Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year mountain bikers!

Wishing you, your family and friends a fantastic year ahead...filled with perfect singletrack, howl out loud descents and amazing experiences while mountain biking. Cheers!
Another day, another potentially great ride.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winter Fun!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tropical bike holiday...

Got a hunkerin' for some technical downhill mountain biking this winter? Or maybe some cross-country riding with your partner or a friend? How about mountain biking in Costa Rica? It's rugged and mountainous and cool inland, yet sultry and hot and tropical on the coastlines. Where else in the world can you pull this off? We've got a bunch of departures this winter, here's the latest on our Costa Rica mountain bike trips:

December 10-17, Pura Vida DH: sold out
January 8-15, Pura Vida DH: sold out
January 22-28, Pura Vida DH: 2 spots open
February 18-25, Pura Vida DH: 2 spots open
February 25-March 3, Peaks and Beaches XC: 2 spots open *Join an exclusive surf camp post trip!
March 10-17, Pura Vida DH: 3 spots open *Join an exclusive surf camp post trip!
April 14-21, Pura Vida DH: 4 spots open
Oh hey, what's up? Pura Vida eh.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

50% off flights to Peru!

LAN airlines is offering 50% off flights for travel between March 1 and June 30. That means seriously reduced flights to Lima, Peru and be available for both our May 4-13, 2012 Unforgettable Andes Peru mountain bike tour and our June 1-10, 2012 Inca DH trip. Come riding & save money! *Travel must be booked by December 12. Click here to read more about the LAN promotion!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Order a new jersey for Christmas!

Our new Big Mountain Adventures Sombrio riding jerseys are in and we're quite excited about them. Low key that'll keep you feeling great on the bike and looking good in the coffee shop post-ride. Want one as a Christmas gift, for a dear loved one or a nice gift for you for being such a good person this year? Comon' you deserve here and order one up!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Life is now.

We're very lucky here at Big Mountain Adventures. Every few years a special group of friends hires us to create an epic mountain bike trip for them somewhere on the planet. We typically work diligently with them for a year leading up to the holiday, planning every detail carefully. We know that this particular group really appreciates an amazing trip and that they soak up every moment as it was their last, literally. I've never laughed and ridden so much in a ten-day period. I was reminded today of this group and it made me smile. Life is right now. Enjoy.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Photographer Derek Frankowski collage.

A collage of memories from professional mountain bike photographer Derek Frankowski on our Costa Rica mountain bike trip. That's Wade Simmons high-fiving the local children btw, besides being amazingly talented on his bike, he's a rock-star diplomat of all things mountain bike.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

One scenic pic-nic and 100 goats.

Joe Schwartz and I were guiding a road cycling trip for our sister company Cycleventures in Tuscany, Italy in mid-September a few years ago. That's right, scenic rolling hills of golden earth, cypress lined roads, quintessential hilltop towns and perfect roads for road cycling - bella Toscana. And, yes, the same Joe Schwartz from Rampage and NWD films and all-round mtb shredding. Joe's not afraid. One day we decided to treat our group to an epic Italian lunch in a random field along a remote road south of Pienza. Sounded like a good idea we thought. That morning at map session, we gave them a rough idea of the location of said spread, and sent them on their way down the hill behind town. Next stop was the local mercato to pick up the ingredients: fresh tomatoes, bocconcini cheese, bresaola dried beef, balsamic reduction, fresh basil, a few melons, some prosciutto, some fruit, bread, other cheeses, and drinks. Done. We headed out and found a seemingly perfect grassy field just off the road in the middle of nowhere and began to chop and prepare the feast before the first cyclists arrived. Then we heard a strange whistling and some random calls in the distance. What the? Next thing we knew a heard of sheep emerged to our little sanctuary and they began taking over our perfect plan...
Joe and the impressive spread.

Some crazy sheeps where running, seemingly oblivious of the bounty ahead.

Schwartzy, casually guarding the bocconcini.

Catastrophe averted.

Good living.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Riding Huchuy Cusco: new Peru video.

Interested in mountain biking Peru next year? Our Inka DH trip might be what you need or for the all-mountain-with-a-heavy-influence-on-DH about our Unforgettable Andes trip?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Into thin Air.

Inspired by the European Alps.

Enjoy this collection of mountain bike photography taken on a Cloudraker all-mountain trip this past July.

Each summer we return to ride the Swiss Alps with the excitement of school children on the last day of classes before summer begins. Each summer we explore, scoping new lifts that lead to new trails. Some make the cut and others don't. Our all-mountain trip, Cloudraker, is a showcase of the best of the best that we've found in nearly a decade of scoping. The challenge each summer is to choose what epics to ride with those who join us. No matter how we shake it, each trip is always one to remember.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Spark of Progression.

Mountain bikers love to gather and watch their peers on the big screen. Rider Stephen Matthews rolled out the red carpet for the Calgary contingent last week. This is what went down.

Being able to witness the spark of progression in a rider’s eyes is inspiring. To be able to sit back and watch the faces of the amazed as they view mountain biking’s most recent landmark maneuvers is as entertaining as the production itself. For me, hosting movie premiere’s is great for just that. This year, I put on Secondbase Films’ “From the Inside Out”, and am able to boast an attendance of over 240 people, all of which left with a grin from ear to ear. The organization of a Calgary premiere landed me a premiere date of November 10th at The Plaza Theatre.

The film is an effort made by the much admired Coastal Crew, from the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. I’m lucky enough to call these boys friends, as they are some of the most inspiring people i’ve met in mountain biking. Dylan Dunkerton, Curtis Robinson, and Kyle Norbraten are not only unbelievable cyclists, photographers, videographers, and builders. But they are some of the most genuinely hardworking and positive people i’ve met. Working with action film industry leaders, Anthill Films on this one, “From the Inside Out” was destined for success!

It’s hard to pick out only a few shining moments of the film, because to me every section was a stroke of genius. I love seeing the Coastal Crew ride, because they are very pure with how they exemplify how much fun you can have riding a bike. Kenny Smith came out with a non-stop, edge of your seat kind of section (wasn’t expecting anything less!). I’ve seen most of the lines in person, and I can assure you they are insane. Thomas’ “Ride to the Hills” throwback hit it home for me as well, as it was the flick that got it all started for me.

             Calgary Cycle, Pure Cycle, and BigMountain Bike Adventures filled the guests’ hands with swag, and thanks to their support and vision for community involvement, we had some great draw prizes along with the usual blitzkrieg of DVD’s.

Photos: Shayne Saskoley

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Coming soon to a theater near you!

Want to mountain bike Nepal? We're posting our 2012 dates soon, stay tuned here.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Larger than Life.

Thanks Bicycling Magazine for featuring our Whistler & Chilcotins mountain bike trip in your latest issue's feature "Larger than Life: 10 trips to the World's most iconic mountain bike destinations don't just point you towards the knife's edge of adventure. They blaze the path. You'll eat really well, too." We're honored to be gracing your fine cycling pages.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Ride Dirt & Ride Waves this winter.

It's about time.
We're elated to announce that we've partnered with Peaks n' Swells Surf Camp on two of our Costa Rica mountain bike trips this winter. What does this mean for you? It's simple, and it's really tasty: join us on our new cross-country Peaks and Beaches trip from Feb 25 to Mar 3 and then leave your bike stuff and fly out to the coast in a little prop plane for five days of surf instruction, bonfires on the beach, morning yoga sessions, organic eats, epic accomodations and beach life.
Come on, how does that sound? Big Mountain clients receive $100 off the Surf Camp. We're also offering this on our March 10-17 Pura Vida DH trip. Yep, rip dirt then rip waves and chill out with some assisted stretching and organic eats and cold beers while the sun sets...
Or, meet your non-mountain biking partner out on the beach???

Peaks n' Swells Surf & Yoga Camp Extension Details:
Dates: March 3-8 (post Big Mountain XC trip) and March 17-22 (post Pura Vida DH trip)
Cost for Surf & Yoga Camp: $1395 USD (usually costs $1495 USD!)

What's included?
  • beachfront house with pool and epic jungle in backyard
  • professional surf instruction with video analysis
  • high performance surf boards
  • daily yoga classes
  • daily fresh & natural breakfasts
  • professional surf photography - your best surf shot!
  • happy hour with drinks and fresh snacks
  • fresh snacks at the surf break including freshly cut coconuts when you return from surfing
  • transport to the breaks
  • pick-up & drop off from Tambor airport
Want more info? CLICK HERE for the post XC trip and HERE for the post DH trip camp PDF. Or just send us an email!

How good does that feel after a week of riding?

Easy waves for the whole family.

Learn how to do this!

Super comfy digs with nothing but the sound of waves when you drift off to sleep...

Relax and re-charge. We all need it.

Wake up to a surf session, then a swim and some fresh fruit smoothie every morning!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Trail X.

We can't stop laughing because we're having so much fun! Check out this super fine photo essay on from Bike Magazine Assistant Photo Editor Anthony Smith who went on our legendary tropical downhill mountain bike trip in Costa Rica, dubbed Pura Vida. Did he have a good time?
Not a DH rider but still want to ride Costa Rica with Paulo Valle? We've got a new cross-country trip called Peaks and Beaches that's suitable for a strong intermediate mountain bikers, and higher. Come and ride Costa Rica with us!

Friday, October 28, 2011

"One of the most astounding mountain bike adventures of our lives."

Senior Bike Magazine corespondent Mitchel Scott recounts one of our first mountain bike trips to Switzerland's Valais region and the legendary story that followed. Click on over to, sit back and enjoy Mitch's words and Sterling Lorence's amazing imagery.
Shandro & Simmons at first light just up from Panchard's chalet in Haute Nendaz.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pura Vida DH: new dates & details.

Are you looking to get away this winter for some gravity mountain biking? How about a place where you can wear a t-shirt in February, where descents are on private trails and can take an hour (or more), where beers cost around $1, where your guide is a legendary rider and trail builder and ultimate host...and post can leave your bike behind, grab your surf shorts, sunscreen and not much else and hit one of the world's finest beaches for some deserved R&R, or surfing, or dancing, or yoga, or...whatever? This place is Costa Rica. We're excited, our legendary eight-day Pura Vida DH trip will be offered five times this winter for groups of two to four (yes, that right! SMALL groups!!) for $1895 USD. Click here for all the details. Or drop us an email to see what availability is on your preferred date.
Sombrio's Dave Watson getting away from the Canadian winter.

Costa Rica's coast is BEAUTIFUL. Deserve some beach time after a mtb holiday!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What has mountain biking taught you?

Check this short film out. Great shots. Now let's get out and ride!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

6 things to remember when going on a destination trip.

Ride lots leading up to your trip, you can never be in good enough shape. Typically on a destination trip the fitness required for a single day is not a problem for most. Where you'll shine however is when the days accumulate, and then throw in some altitude, some climbing and a big day (or two) in the saddle and you'll be happy that you arrived fit.

Talk to your tour operator about the technical ability required on the trip and the specifics of the riding. Is the riding in the desert of Morocco and generally dry and loose and midly technical singletrack and doubletrack? Or is the trip all-mountain in BC with an emphasis on going downhill where the trails are rocky and rooty? This information will ensure that you are able to handle the riding, or if you'll need to spruce up on your riding skills with a local riding coach.

Is your bike ready? Make sure that your bike is ready and know what tweaks to make. This goes along with the above point. A good tour operator should know the best tires to bring, if a shorter stem might be a good idea, or bars with a substantial rise. And definitely don't get your bike serviced just before leaving, have at least a few rides on it before putting in the box.

Get travel and medical insurance. If you break your pinky three days before flying to Peru and have to cancel travel insurance will reimburse you for your flight and land cost. If you go down on the trip and need to get home, medical insurance will cover expenses. It's best to kick down and get the most comprehensive packages that include heli-evac and more. Afterall, we're mountain bikers and what we do is risky.

Packing your bike is easy. Well, it's not as hard as you think. There are more options than ever for bike boxes: Crateworks, EVOC and Dakine are good considerations. Or, you could swing down to your local bike shop and get a large cardboard box which works fine (they'll even pack your bike too if you want). Unfortunately expect to pay an additional fee to the airline to take your bike, usually between $50-$200 each way. Or you can have Bike Flights ship your bike for you.

Just below the Italian/Swiss border.
One of the best parts of going on an overseas trip with your mountain bike is the dreaming and planning. Take the time to do some research on your destination and read up on the history, culture and sights. And, of course spend lots of time dreaming about the great singletrack and adventures that lays ahead.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Endless Summer.

It's that time of the year when leaves start falling, days become noticeably shorter and cooler. Soon, it'll be wintertime and our bikes will lay dormant for months. What better way to keep the mountain bike stoke going that to book an amazing Costa Rica mountain bike trip this winter. Our new Peaks & Beaches all-mountain trip which is designed for intermediate-level riders and above departs from San Jose on February 25, cost $1795 USD. For downhill riders, our amazing Pura Vida DH trips run Dec 10, Jan 8, Feb 18, Mar 10 & April 14 which cost $1895 USD. Get inspired and see what's it's all about with this video shot by Ride Guide. Your host is Paulo Valle, there's no one better to show you the trails and a great time in Costa Rica! Pura Vida.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Three things we love about Italy.

If you've been to Italy, then you know the Piaggio Ape. Bad ass. Piaggio need to bring the bad boy back into production. I got my first ride just this past spring on our new Bella Riviera DH trip and let me tell you it was memorable. Typically driven by an old guy, these little three wheelers can carry everything from peaches and even grapefruits. Big, juicy pay load. Look closely, this little nug has mano-a-mano hand painted on the front and door, one yielding a blade. Ape.
Guys in white pants and guys white shorts talking by a fountain. Guy white in shorts: "The climb," he said, "it was insane. You wouldn't believe how steep it was." Guy in white pants: "No shit eh? I love your shorts man." No disrespect at all boys, full props to let'ner fly.
Like architecture and history? Italy has amazing buildings that we'd only dream of back home. Check this out, the Duomo in Catania Sicily that was originally built in 1078 but destroyed many times by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. 1078? A little reminder that we're all here for just a short time, best enjoy it and take care of your surroundings so that the next generation can enjoy it...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On going downhill.

Pro rider and Big Mountain guide Stephen Matthews shares some experience of going downhill on NSMB.COM. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Behind Big Mountain Adventures.

The way we rolled back in '77.
Growing up in my family, riding bikes was a part of life. My earliest memories of pedalling were on the back of a tandem with custom cranks for my short legs; my dad at the helm and my younger brother in a baby seat hanging off the back. My parents ran their first cycling trip in 1972 in England and Wales and photos from those days show plastic hockey helmets and afros, cut-off jeans and white cotton socks pulled up high. Next year, their company, Cycleventures Bicycle Tours will celebrate 40 years of running European bike trips, they were pioneers. Itching to explore, I moved west to Whistler as soon as i could and I hit the mountains on fire. The community of passionate riders inspired me like an artist's first trip to Paris. I could not believe the energy; scores of people were building epic signature trails, creating innovative films, capturing groundbreaking photos and pushing the limits of all things mountain biking. In the summer of 1998 my roomate Paddy Kaye and I hatched up the idea of a new mountain bike event. We called it Joyride and the world's first bikercross, and later slopestyle, was held. We invited the best to Whistler for this first time - Lopes, Chausson, Peat, Gracia who came and never looked back. A few years later our event morphed into Kokannee Crankworx which took off. They even brought the name back this year as Red Bull Joyride with Paddy as the course designer who is now a bike park builder with Joyride Bike Parks which is super cool.

Enamored by the Alps.
Like a teenagers first love, i turned my sights to the Swiss Alps in 2003. I was instantly blown away by the potential; the country was a giant lift-accessed bike park with endless singletrack peppered with cosy mountain huts linked by trains and roads. I could not believe my eyes, almost no one was riding, or if they were, they were rocking fluro tights on fully rigid bikes climbing and descending dirt roads. The trend in Whistler at the time was jeans, heavy freeride bikes and big airs from the local school roof to flat. I labored my big bike in the Alps that summer and returned home with lofty dreams - Big Mountain Adventures was born. My vision was to re-invent guided mountain biking and meld the latest technology with worldclass riding in a seemlessly orchastrated dream-trip; ripping singletrack, a sprinkle of culture, an intimate knowledge of each region and riding style, great cuisine and wine and the very best guides possible. Riders like Joe Schwartz and Wade Simmons joined in to make the experience unreal. Nearly a decade later and Big Mountain offers epic cross-country, all-mountain and DH trips in 14 countries. The adventure continues...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Beautiful New Zealand.

Welcome to Nepal.

At Big Mountain, we know that successful mountain bike trip is the result of a team effort, a well-executed symphony of details that results in a trip of a lifetime. There's absolutely no doubt that our guides are paramount in this success. They're the ones changing flats for you, showing you the best trails that you've ever experienced, uncovering local secrets and chatting with you at dinner time - and a whole lot more. Next month we have a group off to Nepal on our Himalaya Heights all-mountain trip. Along with Whistler-based Big Mountain guide Seb Kemp, the group will be hosted by a team local professionals. We'd proud to introduce you Thagendra Gurung who will be at the helm of Himalaya Heights:
Thagendra Gurung was born in one of the remote villages of Matsyapokhari in eastern Nepal. He grew up there in an ordinary family, going to the village primary school and working hard as a farmer. When he finished school he came to Kathmandu to work. He was interested in working in tourism, beginning first as a porter supporting trekking groups, including work in on a bike trek, a trip during which he fell in love with mountain bikes. Today he has been mountain biking and guiding in Nepal and abroad for almost two decades. He is one of the pioneers of mountain biking in Nepal and he has consistently opened up new trails and areas for biking and biking tours over the years. He owns and operates his own biking company and does some freelance guiding for groups who are up for something beyond the ordinary.
Ready for action!
Training completed: -
  1. Guide Training Course
  2. Basic Computer Course
  3. English Language Course

Experience with the following biking adventures: -
  1. Lhasa - Kathmandu  (Tibet and Nepal)
  2. Xingjiang (China)
  3. Karakoram highway (Pakistan)
  4. Annapurna (Nepal)
  5. Tilicho, Highest Lake (Nepal)
  6. Langtang - Gosaikunda (Nepal)
  7. Arun Valley (Nepal)
  8. Taplejung-Ilam (Eastern Nepal)
  9. Bike tours in the Swiss Alps, North Italy, South France, Ardeche and Prynees

Countries visited abroad: -
  1. Europe : - France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, Nether land and Switzerland
  2. Asia: -  China, Thailand, India, and Pakistan

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When it counts.

A few weeks ago a private group of clients from California arrived in Vancouver BC for a custom guided 9-day mountain bike adventure. I'd ridden with this crew in Switzerland, the BC Kootenay region and the Yukon Territory and each of these trips were a huge success. All time. The pressure was on. As it is for all of our trips, I planned to show them the best of the best in our region. We'd ride the Whistler valley, the Whistler Bike Park, Squamish, Pemberton, the Chilcotins and North Vancouver all in one swoop. Like our scheduled Sea to Sky trip, but on steroids. These guys are strong too, so the line-up of planned rides was spectacular. Our biggest ride was one for the books...
8:45 AM. Watching the plane leave us and our bikes on the shore of a remote lake. And the realization that civilization is a long way away...across glacial streams, up and over two big passes and through some very remote backcountry.

10:30 AM. Cresting the first pass on a sun cupped snow field. It's always fun to feel snow beneath your cleats on a big ride. It was a big snow year in BC so there's more around than usual.

10:45 AM. When you have to carry everything on your back for a long and arduous day every once of weight counts. Have you tried Clif Bar's Shot Blocks? These little tasty treats are packed with tons of energy, just what we needed to keep going.

11:00 AM. "With great effort comes great reward." Who said that anyway? Brilliant. True eh? The very finest things in life, the ones that stick with you and really have an impact - take effort. This descent stuck.

11:30 AM. One of the many fine things about mountain biking is the places that you stop to refuel. I'd been to this little spot a few times before. It's special. A grassy meadow with a fork in the trail. Go straight and it's about five more hours, go right and it's another seven. We went right.

1:45 PM. At this point you're wondering who the fuck decided to take this route and why you didn't go on that fucking resort holiday instead. But then you get to the top, high-five your buddies and do a 360 turn and realize that you're very fucking alive.

6:45 PM. This is Peter. He's smiling because he's an animal. No really, he's super fit and loves pain. Ten hours later. We did it. Actually he's smiling because we put a cooler full of beer on ice in the van. Smart thinking.

New Italy DH trip. Check this out.

Coming next spring....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Would you ride the Himalayas with Seb Kemp?

As you may or may not know, globetrotting mountain biker cum-journalist-guide-coach extra-ordinaire Seb Kemp joined Stephen Matthews this past August as co-guide of our infamous Switzerland Alpenrock DH trips. He also co-drove the boat on an epic private Sea to Sky trip in our backyard, riding Whistler, Pemberton, Squamish, the Chilcotins and the Sunshine Coast. From all accounts across the board, Seb was a huge asset with his amazing coaching, guiding and riding skills and super sense of humour. And he's patient. Intelligent. He's top notch. We're so happy that Seb's joined our team here at Big Mountain Adventures that we've asked him to head over to the Himalayas next month to co-guide our Himalaya Heights Nepal mountain bike trip. I think that this group is in for a rocking good time on and off the bike as Kemp will surely keep things fresh and definitely memorable. That's what good life's all about though eh? Riding bikes and having fun. Plus, professional photographer Dan Barham's on this trip. All time eh?
Get inspired, read some of Seb's fine words and far-out thoughts from his blog "2FLAT: Insipid tales of a terrible child." Seb's account of Day 1 of the Las Vegas Interbike show, courtesy of

Seb's beautiful wife Brandii.

Some funny interviews from the Interbike show courtesy of Mr. Kemp:

#FOUR - Interbike QUESTION OF THE DAY from on Vimeo.

Specialized in Zermatt.

A little heavy on the Stumpjumper but that's OK, we'll let it slide this time. Berrecloth, Sam Hill, Burry Stander and Christophe Sauser riding Zermatt a few weeks ago. Some great shots but it looks like they should have had a guide to show them the way!
Want to come DH'ing with us next summer? Stay tuned for our 2012 Alpenrock DH dates. Or, maybe some all-mountain riding is more up your alley? Cloudraker is what you need.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Planes, trains and automobiles.

A great article by Big Mountain Adventures guide Stephen Matthews from the front lines in Switzerland. Check it out here on NSMB.COM.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Shooting the Alps with Anthill.

We're just wrapping up a very successful film shoot in the Alps with Anthill Films for their next movie Strength in Numbers. What a trip. Man. Pretty much a dream trip. There was talk thrown around of "best segment ever." We'll have to see i guess. Here's a few photos that i took. There's more to come...
I like this photo. Looks like Hunter is just chilling in the sun.

Photographer Mattias Fredrikson and Anthill's Darcy Wittenburg at work.

Hunter & Simmons in the big mountains. Highest of high class dudes.

Huntor leaning it over in warm evening light.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Free goodies from Chromag.

We had the pleasure of handing out to participants of our Switzerland Alpenrock DH mountain bike trips the best handlebars in the business, OSX Fubars and a killer seat, the Lynx DH - both from Whistler-based Chromag. If you'd not tried wider bars yet, do. You'll never go back. And you might as well lay that touch of yours down onto something stylee and comfy eh? Here's what unfolded when the goodies where distributed...thanks to super guides Seb Kemp & Stephen Matthews!
Mustaches are cool.

Nice bars.

Moustaches are cool.