Are these the longest rideable granite slabs on Earth?

With 6,250 feet of vert and 5-10 miles in length, are these the longest rideable granite rock slabs on Planet Earth?
Photo: Jimmy Martinello. All photos courtesy Flow State Guiding

A new helicopter-accessed backcountry riding zone in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia boasts that it is home to “the world’s longest rideable rock slabs.” This bold claim prompts tantalizing visions of surfing endless grippy granite down steep slopes high in the spectacular BC wilderness. We contacted Flow State Guiding to learn more.

Flow State is a new mountain bike guiding outfit that operates deep in the BC backcountry via a tenure/permit similar to that of a heli-ski touring lodge. On their guided trips, Flow State flies guests to a base camp high on the mountainside. From there, riders pedal (or push) up steep mountain ridges to access spectacular alpine descents.

While groups can purchase Heli Bump Tours, which drop off at the top of the mountain, “our 3-5 day trips are supported via helicopter for drop off and pick up. Otherwise, all riding is carried out on acoustic or electric bikes for the remainder of the time in the mountains,” said Ian Middleton, founder of Flow State Guiding. “We can provide add-on options for those looking for a hybrid of adventure biking and gravity-supported days.”

Over 6,000 vertical feet of granite rock ripping

Just how big are these slabs? In a word, massive.

The pair of mountain peaks towering over base camp are crowned by gigantic granite domes with endless slabs dropping in all directions. From the summits, these granite domes provide 6,250-vertical-foot descents entirely on rock. The descents stretch out to an incredible 5-10 miles in length, depending on how steep you’re looking to rip. And if you were to take a rip from the top of the mountain all the way down to the exit point from the backcountry on the valley floor, you’re in for a fantastic 20+ mile descent, mixing both granite and singletrack.

The images give you a taste of the scale, but for an immersive visual experience, be sure to watch this video that Flow State filmed with freeride legend Darren Berrecloth.

After watching the film, I found myself wondering: “If the Claw is nervous about dropping into these lines, what hope do mere mortals have in this rugged terrain?”

“We have spent over seven seasons scouting the terrain, from hunting for the most unique, steep lines on the planet to the paths of least resistance,” said Middleton. “We feel we’ve been able to record tracks that will offer riders with a variety of experience levels the right amount of challenge to meet their needs. Our application and video submission portal allows us to vet individual riders to put together groups with similar ability levels. Overall, it’s not beginner terrain, so a level of brake control and experience descending steeper terrain is required.”

“Not beginner terrain” sounds like the understatement of the year.

Due to the nature of freeride surfing down rock slabs, it’s possible that within a span of 10-100 feet of separation, you can find an intermediate line and a professional-level line. So, it’s important to make sure you hit the right spot on the slab and don’t get cliffed out, which is why the trips are fully guided. “Our group ratios are 4:1, with clients being coached and guided through each unique section of terrain, back to base camp each night, with a final descent on the last day to our lowest pickup point,” said Middleton.

Photo: Jimmy Martinello

Luxurious base camp amenities in the heart of the BC wilderness

Pedaling or pushing up 6,000 vert for a single run is a daunting task, so after a hard day of biking it’s good to unwind. The lines culminate at a gorgeous alpine lake, with a base camp nearby.

At base camp, Flow State provides “a sauna to warm up in and, of course, our three-course, fireside meals.”

“Guests can expect uninterrupted star gazing potential, with evenings disconnected from the busy world below, while appreciating the comforts of our premium domes set up with cozy cots and stoves,” said Middleton. “Whether stretching post-ride, sunbathing beside the lake, or enjoying Canadian cocktails and a relaxing sauna, the long summer days disappear quickly between rides.”

Each trip finishes with a long rip down to the pickup point on a singletrack dropping through sub-alpine terrain. Even the ride out provides a whopping 6,000 vertical foot descent to the valley floor.

Even with a heli bump to base camp, the riding at Flow State is far from easy. But for those willing to brave the long climbs and steep descents — and the $3,995-$6,495 USD price tag — you’ll get to rip down some of the longest rideable granite rock slabs on Planet Earth.