Moose Mountain: The Challenge, The Legend

The stats will tell you that Moose Mountain in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, is some 2,437 metres (nearly 8,000 feet) tall, that it was formerly named after being known as such for centuries beforehand, that its trails are among some of the most popular among hikers in all of Canada, that some 8,000 visitors get to the thrice-built Fire Lookout station at the summit every tourist season.

But what you may not know is that Moose Mountain is the locus for what is perhaps North America’s fastest-growing communities in trail biking.

The Moose Mountain Bike Trail Society

The Moose Mountain Bike Trail Society (MMBTS) was founded in 2009 when those who had designed and created the bike trails of Moose Mountain decided that the organization’s time had come, that it would “be a voice in the community, one who can fight the good fight.” Less revolutionarily speaking, the MMBTS was formerly recognized by the Alberta provincial government three months after the first proclamatory meeting and by summer of that year, they were ready to go.

Pragmatically speaking, the non-profit MMBTS is self-tasked with maintaining the bike trails, bringing awareness of both environment and trail biking for competitive sport and recreation. As the MMBTS mission statement puts it, the group is pledged to “advocate, develop, and maintain mountain bike trails and to promote active, fun, environmentally responsible community involvement.”

MMBTS’s profile within the biking community and surrounding Alberta has risen steadily enough to the point that the group was able to host in 2017 the first-ever national trail bike racing event on Moose Mountain…

The Moose Mountain Enduro Race

Moose Mountain Enduro RaceIn October 2017, MMBTS called upon several sponsors and made their marketing efforts to host the 1st Annual Moose Mountain Enduro Race or, more concisely (and also because “enduro race” is particularly difficult to say), the “MooseDuro.”

The competition itself drew 24 competitors, a couple hundred spectators and crew and thousands following online. History will show that the inaugural MooseDuro winner was Calgary’s Arden Greanya, who finished the four stages of the race in a combined 17 hours, 11 minutes, besting second-place finisher Louis-Julien Roy of Quebec by 52 minutes.

Brokeback Mountain

On a completely different subject, let’s talk about Moose Mountain vis-à-vis cowboys, social mores involving said cowboys and a certain overrated movie. Let’s bust a myth real quick – and we’ll get you to see a better film filmed there.

Wikipedia claims that “Some scenes in the movie Brokeback Mountain (2005) were shot on and around Moose Mountain.” Wellllllllllllllllll, no, not really. While the Academy Award-nominated (ugh, really?) film was in fact filmed in the Moose Mountain area of Alberta, the peak itself is only featured as backdrop in a single scene.

You can catch Moose Mountain used as a location proper in films such as The Revenant (2015) and the TV series The Detour.

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