Story by Eric Carter
Photos by Dan SeversonSnow Summit ski resort, located in the San Bernardino Mountains, was the only lift access bike park for all of Southern California. Snow Summit hosted the National Championships, World Cups and was the seminal hot bed for the SoCal racing scene for two decades until friction from federal land managers and a financial decision handed down by the resort's board of directors closed the mountain bike park a number of years back. The loss was a huge one for California's downhillers, because there were almost no alternative trails worth shuttling at the time and no legal ones for sure - and while there are a number of options available today for gravity riders, there has been no lift access for SoCal riders since Snow Summit closed. But that all ended last weekend. Working in secret for over a year, Snow Summit contracted Tom Pro' and Gravity Logic to design a trail network on the resort property. The first trails are in, and the park reopened officially to bikes Friday, May 24, for the Memorial Day Weekend. Eric Carter tells the story:
When I heard that Snow Summit was opening Memorial Day weekend, I actually changed my plans from attending the first round of the Oregon Enduro Series to head up to Big Bear to see what the folks from Gravity Logic laid out and what the Summit build crew came up with. Personally, I know that my cycling career would have been completely different had it not been for the Snow Summit Resort and being able to ride my bike so much, so I felt compelled to support what the the resort is trying to accomplish. A quick call to Richard Cunningham at Pink Bike to line up a story for this weekend and another call to Dan Severson to capture the images and we were off to give this historic MTB Mecca the support it deserves.
| Chappy Fiene shreds Snow Summit's latest creations. The resort was once the butt of critics for a less than imaginative trail system. All that is changed now. SoCal is finally going to get the bike park it has been starving for.|
| Gravity riders in the lift line once again - a welcome sight at Big Bear.|
I was able to talk with Chris Riddle, Vice President of marketing at Big Bear Mountain Resorts, and he explained to me that this weekend was a soft opening in relation to the master plan that is in place for the Snow Summit Adventure Park. The project is a five-year plan with the goal of becoming the Southern California Mecca of Mountain Biking. The adventure park will include numerous MTB and hiking trails, as well as a zip line. Currently there are two new trails open on the resort property as well as the pre-existing National Forest trail network that is adjacent to the resort.
The marque advanced trail is named “Miracle Mile”. It consist of 33 berms, ten jumps, numerous sweeping s-turns, rollers and three wood features. There is also an easier option down the hill on the west side of the resort called "Cruiser." Both trails have a good mix of man-made features and natural single track and provide great flow, which is always the desired experience of modern day bike parks.
| The first thing you want to do when you get there is fill out your waiver to ride. Everything is electronic now, so once you are in the system you are ready to purchase your lift ticket, and won't have to fill anything out on your next visit.|
| The park is family friendly and has brand new fleet of Intense and Trek rentals if you aren't able to bring your own bike, or just want to try out something new. |
| The new trails have plenty of groomed features, mixed with singletrack and natural terrain.|
| Lift access provides companies and riders the perfect location to test out new products before they hit the market. Eric Carter loads up his new Hyper prototype to get in some laps.|
| A nice change in scenery for those visiting from lower elevations. Can't beat the fresh mountain air. Nature!|
|The crew at Gravity Logic did an amazing job on the first of many new trails. We can't wait to see how things progress over the summer and next couple years. It's safe to say that this redesigned bike park will continue to grow and reclaim it's spot as the biggest mountain bike mecca in California.|
| One of the first features on Miracle Mile is this step-up (which can also be rolled). Chappy Fiene applies a little moto style and scrubs up the lip.|
| Unlimited laps with your buddies never hurt.|
| John Hall takes a break from wrenching on bikes to sample the goods.|
| E.C. was stoked on the mix of man-made and natural terrain.|
| No shortage of perfect berms here.|
| Apparently, it's been a while since Leigh Donovan has been on a full DH rig, but by her riding you would never know. Stylish on any terrain or bike.|
| Chappy Fiene was getting steezy on just about every turn.|For more information and park hours, please visit: Big Bear Mountain ResortsFind out what Tom Pro' is up to next with Gravity Logic
|I'm excited to see what the future holds up at Snow Summit and to encourage everyone to show support for the resort. Since the day Snow Summit closed, everyone talked about how awesome it would be if Snow Summit would build a bike park and how many people would ride it. The ball is now in our court. The folks at Snow Summit are doing their part, and it's up to us as a cycling community to support it. Judging by this weekend's turnout, I think we did our part as well. - EC |