Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
When advanced mountain bikers rave about riding in Squamish, they tend to talk about one thing: the “slabs.” Squamish is renowned for its mountain bike routes that plummet straight down the slabs of exposed granite that cover the nearby mountainsides. The grip from the rock is good… ish… but the incredible steepness of these rock plummets, some of which are near-vertical, mean that you’ll never go slower than whatever you speed you drop in at! Your bike will only continue to accelerate down the slab, so be prepared to hit the exit, which sometimes is filled with janky drops and abrupt hairpin turns, at an absurd rate of speed! Most of the best slabs are found in the Garibaldi Heights and Alice Lake Provincial Park trail network.
This trail network is incredibly complex, with singletrack running every which way.
It can be very overwhelming for the uninitiated.
So, if you want to sample some slabs without wandering around lost in the mountains, follow this recommended ride to some of the classic hits. This route includes Entrails, Boney Elbows, Hueso, and most notably: In and Out Burger.
In and Out isn’t the most technical slab in the region, but at roughly 100 feet tall, it’s one of the largest! The views of Squamish and the surrounding mountains from the top of the slab are to die for, but keep your eyes on your line once you drop in! After banking right off the ridge, your bike will accelerate to an obscene rate of speed as you race for the narrow exit! Many of the smaller slabs on this route are jankier, more technical, and demand even sharper focus.
Be sure to scope the lines in advance, ride with a local if possible, and bypass any lines that you aren’t confident of.