One of the many benefits of riding around the Priest Lake area is that it is surrounded by the Selkirk Mountain range. This offers riders the opportunities to challenge their endurance side of riding. While the area boasts many challenging XC rides, the terrain lends itself to endurance side of the sport. Thanks to the Forest Service most of the major peaks have trails and/ or roads leading to the top with anywhere from 1,000 – 3,000 in elevation gain per peak. Combine more than one mountain and you can suddenly exceed 5,000+ in elevation gain on any given ride. While this may seem like an impossible amount of climbing there are many endurance events that go well beyond the 5,000+ gain in one ride.

While we are not experienced endurance mountain bikers, the desire to see how far you can climb is infectious. It starts out with 1,000 then 2,000 and so on. The feeling of accomplishment when you reach the top of a mountain with 1,000 or 4,000 vertical feet of gain is the same. It is merely a matter of scale. If it is a clear day the views can be amazing and at Priest Lake you can sometimes be the only human being for miles. The serene and quiet majesty of enjoying the view and sense of accomplishment is then followed by a kick ass down hill ride. Suddenly If you want to see what kind of climbing true endurance riders do check out the Durango 100, Trans Rockies or Cream Puff events and you will see how far people will go to test their bodies. One of the benefits of climbing at Priest Lake is that the elevation does not typically exceed 6,000 feet so you are not breathing in thin air.

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