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Posted: August 20, 2021

TransRockies Gravel Royale rolling August 23-26

The TransRockies Gravel Royale bicycle race will be rolling through the backcountry of the Columbia Valley August 23 to 26, with the finish line set in Fernie.

Starting at Panorama Mountain Resort on August 23, the race rolls to Nipika Resort (out and back), to Canal Flats and then to Fernie on the final day for the big finish.

“At four days, 375 km and 7,000 m in elevation gain, the TransRockies Gravel Royale is truly in a league of its own,” the race website outlines.

The majority of the race will be held on forest service roads, with riders having to cut through Invermere on day one, before heading to Windermere Loop Road and then east up Westroc Mine Road up and over the pass down to Kootenay Settlers FSR for the last leg north to Nipika Resort.

Day two will see riders leaved Nipika for a loop to Miller Pass, via Cross River, Albert River and Palliser River FSRs.

Day three has racers leaving Nipika and heading southeast to Little Elk Pass, before turning south to Fenwick before heading down the Kootenay-Palliser FSR to the Kootenay-White rec site and then south on the east side of the Kootenay River before crossing the single-lane Kootenay River Bridge onto the Kootenay FSR for the final few kilometres into Canal Flats.

Finally, day four has riders heading back to the single-lane bridge, over the Kootenay and up to Whiteswan Lake FSR, where they head through the provincial park along the lakes before angling east and then south to Blackfoot-Quinn Pass and down via Queen Creek FSR to Bull River FSR. They then branch southeast on the Hartley-Sulphur snowmobile trail, which they follow to Hartley Lake Road, over Hartley Pass and down to Dicken Road for the final few km to Fernie, where they follow trails to the finish line at Annex Park.

These athletes will spend the evening in Canal Flats camping out in the park / ball diamond.

The TransRockies Gravel Royale is a remote crossing of the Rockies primarily on forestry roads.

There are eight checkpoints along the way for riders, with 84% of the route on gravel road, 10% on pavement, five per cent on doubletrack and one per cent on singletrack.

Stage 1 – Tegart Pass – Panorama Mountain Resort to Nipika. It is an 81 km route with 2,100 m climbing.

Currently known course issues: Some snow on Tegart Pass, but passable on foot; deadfall on road descending from Tegart Pass.

Stage 2 – Miller Pass – Nipika to Nipika (return). It is 83 km with 1,500 m climbing.

Currently known course issues:Chain across double track trail at North Boundary of Nipika Trail System; Some deadfall just south of Miller Pass; Impassible high water stream crossing south of Miller Pass (as of June 16); approximately three km of heavy brush between Miller Pass and Albert River FSR not yet cleared.

Stage 3 – Little Elk Pass – Nipika to Canal Flats. It is 82 km with 1,800 m climbing.

Currently known course issues: White River at Kootenay-White Confluence – water is high, crossing won’t likely be possible until late August; Deadfall likely on Kootenay East side past the river crossing.

Stage 4 – Hartley Pass – Canal Flats to Fernie. It is 135 km with 2,400 m climbing.

Currently known course issues: Possible high stream crossings and bridge damage on Blackfoot-Quinn FSR.

To local backcountry explorers and wokers, please be aware of where these riders may be located between August 23-26.


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