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Silverstar Beowulf Trail Review by Ross McKinnon

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Silverstar Beowulf Trail Review by Ross McKinnon

Riding Silverstar Mountain’s Beowulf Mountain Biking Trail

Silverstar Mountain fully opened it’s Beowulf mountain biking trail this July.  The trail is reported to be 35km long with a mix of blue and black skill level riding.  The Silverstar website has a nice description of the trail, along with the trail’s background.

There is nothing very technical on this trail i.e. no rock drops, roots, etc. I think the black rating comes from the trail length rather than technical difficulty.  This trail is incredibly well built.  It is about 3 feet wide with no stumps that I could see. The trail is primarily dirt and fine sand.  Each switchback has a wide and high berm to carry speed.  The day I rode the trail it was very dry and dusty but not to the point that the front wheel lost traction on the corners.  There are a number of well built, wide bridges across the creeks.

The trail is nicely shaded except for a few sections that cross the ski runs early on and then again towards the end of the trail.  I couldn’t enjoy any views as it was quite smokey the day I did the trail, however the trail scenery is very nice, and is especially beautiful in the cedar forest.  

The trail starts on the ‘cross the mountain’ paved bike path to the start of the single track on the Silver Shack trail.  The Silvershack trail twists and turns along a flowing trail with a few double track sections out to Alder point.  The adventure of the Beowulf single track descent starts after the trail sign and gate.  The trail descends for roughly 10km, with the start of the climb back up the mountain starting after the Putnam Creek bridge crossing.  The trail then continues for approximately 10km up to the pre-existing Silverstar trails for around 4km, then gets back on the paved bike path to the Village.

The climb back to the village though long, is gradual.  It comes after the descent and about 20km into the ride.  I was able to ride every climb, though the ‘Lombard St.’ (named after the famed San Francisco street) switchbacks added a big challenge after a 10km climb. 

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The Putnam Creek Bridge before the climb...

How long did it take:

Riding steadily I did the trail in 3 hours and 20 minutes on Strava.  This time was ‘moving’ time and didn’t include stops for snacks, water and picture.  Silverstar suggests giving yourself 4-6 hours.

What to take:

Lots of water.  I had a 2L camelback and 750ml bottle, that was just enough on a hot Okanagan day (due to the fire risk we couldn't start until after 10am).

Snacks.  Plan on burning 2000+ calories and plan accordingly…

Tools. 

You need to be self sufficient as there is no cell service and it would be a long long walk back to the Village.  A multi tool, C02 inflator and/or a pump and spare tubes are a must.

Extra clothes

Be prepared for mountain weather!   As the fall weather rolls in you must be prepared for all weather, especially considering there is a 10km descent followed by a 10km climb.

Check trail conditions:

Checking trail conditions on trailforks.com. is a great idea before heading out although trail updates can probably be found when buying your trail pass for the day.

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Ross is a 1995 graduate of the University of Manitoba.  After graduation Ross continued to study and work in Georgia, USA, at a clinic renowed for treatment of patients, including professional athletes such as PGA golfers.  While in Georgia, he went on to specialize in spinal rehabilitation.  Ross returned to Canada in 2000 to work at Rutland Physical Therapy and continue his studies.  Ross completed his post graduate Diploma in Manual and Manipulative Therapy from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association in 2005.  This diploma allows the title Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Manual Physical Therapy (FCAMPT) to be used. In the fall of 2006, Ross joined the Kelowna Manual Therapy Centre as a partner.  Since joining the clinic Ross has completed his Gunn Intramuscular stimulation training with Dr. Chann Gunn in Vancouver.  Ross has a special interest in treating spinal conditions through manual therapy, IMS and specific therapeutic exercise.  Ross is married with two sons.  Ross is active cycling, running, hiking, camping and skiing.  Ross is a volunteer coach with the Telemark nordic racing program, coaching 10-15 year old athletes.

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