The straight goods on Kicking Horse Bike Park, straight from the trail crew's fingertips.
The snow finally melted and it was time to show some love to the alpine.
Northern Lights was a scene of darkness this summer. Wiped out. Decimated. Ground to dust. Pulverized. Forcibly evicted. These are the ways to describe what happened during the latest freshet (which is pretty sissy way to say 'feverish melt-off'). As soon as the snow melted we knew we were in trouble. In every year past the trail has rutted deeper by way of tire and water, but we had always managed to salvage enough to recreate this alpine high-speed zinger. Alas, in 2012 this was no longer so. The top half was in fine shape, but where the gradient tips a bit steeper, the trail simply wasn't there anymore. It was lying spread all over the bottom of the bowl, whilst a deep trench had taken its place. And here it was, nearly August, with the Western Open crowds soon descending, and we had to give riders an alternative to the 10 Road toute de suite before they strangled us.
So we built a reroute. We picked a suitable path through the debris of a past glading project for the winter product. Looks kind of crappy in the summer, but I have to admit, the skiing is much better here now.
Underneath the debris is a lovely alpine meadow.
We will have to return to make repairs once the rains return moisture to the soil, but overall we are pretty happy with the result. It's not as fast as the original, but at least it should still be here year after year.
Top of the new reroute. Can you tell where the old trail used to go?
Top of the new reroute. The idea was to make it as low profile as possible. Is it working?
Middle of the new reroute. There is some nice soil in there.
Bbelieve me, he wasn't smiling for the 30 minutes it took to wrestle this little beast from the ground with the world's dullest pulaski.
Here's what the rerouting would have looked like if you watched us with blinking eyes and a very fast wristwatch:
This is a pretty cloud:
We could use some of what that thing is laying down.
This is part of a small reroute on Chute to View:
Reworked a section of trail to get around a massive pile of snow. and to make jumps.
A little big event called Western Open just came and went. I have trouble fathoming the speeds some of these guys are going. Not sure it is even the same sport. Respect.
Kicking Horse's own Mike Parson: hardtail champion dropping in to successfully defend his title.
Finally, management asked us to fill in all our gap jumps. So that is done. The two unknowns are the fate of Spiral Tap and Stickrock. Spiral Tap cannot exist without gaps as it would otherwise cut off the trail for non-feature riders. So that may be the end of Spiral Tap (which, to be honest, is showing her age). Efforts are underway to find a solution for Stickrock that will both satisfy management and still keep its safety record almost impeccable. In the meantime, Stickrock has a yellow closed sign across the top. On a similar note, please keep in mind that there are gates across the alpine scree run with red Closed signs. Riders will lose their passes if found riding there.
Remember we are closed after Labour Day weekend this year. So don't wait too late to come up. August won't last forever!