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.