Photos by John Gibson
Words by Barry Wicks
The Nipika Mountain Resort is a remote eco-lodge deep in Kootenay National Park. The lodge produces all of its own power on site and boasts over 100 kilometers (62.1 miles) of singletrack in the summer and nordic ski trails in the winter. Today it played host to stage 2 of Singletrack 6. In a modified time-trial format, riders went off in waves of ten, based on GC (general classification) standing, helping to spread the riders out, as they quickly entered the tight, narrow singletrack. They rode 40 kilometers (24.9 miles).
Riders wound along the banks of the glacier-fed Kootenay River, through deep, dark woods, and passed the resort area twice on the figure-eight loop course.
The hand-built trails don't see the same amount of traffic of less remote trails, which gives them a virgin feel. With only 1,100 meters (3609 feet) of climbing today, many riders thought they were in for an easier day. The endless twists, turns and dips of the trail system had other plans though, and coasting had to be kept to a minimum.
The stage took its toll. By the end, many battered, bruised and otherwise abraded riders entered the misting tent needing to be cleaned clean up, before the short trip into nearby Radium. Tomorrow's stage is near Lake Lillian and Invermere.
Results can be found here: http://singletrack6.com/results/