Racing up Revelstoke’s newest hiking trail: Kill the Banker

The challenging new 3.8-kilometre Kill the Banker trail runs up underneath the Revelation Gondola at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. For runners, the big plus is the gondola ride down.

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Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR) and the Revelstoke Community Foundation teamed up for the Bank Heist charity run up Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s newest hiking trail on Sunday.

The Kill the Banker trail runs under the Revelation Gondola from mid-station to the top. It’s named after the steep ski run underneath the gondola known for cliff drops on the side and a steep boulder field down the middle.

Women’s winner Meghan Anderson at the start line. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Uphill, it’s a 3.8-kilometre singletrack with a relatively mellow first half, then a steep second half that zig-zags through a boulder field, around jagged cliff faces, and finally into a little more trail before finishing at the Mackenzie Outpost.

What’s it got that other Revelstoke trails don’t? The big plus for uphill athletes is the gondola ride down — if you’re running, you don’t have to pick your way down the rocks on wobbly legs. The ride down means you can fit it in after work. Also, since it’s in the brushed area under the gondola, it’s in direct sunlight almost the whole way, so you can work on your tan. On Sunday, it was pretty much bug-free, but that might just have been this hot, dry summer.

Second place finisher Brendan McPhedran (20) and winner Rory Luxmoore (17). Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The obvious parallel is the famous Grouse Grind trail under the Skyride on Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain. That 2.9-kilometre trail attracts hordes of runners and hikers through the temperate seasons. Can a hike-up and gondola-down catch on in Revelstoke? RMR has been very successful with their Pipe mountain coaster, and this adds to their on-hill offerings. I’m not a trail expert, but the trail seems like it will need development if it attracts a big number of hikers.

A new washroom facility was under construction at Mackenzie Outpost on Sunday.

RMR event coordinator Ben Taylor explained that the trail was completed this year, although it had been roughed in as an emergency egress trail in the past. RMR hopes it will add to their variety of trail offerings on the mountain. The word’s maybe not out yet; I walked from top to bottom taking photos of the runners coming up, but I don’t think I saw anyone else on the challenging trail today. (There were lots of tourists hiking the trails at the top of the gondola and the mountain coaster were busy as usual.)

Click any image for the full gallery.

If you’re thinking of taking a crack at the trail this season, now’s the time: Monday, Sept. 4 is the last day the gondola is operating to the top.

For competitors, here are your times to beat: women’s winner Meghan Anderson came in at 55:36 (followed closely by Sarah Newton at 55:38). Rory Luxmoore holds the first official course record at 46:42. For full results, see this link.

The race fees raised about $500 for the Revelstoke Community Foundation, a local society that manages a charitable fund that distributes earnings to projects and initiatives that improve the quality of life for the people of Revelstoke.

Disclaimer: Aaron Orlando, the author of this article, is a board member on the Revelstoke Community Foundation.

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