Biking routes will range from easy, meandering railway trails or country roads, to aggressive, rocky singletrack. The West Kootenay are world-renowned for epic singletrack, and you can be sure we'll include some of the best. Old, grown-in logging roads provide great doubletrack routes, but are often part of complex networks that must be carefully navigated. Teams may find themselves on snowmobile trails, ATV routes, historic mining trails, and possibly animal tracks. Hike-a-bike sections have appeared in RTNX, but only when it's the most sensible way to connect two disconnected routes.
Atmosphere Raid the North Extreme is designed with an 'expedition' approach, in order to recreate the experience of early explorers. Trekking often provides us as course designers with the most opportunity and the most challenge. There are few checkpoints and typically no restrictions on route choice. We leave the decision-making to the teams. Although our checkpoints are never hidden (in fact, they are only ever placed on distinguishable features), the route between checkpoints is rarely obvious. Planning your route will be an important and time-consuming task. Aside from motorized assistance, there will be little to no restriction on route choice through the trekking sections.
We design water sections in response to the wilderness available in the region. Mountainous regions such as the Kootenays offer the potential for high-energy river paddling in whitewater canoes or duckies, as well as quieter canoe or kayak paddles on still rivers or deep lakes set against rugged mountainsides. Canoes are the most common vessel for paddling, and often provide the most route choice and the enjoyment of good portage. Packrafts have been common features of our events, as an optional piece of gear carried by teams and used when crossing a body of water is faster than trekking around. In past events, we've included historic watercraft such as Voyageur Canoes in northern Ontario and Dory rowboats in Newfoundland.
Atmosphere RTNX generally features several heart-stopping rope sites, including rappels, zip lines, tyrolean traverses, and less often, ascending. Fully qualified ropes rigging experts manage our ropes sites to ensure absolute safety of the site, as well as to ensure competitors are geared up and prepared for each fixed rope activity. Skills required for the race will be tested at registration prior to the race, and any certifications necessary will be communicated well in advance to all teams.