The Sol Mountain Touring backcountry ski lodge is looking to break into the mountain biking market by developing a roughly 35-kilometre network of primarily cross-country biking trails around their lodge in the Monashees.
The 10-bedroom lodge is located in the Monashee Mountains south of Shelter Bay. They currently offer winter ski touring and summer hiking packages.
Sol Mountain representative Aaron Cooperman says the trails will include gravity-oriented shuttle runs, but the focus will be on cross-country. “There seems to be a really strong demand from the cross-country, all-mountain crowd,” Cooperman told the Times Review. “It’s kind of like the sport has matured, and that’s who’s coming to ride Keystone and Frisby Ridge. They’re looking for unique rides.”
Cooperman hopes the new trails will add to the Revelstoke area’s growing reputation as a mountain biking destination, saying he envisioned bikers coming to the Revelstoke area for extended stays so they could sample all of the destination trails.
He gave the example of the Seven Summits near Rossland as an example of a destination to be emulated. “The demand is sweeping the nation,” Cooperman said. “It’s getting very organized.”
The plan calls for a network on sub-alpine trails, including a “signature” alpine meadow section.
Cooperman said trail-building continues to evolve and improve. Discerning riders who travel for destination rides demand quality trails – so that’s the plan with the Sol Mountain trails. “Definitely, the bar is getting higher,” Cooperman said. “The trails are much more fun to ride than they were 10 years ago.”
It takes about 2.5 hours to drive to Sol Mountain Lodge from Revelstoke. It’s about 55 kilometres past Shelter Bay via dirt roads. The summer season is short, lasting just over a couple months starting in mid to late July. The lodge is full-service in the winter, but Cooperman said it’s more of a hostel-like atmosphere in the summer. They can also book large groups.
Sol Mountain has significant tie-ins with Revelstoke. Many winter guides and suppliers are based here and guests typically arrive and stay in Revelstoke in conjunction with their visit to Sol Mountain.
The Sol Mountain bike trails are currently in the application stage with provincial regulators. Their plans have been published for comment on the Province of B.C.’s Integrated Land Management Bureau’s website.