ACCESSIBLE TRAILS AND AMTB FIRSTS
Adaptive Mountain Biking Experiences that take you from exploring off road valleys, to touching the height of the Rocky Mountains.
The region now known as the East Kootenays, is the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation. With respect to local history and the continued struggles of its peoples within a colonial system, we have been graciously provided with a brief history of the Ktunaxa peoples creation story to share with visitors of the East Kootenays.
“The Ktunaxa people have been in this area since Naⱡmuqȼin fulfilled his prophecy and placed the Ktunaxa people in this area to be the keepers of the land. At that time there was some disturbance caused by a huge water monster known as Yawuʔnik̓, who killed many of the animals. It was decided that Yawuʔnik̓ had to be destroyed. A war party was formed. Yawuʔnik̓ plied wu·u ʔaqsⱡmaknik ʔakinmituk (Kootenay) and Miȼ̓qaqas (Columbia) River System. When Yawuʔnik̓ was killed, and butchered and distributed among the animals, Yawuʔnik̓’s ribs were scattered throughout the region that now form the Hoodoos seen throughout the region. When the prophecy was fulfilled the spirit animals ascended above and are now the guiding spirits of the Ktunaxa. In all the excitement Naⱡmuqȼin rose to his feet and stood upright hitting his head on the ceiling of the sky. He knocked himself dead. His feet went northward and is today known as Ya·kⱡiki, in the Yellowhead Pass vicinity. Naⱡmuqȼin’s head is near Yellowstone Park in the State of Montana. His body forms the Rocky Mountains.
Invermere is known as Kyanuq̓̓ⱡiʔit (Prairie on a hill). Kyanuq̓̓ⱡiʔit was a favorite spot for the Ktunaxa to winter their horses before the arrival of settlers. The Ktunaxa used that area as a camp in the summer months to hunt, fish and gather. Panorama Resort lies in the Purcell mountains west of Invermere. The mountain area is a place where Ktunaxa would gather berries, roots, and other vegetation. It was a good deer and elk hunting ground. Fish was caught in the streams that run into the lakes. The Nipika Resort area was known to be a place where newly wed couples went to begin their life together. When the Ktunaxa couple was first married they would travel to the mountain and spend time away from the rest of the family. Golden is known to the Ktunaxa as ʔaqnukⱡuk ‘muddy water making it look white’ (Golden). It was named after the Kicking Horse river. On route to the prairies Ktunaxa would set up camp along the river ʔaqnukⱡuk. After camping at ʔaqnukⱡuk the Ktunaxa would continue on to Yakⱡiki (Yellowhead Pass) where the Ktunaxa Creation Giant Naⱡmuqcin’s feet lie, heading east to the prairies for the annual trip to harvest food and other necessities. The route began in the Columbia valleys, up to Yakⱡiki (Yellowhead Pass) crossing over the mountain to the Plains. Ktunaxa hunted buffalo on the Plains and then, turned southerly to the mountain passes south of the 49th parallel re-entering the Montana plains.”
Unparalleled cross country hand-cycling
Cranbrook boasts many trails that were accessible before adaptive mountain biking trail standards were even dreamed of. The Cranbrook Community Forest, in all its reach hosts many trails that are adaptive friendly and with recent new aMTB trail builds and an expansive Rail Trail network, this is a must stop on your next trip.
Resort or from your door, you choose
Fernie Alpine Resort has a number of aMTB friendly machine built trails, all amongst a stunning backdrop, with view that will leave you breathless. If lift accessed adrenaline isn’t your thing, trails around town and the Montane network all boast fantastic accessible mountain biking trails. Fernie Alpine Resort also played host to the first stop of the Dunbar Summer Series, which saw aMTB recognized for the first time along with the rest of the mountain biking community.
True downhill racing and smooth flow
Panorama Resort was the second leg of the Dunbar Summer Series in 2021, with the most challenging downhill adaptive course around. If your riding style lean towards fast and flowy, then have no fear, Panorama delivers.
Cross country with a backdrop like no other
Nipika Resort, nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains has been working to improve their accessibility, most notably within their trail network. Over 30 km of adaptive friendly trails along stunning canyons will have you wanting to come back again and again.
New aMTB trails in the CBT Network offer a fantastic up-track followed by two amazing flow trails for beginner and intermediate riders. Kicking Horse Resort was host to the 2021 and now the 2022 Canadian Nationals, with some of the most incredible and unique resort riding around, this is a must stop for riders looking to test themselves on big vertical. Not into the terrain offered by the resort? No problem, the gondola ride to the top and views from the restaurant are worth it alone.
Summer accessibility is a new topic at most of BC’s Bike Parks, but not to worry, many of the regions lift accessed trails are ready for you to ride. Kootenay Adaptive works with our resort partners to deliver the best experiences possible for adaptive riders.
Golden, Cranbrook, Nipika Resort and Fernie all have purpose built adaptive mountain biking trails. Many of the regions wider single track is already ready to be explored by adaptive mountain bike.
Visit Kootenay Rockies Tourism for their accessible travel itinerary. Accessible rail trail is located in many places in the East Kootenays.
“All of this was here already and I didn’t even know! Thanks for unlocking this gem for me. I can’t wait to get out there again.“