Like Gravy Train
, Bearing Straights is a two-way traverse trail, although when ridden from the top end [this direction], is almost all downhill, with only a little pedaling in the forest sections to help maintain momentum.
This is a perfect next-step trail for novice-intermediate riders who are looking for a shorter run than Off the Top
, but which still offers stunning views from half-way up the mountain.
Starting from the top of the Stump Alley Express lift (and also accessible from the McCoy Station gondola exit with a bit of pedaling), the complete route includes a short connector trail named 'Up & Over', which comprises a series of soft/loose switchbacks which intersect with Gravy Train
just before the junction sign for Bearing Straits.
Initially, the trail comprises a series of long and gentle gradient traverses across the open mountainside, and features a number of bermed switchback corners which are paved with natural flat stone.The trail is well groomed for the most part, but there are some rougher spots - rocks, small drops and other natural hazards - but all ought to be easy to navigate.
Approximately half way down, the trail then enters the lower forest on a smooth flowy singletrack (always keep in mind this is a two-way trail, although you'll find few people choose to pedal it in the uphill direction I suspect), with a few roots and small drops as the trail cross-crosses between the trees and the open ski-runs in this sector.
Towards the end of this final section, you may catch a glimpse of riders on both White Bark
and Lower Kamikaze
below to your right through the trees (and notice people appear to have made some illegal connectors to White Bark
), while there is a short uphill pedal to reach the official junction of these three trails, where you can then decide which route to take back to the main lodge and gondola station.
If you like jumps and drops, the short White Bark
tech-trail (single black diamond) is the way to continue, and which rejoins Lower Kamikaze
a little further downhill. Otherwise, you can stay on Lower Kamikaze
the whole way down, or access the trails in the Discovery Zone and/or Richter
for the final sector to the main lodge.