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Whiskey Jack - Pocaterra Loop Professional Review and Guide
"This trail is located near the Kananaskis Lakes in the heart of Albert's Kananaskis Country. It is only 1.5 hours south and west of Calgary, Alberta. This 15.9-mile loop combines a steep climb up the whiskey Jack Trail, an enjoyable wide-track coast down Pocaterra Trail, and, finally, a rolling return trip on a paved trail. Despite the steady climb up Whiskey Jack, this trail is rated for beginners, as the gradient is easy once this climb is achieved. The ride should take slightly over three hours for a strong rider to complete."
--Ward Cameron, Mountain Bike! The Canadian Rockies (Ward Cameron Enterprises).
We rode this loop starting at the Pocaterra Day Use parking lot, riding the Pocaterra portion first. The trail has been described as 'Easy to Moderate', however we found the gently rolling fire road to be a bit more challenging than expected. The 300m (984ft) elevation gain is accomplished by long uphills and short downhills. There are some very spectacular views along this route, great for photos of the group. The ride down Whiskey Jack is challenging as some technical skill is needed to stay on your bike. The trail runs through forest and there is little to see anyway, concentration is a must, there are sharp cuts across the track for drainage. The track was wet and we all got some mud on this downhill. The ride back to Pocaterra could be better signed at the trailhead, but once found it is an easy ride with some great views of the mountains. The trip took 3.5 hours and was well worth it. Remember to take into consideration the high altitude, therefore, less oxygen and cooler temps. We went through lots of fluids. Overall the trail is in good shape and at this time of the year, not very busy. We rated this as a stiff challenge for the first timer in the mountains. Try it we would be interested in others views.
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