“A spectacular singletrack traverse of the Rossland Range.
— Brian Smith
Typically, the trail opens sometime in July and closes with the first snowfalls in October. The trail is remote, with no water available and large sections of no cell phone coverage. Riders are expected to be completely self-sufficient and prepared for mountain weather.
For most riders, the Seven Summits is a significant undertaking, consuming the better part of a day. It is long, sustained, technical, and physically demanding. Lung-busting climbs alternate with exciting descents and swooping singletrack through sub-alpine meadows, dramatic ridges and mountain forests.
The fastest XC riders can complete the entire distance in less than 3 hours while competent intermediate riders will walk some sections and can take 6-8 hours. Most riders park at the Dewdney trailhead (finish), and utilize a shuttle to the Nancy Greene Pass trailhead (start).
The trail starts with a long climb to the summit of Mt Elgood, which is 100% rideable but a test of pacing and stamina. The next undulating section through the alpine is the most scenic. Unnecessary Ridge is a long, and in places very rough descent to Gibbards Junction. Another big climb up Mt Kirkup and a descent from Grey Mountain gets you to Red Mountain Ski Resort and the only reasonable option for a bailout (via South-side road).
Another climb onto White Wolf Ridge, a short descent then another climb gets you to the top of Record Ridge. From here it's still a long way, but mostly descending. Lots of technical riding and a unique grasslands section get you to the top of the Dewdney Trail
. From here, you can cruise back to Rossland on the Old Cascade Hwy, but most will choose to bomb down the Dewdney Trail
to their waiting vehicle and well-deserved cold beers.