We knew this day would come, so we aren’t all that surprised; It’s not possible to ride on Skirt Mountain anymore (commonly known as “The back of Bear Mountain”). For 3-4 years it’s been our meeting spot for a quick ride after work. Over the years a few people tagged along with us; some we met online, some at the base and some directly in the trails. This is a mashup of 3 years of footage riding up Skirt Mountain after work or on the weekends. Over the years we pretty much covered the whole moutain; a few short trails are missing from this video since it was already 20 minutes long 🙂
We were able to gather footage from about 15 different rides scattered over a period of 3 years, filmed either from my point of view (GoPro Hero2, DRZ) or Brett’s (Contour, DR350). Action cams being what they are, it happened quite regularly that one camera or the other was either out of battery, crashed, full or defunct in one way or the other.
We often got in through the Langford overpass on McCallum / Leigh rd.
The trail to nowhere / The Pitt
After trying that trail up the first time in 2015 we knew it went nowhere despite seemingly popping back on the main trail on the map, so we only did it a few times. We were quite surprised when, one day, the whole area was logged and had been replaced by a gigantic mud pit. The view from the top of the hill was nice, and it could be that same spot we turned around at in 2015 in the trail to nowhere.
There’s not much to it really; It’s just a small hill with a sharp turn both at the base and on top, so it tends to take people by surprise and doesn’t really leave much room to get a go at it. It’s also mostly blast rocks, so it can be shitty the first time. In rainy season there’s a giant puddle forming on top; we got wet a couple of times.
Easy / Hard way
The hard way is an awesome trail. It was more of a road in 2015 and it’s pretty easy to see how much it grew over the course of a couple of years.
The Trailer Park
One day, while exploring every possible trail opening we took a turn toward the trailer park. We had no idea in what direction that trail was headed and knew if we were going down there would probably no way back up due to the insane amount of wet slippery leaves on a decently steep hill. We proceeded carefully, and, after initially ending up at the gate, turning around to find another way then heading at the gate again, we got out through the trailer park. The gentlemen living next to the gate was very nice and understanding of the fact that we somewhat needed to get out there. There isn’t much down that trail. Ryan missed a corner and did an absolutely beautiful faceplant but unfortunately the GoPro was out of battery so no footage was available. We struggled to get him out of the ditch as Brett was exploring further down the trail, eventually turning around due to a big bunch of downed trees blocking any sort of possible way through.
What better time to grill an Ontarian on his knowledge of wild mushrooms then when he’s perpendicular to a hill, trying to keep is balance and not hilariously flop his beloved supermoto?
The Shaolin Trail
Best short track available on the mountain. For many years we went to the rock formation facing Kettle Creak Station for various safety meetings. We rode down the track many times but always turned around at a very, very steep hill that looks like bad news. On a day where my DRZ was freshly equipped with TKC80s we decided to risk it and go check out what was at the bottom. Turns out it’s Goldstream Park at the bottom and we aren’t super keen on pissing off the gentle hiking folks, so we turned around and headed back up the crazy hill.
Concrete and chain blocking the way
Those 2 blocks of concrete and the chain between them only appeared toward the end of 2016, essentially cutting access between the base and top of the mountain. We COULD have managed a work around, but when we go around a gate or a blockade it’s much more difficult to justify our presence to the authorities.
The other way in
Ever drove all the way up Bear Mountain to the last building / parking lot? Noticed those concrete blocks blocking a road that turned into dirt? Yea, that was the second way into Skirt Mountain.
We used to use that route to avoid the insane Costco traffic by the highway. Go over the mountain and back down on the other side, problem solved!
One day we were riding on the Bear Mountain side, happy to do our little crossover, when we were confronted by a brand new gynormous gate. Fortunately it seems like a previous visitor was more pissed than us and knocked a section of the gate over. Well…That’s a way in…