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Reflections

Mid-Week Peak: An Off-Road S24O

by , July 23, 2014

“I am going to pass out so fucking hard.” We were at the summit of one of the Coastal Mountains, pulling gear off our bikes and taking in the evening glow on the snow-capped peaks that surrounded us.

This off road overnighter - cut work early, pedal to the summit, camp for the night, and blast the trails down in the morning before work - had been hastily planned a few days earlier with Mark from Medium Adventure as a way to get over some mid-week stagnation.

brianpark-bike-check

Gear List:

Revelate Designs Pika seat-bag
— Enlightened Equipment Enigma 0°C quilt
— ExPed SynMat UL MW
— Snow Peak cooking mug, stove, fuel
f-stop Loka UL
— Sierra Designs Sirius tent
— Dinner-in-a-bag, granola bars, beers
— Aeropress, Porlex grinder, Moja beans
— Jacket, toque, wool layers, first-aid kit
— Fuji X100s

 

Porcelain Rocket frame bag
— CamelBak Antidote water reservoir
— Multi-tool, pump, tube
MEC trunk bag
— Map, granola bar
— Spyderco Delica knife, bear bangers
Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt
— 30t chainring w/ X01 drivetrain
— Serfas light
— CamelBak bottle

brianpark-overlooking-vancouver

After a few hours of gravel grinding from sea level we reached the hike-a-bike trail. We slogged our fully loaded bikes up some soul-crushing grades and rope-assisted rock staircases, soon realizing that not bringing mosquito spray had been a major miscalculation. I was getting dizzy with hunger, but it was too buggy to stop and eat.

We pushed toward the summit, skirting a small lake with patches of blood-covered snow around it - Holy shit! Let's keep moving. By now both of us were muttering about death marches.

The sun had set and the peaks around us were golden as we reached the summit. A slight breeze kept the worst of the bugs off us and we shared some Nutella sandwiches and beer.

Perfect.

brianpark-mark-death

brianpark-summit

brianpark-beer

brianpark-night-tent

Despite my earlier claims, I did not pass out so fucking hard. My cramping legs and blistered feet kept me restless until the birds announced a 5am sunrise.

Breakfast was quick, and we enjoyed some unique, loamy trails all the way back to the office. Thankfully I’ve been lowering my co-workers’ expectations for years, so my uselessness for the rest of the day wasn’t out of place.

brianpark-peak-sunrise2

Gear Notes for the S24O:

— I kept heavy stuff like water and tools in the Porcelain Rocket frame bag to take weight off my shoulders.
— The Revelate Designs Pika is well supported, but I still made an effort to fill it with bulky items that aren’t too heavy.
— f-stop's Loka UL has been amazing and I’ll do a full review on it soon.
— My tent is a boat anchor and I didn’t need to bring nearly as much cold-weather gear.
— The Enlightened Equipment Enigma sleeping quilt is lighter, cheaper, and less bulky than normal sleeping bags. It’s been great on several trips this year.
— I put some Velcro-backed tape onto my sleeping pad and pillow to keep them from sliding around.
— The Porlex grinder fits right into the Aeropress handle, so the whole setup is pretty compact. Great coffee is one reason I have a hard time going ultralight.
— My Thunderbolt is awesome (full disclosure: I work for Rocky Mountain), and doing an S24O with a proper mountain bike makes interesting terrain much more accessible. Plus, the ride out is more fun.

 

brianpark-loka-ul-viewpoint

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