Ability Levels | Big Mountain Bike Adventures

Ability Levels

At Big Mountain, one of our goals is to ensure that you are well-suited for the trip that you’ve signed up for, both technical skill level and fitness level. Before registering please read our ability levels to help choose the proper adventure with us.
Part of doing great adventures is the preparation! We recommend that you aim to arrive to the trip fit and ready;
participate in spin classes, step up your weekly riding and fitness regimen and take a riding lesson if you think you need it. As we recommend to all riders on our trips, “the fitter you are the more fun that you’ll have.”
All participants will be asked to complete a short rider questionnaire to ensure the right fit and to help our guides know more about the group.
If you’re a strong rider who’s looking for more riding on any of our trips our guides are always happy to take you out for extra miles. And, most trips can be adjusted to accommodate more difficult or easier levels when booked as a private departure.

For all trips, the levels noted are the minimum level required, you can expect to be further challenged technically and physically at times during the trip.

Skill Level

Novice+

Have a summer of mountain biking under your belt and are capable of controlling bike speed and direction on smooth doubletrack and easy singletrack trails. Would embrace more riding time and would consider taking a lesson or enrolling in a camp to help prepare for the trip. Several of our trips, when booked as a private, can be adjusted to accommodate Novice+ level of riding.

Intermediate

Have been mountain biking consistently for one to two years. You can climb and descend under control on mildly steep singletrack with some loose rocks or small roots. You ride one or more times per week, are comfortable at a moderate sustained pace and you know when to walk a section that might be too difficult. You would embrace more riding time to train and consider taking a lesson or enrolling in a camp to help prepare for the trip.

 

Our Intermediate level trips, view our tours in
Baja, Mexico, Croatia, Tuscany, Italy and our South Africa & Botswana Safari.

Intermediate+

Have been mountain biking for three to four years and are confident riding most types of singletrack in a variety of conditions (muddy, dry, loose, rock slabs). You are able to ride very small drops (less than one foot) and jumps and descend moderately technical steep sections including rock and uneven roots. Can ride confidently with mild exposure and you know when to walk a section that might be too difficult.

 

Our Intermediate+ level trips include
Peru, Nepal, Iceland, Canada, Guatemala and Dolomites, Italy.

Our Intermediate+ E-MTB tours include
E-MTB Aosta Valley Italy & E-MTB Dolomites Italy.

Advanced

Have been mountain biking consistently for five years or more and can ride technical trails including steep sections, small jumps, small drops (one-two feet) and elevated North Shore-type sections. You can ride switchbacks confidently, rock gardens and sections with exposure. You know when to walk a section that might be too difficult.

 

Our Advanced level trips are
Costa Rica, Ecuador, Liguria Italy and Switzerland.

Our Advanced level E-MTB adventure,
E-MTB Alps Traverse.

Advanced+

You eat, sleep and drink all things mountain biking and have been a riding for over a decade. You ride four or more times a week in all weather and can ride all day long in challenging conditions. You can handle most any type of terrain and can handle hike-a-bike sections and navigate truly technical sections. You know when to walk a section that might be too difficult.

 

Our Advanced+ adventures include
Norway and Greenland.

Fitness Level

Big Mountain trips require a certain base level of physical fitness. As such, we don’t categorize our trips into fitness levels and the lowest fitness level required on our trips is Level 2. On our trips it’s never about riding speed, but the ability to ride at a consistent pace for several days in a row.

Level 2

You exercise at least once a week for an hour or more. Are comfortable riding at a relaxed pace for up to three hours a day for three consecutive days. You are able to climb up to 400 meters per day.

Level 3

You exercise twice a week for an hour or more. Are comfortable riding at a sustained output and athletic pace with occasional anaerobic periods. Can ride up to four hours per day for four consecutive days. You can climb up to 600 meters twice in one day.

Level 4

You exercise three times a week for an hour or more. Are comfortable riding at a sustained challenging pace with longer periods of anaerobic output. You can ride up to five hours per day for five or six consecutive days. You can climb up to 1500 meters in a day including some hike-a-bike sections.

Level 5

You exercise five times (or more) a week for an hour or more. Are comfortable with sustained challenging pace including long periods of anaerobic exercise for six days in a row. Are possibly training for an event. You can climb up to 2000 meters (or more) in a day including some technical hike-a-bike sections.

Level 6

You are in peak physical condition and enjoy sustained output and challenge. You can hike your bike for an hour (or more) and know how to keep yourself going for eight or more hours in a day for a week or more. You have a penchant for suffering!

What our guests have said

“Hands down the best vacation ever. We wanted to thank you for this amazing experience. The riding was incredible and the entire trip was so well organized, you guys really did not forget a thing! It was great to have had an awesome group of people to ride with. We would highly recommend this trip to anyone.”
Sandra M.

Meet Our Guides

Here are just a few of our guides that are ready to show you their culture, stunning scenery and amazing trails on your next Big Mountain Bike Adventures' trip.

Chris Winter
Chris Winter
Whistler Office
Raised with Michelin maps of France strewn across the kitchen table and parents discussing logistics for month-long European cycling trips with a group of 25 cyclists, Chris was born into planning and developing bike trips. He is passionate about travel, adventure, culture, sharing amazing experiences and of course really fun singletrack riding. BMBA trips to date – all of them!
Vanessa Murphy
Vanessa Murphy
Whistler Office
Our long standing office blue rider – she prides herself on an ability to keep it ‘real’ in meetings with a side agenda to see more ladies on trips. She holds an obvious bias for her home turf Pemberton and prefers post-ride craft cider over beer. She's worked for over 25 years in tourism and travel - our office Swiss army knife. Her all time travel moments: a windy night in Iceland, superbly timed beer shed (yes, beer) in Ecuador and a crew’s surprise Karaoke show in Croatia.
mountain bike guide, Dolomites, mountain biking, bike guide
Emily
CANADA, TUSCANY & CROATIA
Based in beautiful Pemberton, BC, Emily is at home in the mountains. Specifically, she's at home riding her bike in big and remote mountains; guiding & coaching riders, exploring with friends and winning enduro races like the four-day Trans-Cascadia. She's one of the best mountain bikers you'll ever ride with, as humble and friendly as can be and a true professional guide.
Crystal Steers
Crystal Steers
Whistler Office
Meet Crystal, our Trips Manager, our office super hero liaison with clients and destination suppliers. A passionate rider and runner, you’ll often see Crystal squeezing in some kind of activity (or trip), while never knowing she was missing from her desk in first place. Crystal knows each trip intimately and has travelled with Big Mountain to Iceland, Switzerland, Guatemala, South Africa & Botswana and Mexico.
mountain bike guide, Dolomites, mountain biking, bike guide
Paulo
COSTA RICA
There is simply no one better than Paulo to show you real Costa Rican singletrack mountain biking. Wicked, technical and big trails that even locals don't know about. Beneath Paulo's layed back and soft-spoken demeanor is a strong rider both up and down, a kind person and consummate professional on all aspects of a great mountain bike adventure.
Ben Haggar
Ben Haggar
Greenland Guide
A professional photographer and guide who resides in Squamish, BC (when not travelling the world). He specializes in remote unexplored areas and holds the highest Polar guiding certificate in the industry. A passion for mountain bikes, surfing, and photography have expanded his horizons through his travels at home and to over 50 countries on all seven continents.
mountain bike guide, Dolomites, mountain biking, bike guide
Louise
ITALY, LIGURIA
Allow Louise to peel away Liguria's layers to unveil the sweet spots from the best gelato & espresso to the best local shuttles and access for hidden trails tucked away in the nearby forested mountains. One of the strongest enduro riders in Europe, Louise shares with our riders her secrets to riding well and experience best Italy has to offer.
mountain bike guide, Peru mountain biking, bike guide Peru
Nicolas & Vicente
Peru
We are so very fortunate to have Nicolas & Vicente and their team at the helm of our Peru trip. They exude all the attributes that we seek in a professional mountain bike guide: they're kind and respectful, passionate about sharing their country with riders, helpful and patient, highly organized and detail oriented and very importantly they love to ride mountain bikes! To ride with these guys in the Peruvian Andes is a once-and-a-lifetime opportunity.
mountain bike guide, Dolomites, mountain biking, bike guide
Myriam
SWITZERLAND
Lausanne-based Myriam grew up doing activities in the Swiss mountains. She was professional mountain bike racer from 2007-2011 and today she spends her time as a sports trainer, mountain bike coach, skills coach and professional guide. Let Myriam show you her amazingly beautiful big mountain backyard.
mountain bike guide, Dolomites, mountain biking, bike guide
Anna
Iceland
A professional mountain bike guide and true lover of her native Iceland, there is no one more qualified than Anna to share with you this beautiful island, from it's wide-open and rugged natural landscapes to its unique and quirky character that'll surely surprise you.
mountain bike guide, Dolomites, mountain biking, bike guide
Prayash
NEPAL
Meet Prayash, our local super star guide. Mountain biking has been a passion for him since mid 2000’s. He took it next level, after opening a bike shop in 2009 and eventually becoming a professional MTB guide. "My favourite part of mtb biking is without a doubt getting to explore my country and getting to meet different bikers from all over the world. I personally have ridden bikes in Asia; like India, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, and more. I also value my time as a volunteer on Nepal MTB team as a coach.
Andreas
Norway & Italian Dolomites
An Italian in Norway?! Andreas' deep passion for Narvik and the Lofoten Islands is evident as he rings off names of all the peaks, shares stories of local legends and knows the region's history intimately. He is one of the only mountain bike guides in the Lofoten and we're lucky to work with him. In the Dolomites he is in his backyard. His enthusiasm and energy is infectious and his high level of organization and guiding is welcomed, to be hosted by Andreas is nothing but a pleasure.
mountain bike guide, Dolomites, mountain biking, bike guide
Werner
Italy, Dolomites
Born and bred in Italy's South Tyrol, Werner quit his office job in 2013 to become a full-time mountain bike skills coach and professional guide. A passionate rider and nature lover with a character that'll make you smile inside and out, there is no better guide than Werner to show you the beautiful trails, culture and mountains of the Dolomites along with it's delicious cuisine & fine wine.
mountain bike guide, Ecuador, mountain biking, bike guide Ecuador
Mateo
Ecuador

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