Adaptive Trek || “What IF?”

On July 2nd Executive Director Mike Riediger, along with Tanelle Bolt of Rad Society and Ethan Krueger embarked on a journey that took them from Revelstoke, BC to Nelson, BC, by way of Crank and Paddle. This adventure is part of a documentary short which will explore the idea of “What If”. This theme was chosen not only to help the broader public see past their initial stigma of persons with disabilities, but also offer inspiration to those dreaming of connecting or reconnecting with the outdoors.

When it comes to the outdoors, or life in general, it is hard to take into account how lucky the majority of us are to have access to the world around us. For many of the people we work with at KASA on a day-to-day basis, they too may have had the same thoughts of access as most, but sometimes life has other outcomes in mind. Injured in the pursuit of outdoor adventure, Ethan Krueger and Tanelle Bolt were joined by Mike Riediger, telling a story of pushing past ones perceived limitations and adapting to a new reality of Outdoor Adventure; its difficulties and the work being done to overcome.

Days 1-2 Were spent on Arrow Lake, paddling from Revelstoke, BC to Nakusp, BC. Joined by Adam Balls of Nakusp, the group had a great start to the trip as the skies cleared when they neared Revelstoke. The group first rode Miller Time, Revelstoke’s first adaptive mountain bike trail and were then treated to a great breakfast at La Baguette before entering the cold waters of Arrow Lake. Day one on the water started out smooth with a great tail wind and sunshine. As the day progressed cloud and a heavy headwind stymied the group as they neared Blanket Creek. Day two, the group departed Shelter Bay en route to Nakusp. Sunshine and sunburns were in order and this beautiful 10 hour paddle ended on the shores of Mt Abriel, just North of Nakusp. Mt Abriel is home to the Canada’s largest concentration of adaptive mountain bike trails.

Dawn broke on Day three with dark skies and rain. The cooler weather was a welcome break from the heat, especially with a long day on bikes from Nakusp to New Denver via the pass at Summit Lake. Joined for the rest of the journey by KASA President Janis Neufeld, the group showed their grit and determination by completing the 11 hour leg of the trip in sometimes torrential rain.

The halfway point of the Trek involved the hosting of Kootenay Adaptive’s 2nd annual Camp, this year being held in New Denver. This year mountain biking was top of mind for all who came, people were really here to get some miles on their tires. Full days at Mt. Abriel and the Spine trail in Rosebery had the group taking in the turns and views before heading back to the water for Day four of the Trek.

Day 4 began at the group campsite in New Denver, with participants on hand to wish the group well as they departed. After the previous lake day, 10 hours on Arrow Lake, the Crew was in for a fantastic day on the water and a relatively quick crossing of Slocan Lake. Calm winds and sunshine guided the group along the last leg to Slocan City.

Day 5 began early as the group made their way to the start of the Slocan Rail Trail. Spirits were high after a successful day on Slocan Lake and with 76 kms of pedal and crank ahead of them, they departed Slocan City en route to Nelson. Cool rainy weather was the mainstay of the first 40 kms along the Slocan River, as the group neared the end of the rail trail the clouds began to part and the sun was back to stay. Upon leaving the trail, the crew took the back roads over the mountains to avoid completing the journey on the highway. A particularly brutal climb was rewarded by a long descent into Nelson. When the group arrived at the Best Western Baker St Inn, the staff had prepared a welcome for Ethan and Tanelle, congratulating them on their successful Trek. With the Trek complete and no big days ahead, the crew celebrated into the night, thanks to Backroads Brewing and departed the next day back to Nakusp.

We would like to thank all of our Sponsors and supporters, listed and unlisted. Your generous support helped make this possible and we cannot wait to share the completed documentary with you!

For more stories, videos and images follow along with their journey on Facebook and Instagram.

If you would like to donate to the Trek, Documentary or to help with programming of adaptive outdoor sport in BC, please contact mike@kootenayadaptive.com. Tax receipts are available.

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