Skiing/ snow boarding and MTB riding are natural partners. So many of my snow obsessed friends ride outside of winter. Despite the introduction of Fat Tyre bikes, not too many people ride above snowline in winter at least here in Australia.
But there is the spring tradition of assessing snow through riding MTBs along still closed roads – heading towards Mt Kosciusko from Charlottes Pass, riding the Dargo road to get to the southern slopes on Blue Rag Range, or riding from Falls Creek to access the Fainters are all stand out trips.
But this new film from Patagonia, The Last Hill (15 mins) pushes bike packing with skis to another level.
A group of guys, both skiers and splitboarders, set out to ride the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, from Reno Nevada to Mt Whitney in California on HWY 395 on road bikes, doing detours into the mountains to climb and ski peaks along the way. They get hammered by cross winds, have a few freaky experiences and the obligatory bike problems and more than a fair share of ‘boiler plate’ ice, but climb and ride some sublime slopes.
And on another level, its part of the drive to have a lower impact lifestyle – looking for adventure in your backyard rather than jetting off to the other side of the planet. The Backyard Project is based on a similar premise. What’s more sustainable than travelling by bike?
The take home message from this short film is ‘even in your own backyard you can voyage through the portal and into the unknown’.
You can find additional ski and boarding films from Patagonia here.