Trip report from long time Cameron Village customer, Bob High. He is a good friend of GOPC and is one heck of a kayaker and an animal on a mountain bike.


In June, I flew out to Whitefish, MT with a great friend of mine, Ashley, from Asheville, NC. He is a Great Divide Mt. Bike Race finisher from 2007, and the most solid of bike travelers. We were heading to do a self-supported mt. bike-packing trip on the Tour Divide Race Route. Our plan was to ride this section backwards, north; while the racers were coming south from the race start in Banff, AB. We wanted to see them; and check them out as they headed to the finish line at the New Mexico/Mexico border at Antelope Wells, NM. For some of them that would be 26 days later! Check these crazy riders out at, the longest mt. bike race in the world!

Thanks so much to our friends Tim and Megan in Columbia Falls, MT. for putting us up, feeding us, and setting us up for a great trip. Rolling out on the bikes the first day with Tim ,on his way to work at Glacier Cyclery in Whitefish, was very special! He is the man! Killer bike shop too!

We went north on the Great Divide Mt. Bike Trail from Whitefish, MT. to Eureka, MT. There was a good amount of snow through the Red Meadow Lake section, but it was hike-able; and we made it through before dark. Just before dark we saw our first GDR Racer heading south. It was Mathew Lee! A North Carolina boy, and five time winner of the GDR! He had already put a huge gap on the rest of the field ;and was pushing hard to make Whitfish on just the second day of the race! He is one incredible rider; and proved that he is the master of this 2800 mile race, by winning it again this year! Yea Dog!!! We would see the the rest of the racers over the next two days. Incredible bunch of people! My hat is off to all the riders who lined up in Banff with hopes and dreams of making it to Mexico. Very inspirational!

We rode across the international border into British Columbia at Roosville, MT. and then we turned east on Phillips Cr. Road, and crossed over the Galton Range into the wilderness of the North Fork of the Flathead River. This is the most remote area I have ever seen!! Crazy out there. Nooooooobody anywhere, but lots and lots of bears and moose.


It was in this wilderness on day three that we had some serious bike trouble. My Rear XT Hub had a major melt down. I thought I was going to be walking for days and days to get out of there. Ashley decided to try and pump chain lube down in the hub to get the wheel rolling; and it started working!!! That was a very scary two days of riding not knowing if my rear hub was going to make it; all the while we were working our way through avalanche debris, seeing lots of bears up close, and hoping for some luck! Ashley’s fix worked and we make it to a town called Fernie. WOW!!!!

We hit Fernie, BC. and celebrated with beers/burgers at The Bulldog Saloon. Everyone there was so great to us! What a great bar! I got a new rear wheel from the guys at Straight Line Cycles. They were awesome as well and had my bike rolling the next morning. Fernie is a sicko little ski town. They have some great riding as well. Can’t wait to go back there to ride it up!

The next day we rode off into the abyss through Coal Creek Rd. and got back on the GDR route. That is another very remote area east of Fernie. The maps we found in town were very detailed for that section; but there were unmarked trails and roads going everywhere once we got into it…and it rain like crazy all day.

The mud was so thick we had to cary our gear and mud packed bikes for long stretches! That was tough. When we finally hit pavement towards the end of the day, we missed a crucial turn, and went about 30 miles the wrong way. We crossed the border into Alberta and ended up in a small community. We were looking for some help. I was to exhausted to make the trip back that day; so to keep us on schedule we caught a ride with some super nice folks back into BC. and spent the night in Sparwood, BC. Super brutal day..toughest of the trip.


From Sparwood BC., fired up with a huge breakfast and tons of fresh coffee, we started the last two day trek by climbing up through Elkford; and then over Elk Pass, across the Great Divide and into Alberta…the right side of Alberta this time!!!! The glaciers above Upper and Lower Elk lakes on the BC side; and above Kananaskis Lakes in Banff National Park on the Alberta side were just spectacular. This was the most beautiful section of the trip. Amazing place to be bike-packing and camping through!

Another day of wide-eyed, rubber-necked riding through Banff National Park and we landed in the town of Banff. We were pretty tired and ready for some food and beers; and there was a criterium going on! What a great race!. The town went all out and we did too! Awesome night to finish this trip on!

All in all, 8 days of riding, 445 miles, one major mechanical, a ton of bear and moose, one coyote that really liked us; and a bunch of cool folks….when we saw folks!

Incredible Trip! The Great Divide Mt. Trail is a true treasure for cyclist everywhere. To learn more about it, maps, and other great trips check out the Adventure Cycling Association.

Be safe out there, End Up End Up
– Bob