Distance: 800 m
Time: 8 – 20 min
Elevation Gain: 1 m
Elevation Loss: 144 m
Technical Rating: Advanced
Physical Rating: Easy
Season: April – October
Permit Required: No
Cat Scratch Fever is a classic descending trail located in the Alpine Meadows area of Whistler. Accessed via Rick’s Roost, directly from Alpine Way, this challenging advanced run is fun to do if you’re short on time, or combine it with Mandatory Suicide and Mel’s Dilemma to end on Alta Lake Road. The trail consists mainly of tight, rocky and rooty singletrack descending and takes one down towards the water tower, crossing an access road, before spitting out on to Alpine Way. Once you pop out onto the access road, next to the water tower, take a right towards the tower to continue descending down a steep incline located just south of the tower. Or cross the access road and turn right onto an easier singletrack option to complete your descent – turning left and riding out on the access road leads directly to Rick’s Roost. The last section of Cat Scratch Fever is very loose and steep, making it very challenging to navigate. Go forewarned.
There is only one low lying ladder bridge found along the trail, while the famous elevated bridge of the past is no more. Several root and rock drops line the route, which mainly descends through the thick forest canopy. Rated advanced, Cat Scratch Fever will challenge most riders with its raw nature and old school style. Give it a go, if you’re up for the challenge.
To access Cat Scratch Fever, take the right option from the trailhead – indicated by a scratching (wooden) post located at the small clearing off of Rick’s Roost. Or take the optional left, which eventually connects up with Cat Scratch halfway down its route.
TRAILHEAD | N50 08.930 W122 58.602
To access Cat Scratch Fever, ride from the dead end (north end) of Alpine Way up Rick’s Roost. Rick’s Roost is the gravel trail beyond the yellow gate located at the end of Alpine Way. Pedal up Rick’s Roost, keeping right (straight) at the first fork. After the second long switchback, you’ll come to a small clearing with a wooden sign post. This is Cat Scratch, although not marked – a sign for the trail is found 20 m in. The trail splits at the trailhead, choose the right option for Cat Scratch proper, or the left for an alternative route which eventually connects back up with Cat Scratch.
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