A minimum of 140mm rear travel and 150-160mm up front is a must!
The Final Word: This incredible trip is all about progression and pushing yourself, so be prepared. This trip is most definitely for our advanced/expert riders! You’ll be riding trails unlike you’ve ever seen before, with features and sections that you’ve only viewed on YouTube videos. Everything is SO well-designed and built though, that you’ll be amazed at what’s possible on a bike.