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Dirty Alta 200

July 21 2018
Hinton, Alberta, Canada

2nd annual gravel sufferfest. Cardinal Divide edition.

Sorry folks who wanted to do Neutral Hills... I will have to scout that one further and maybe schedule an event for 2019.

202.7km Full Route:

161km Short Route (with some paved highway):

107km shortest route (have to drive to Cadomin):

This is a self-supported group bike ride. Start is in Hinton at the Visitor Info Centre.

You will proceed on Robb Road south before turning right onto Pembina River Road at approx 32km. You will ride the entire length of Pembina River Road until you reach a t-junction with Cardinal River Road at approx 91km.

A right turn on to Cardinal River road begins the climb to the second highest gravel road pass in Alberta at just over 2000m! But first, a surprise awaits at 110km. The road is washed out, but it is passable by bikes. You are close to the water so might as well use your filter to replenish supplies before the summit push. 

At 116k you'll summit after some nasty 12% grades, then descend into Cadomin where you will find the only retail store on this route at approx. 137km. No guarantee it will be open or what supplies they carry. Continue on Hwy 40 and turn left into the hills before Watson Creek Rec Area. At 168km turn left at the Gregg Cabin Rec area (potable water, but I'd still use a filter), back to Hwy 40 for about 5km of fast pavement.

Turn left on TR500A and follow it over Hwy 40 and back to the finishing stretch on Robb road.

This full route has over 2700m of climbing. Constant rollers. It will be HARD. It's remote. It will take 8+ hours. There is likely limited mobile phone reception for most of the route. However, it is somewhat well traveled by commercial vehicles and outdoor adventure types. 

Gravel roads are rarely technical, but the gravel could be anything from rutted and full of potholes to smooth hard pack. Road/MTB/CX is your choice, but recommendation is CX bike with 32C+ tires. For the those who consume a lot of liquids, or if the temps get above 25C, a small water pack or third bottle cage might come in handy. Except for the store in Cadomin, the only source of water on this route is from mountain streams. Thankfully, the turbidity is low, but a small water filter is necessary to avoid any bad micro organisms. I use a $48 Katadyn microfilter 600ml flask from MEC... works amazing. Forget tablets.. you won't want to wait for them to work.

- pump, repair kit, tools, chain link, chain breaker.
- water filters
- light rain jacket or vest
- at least 2100 calories
- mobile
- GPS unit
- a riding buddy
- cash
- emergency beacon (optional)

If someone is willing to volunteer to drive a SAG vehicle, we'll all pitch some $$$ for fuel.

Post ride lunch and beers in Hinton for those inclined. Location TBD.

If anything beyond a light shower is forecast, it's cancelled.

Routes: 107, 161, 203 km
Difficulty of Greatest Route: E - Extreme terrain with frequent steep hills and long sustained climb
Start Address: Hinton, Alberta
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Tag: dirtyalta200
Jul 21 2018 - EVENT: Dirty Alta 200