Kicking Horse Bike Park - Trail Crew Update 1 - 2013

Jun 10, 2013 at 5:00
Jun 10, 2013
by Steve Crowe  
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The straight goods on Kicking Horse Bike Park, straight from the trail crew's fingertips.

Crew testing the angle of the new section of Easy Rider before raking it out.
The crew testing the reduced slope angle on Easy Rider before the final vigorous raking.

So has Kicking Horse, as the rumours suggest, closed its jumps and rock slabs? No, it certainly has not. Instead of destroying, the crew has been creating. We are but one half of Shiva. But let me get back to this.

This bucket represents the state of our muscles after 40 hours a week of digging and scratching and chopping and raking.
OK, the bucket thinks we are a bit of the other half of Shiva too.

Some exciting things are going on this season. The lower mountain came out of the melt quickly, allowing us unfettered access to the existing trails. The hours and endless hours of repairing and reshaping we have done in years past allows us now to approach most of the old trails with just a rake (we can't find the extension cord for the leaf blower).

a tool s life span is short at Kicking Horse
This rake has "approached" most of the trails at Kicking Horse.

The new trails, however, the ones that were scratched in by machine at the very end of last season and never had a hand tool touch them, were sloppy piles of rock that certainly fettered our access and have taken great effort to drain and clear. But most of the lower mountain melt water is gone now and the trails are drying quickly. We have some problems to take care of before opening, but are optimistic that solutions will be on the ground by the sneak peak opening on June 22 and 23.

Let's have a look at the efforts so far:

Lower Kranky Pants
Nothing to report but this:

Park crew testing the booter rebuild. Saweeet.

Remember in The Empire Strikes Back when Han Solo cut open the belly of that winter camel thingy and all the entrails spilled out in a gruesome, slimy mass? Well, that was the first berm on the new Superberm entrance. Not super. Still scratching our heads over this one.

This was the first look at the new entrance after the snow melted. Time for some hand tools.

The rest of the new entrance looked like an unfortunate pimply-faced teenager when we first arrived. But as the third photo below shows, after a bit of hand-crafting surgery and maturing, it looks now more like one of those kids who spends a lot of time in a tanning booth (hopefully not getting melanoma).

Picking up the first of a few rocks on the new entrance to Superberm.

Under all that rock is a dirt trail. Our job is to reveal it.

The new top section of Superberm after a serious rock removal exercise.

We need to still get to all the other new work further down on Superberm, but at least it is not wet. So far we spent an afternoon beefing up a hip that was added further down last year. Just have to fill in the gap now.

Testing a booter rebuild before we fill in the gap.

Fill in the gap? Yes, that brings me back to the rumours that have been lingering around like a dust tail on a still day. For the record, the only change that the new owners have required is that we fill in the gaps. We did that to the few scattered around the park last season, but now we are going to do it to Stickrock. Nothing else will change on the trail. The flow will be exactly the same (albeit with a slightly improved exit), the wood will still be remarkably elevated, and the slabs will still be rock hard. And the filter slab at the top should still scare the bejeezus out of anyone but an expert rider.

Checking on the integrity of the trail after a winter under snow. All good here again. Gotta love stone.
3rd slab still rock hard? Check.

Easy Rider
We are finally putting together the last pieces of the Green puzzle. We have been striving to make our green runs actually green (beginner) by rerouting steep sections and adding some zing to their character. A couple of these spots in the trees on Easy Rider are among the problems I mentioned earlier. Whether they are ready to go on the sneak peak weekend is dependent on the amount of rain we get versus the amount of sun. But the section in this post's first photo is ready and waiting.

The middle of May was well wet. Brad squeezing the sky out of his gloves.
So far, rain is winning.

Peacocks of Kicking Horse
Judging by their numbers along the trail, Easy Rider is grouse approved

We haven't done anything to this yet because it is still under snow, but just want to remind you it was built at the very end of last year along what we think is the first section of the alpine to melt out. Maybe, just maybe, this will be revealed and dry in June.

In early summer the treacherous 10Rd is the only route through the alpine until the snow melts. Well we figured out what melts first and just built a trail there. Enjoy it next July.

Swamp Donkey
Believe me, we want this open more than you do. But it comes by its name honestly. The drainage efforts made last fall were largely successful, but one 50m section of quag requires another reroute. We anticipate a lot of wooden bridges being necessary.

Preparing for some bridge work.

Regular season opening is June 28 and cheap season passes are available until then. After that, they are still cheap, just not as cheap. More info here. Of course don't forget the Western Open on August Long, and stay tuned for twoonie races and more.

I'll leave you with this video that is seemingly unrelated to our bike park. It is a teaser for an upcoming story about the local club's effort to have a network of freeride trails in Golden officially sanctioned. As three of the bike park supervisors are also club directors, it is dear to our heart and completely relevant to what we do up here. Biking is biking is biking and we support it in all its glorious Golden guises.

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Hope to see you up here this summer. Come quickly, these mountain aren't going to be here forever! Check out this erosion.
Ride on. Crowe

These mountains aren t going to last forever. Come ride em
Must Read This Week


  • + 10
 Great work as always. Glad to hear with a few filled gap jumps much of the Horse is still kicking! Kudos on the Mtn Shadows approval...good things come to those with vision and determination.
  • - 3
 filling gaps waste time plus there alway a ride around they should be putting more time onto the tech stuff liek the race run so its not just a rut line all the way down
  • + 8
 New owners demanded it, so it's that or no trails. Not a waste of time in my opinion.
  • + 4
 Compared to being torn down, filling in the gaps is not a big deal to me at all! So pumped to hear and see this progress, can't wait to see you guys on the 22nd. High fives all around for the Kicking Horse trail crew, plus a few brewski's may be in order!
  • + 1
 it is true rcr sucks so hopefully its gonnabe ok ish
  • + 6
 Can't wait kicking horse is amazing !!
  • + 2
 Gonna be an awesome year! Cant wait to get beat up by this mountain...again!
  • + 1
 keep up the good work I rode kicking horse for the first time last summer. The new stuff that's being built is on point and it looks like you guys are busy addressing the many issues of the park. cant wait to to come back. You guys don't have it easy working in that terrain but like you said hard work pays off build it right the first time and it pays off.
  • + 2
 Crowe's trail reports always crack me up. Great work team. See you in July!
  • + 2
 Trail crews should get free bikes and beer for the duration of their career!!
  • + 2
 could not be any more pumped to head up there in July- props to the builders!
  • + 2
 that derailed-approved grouse looks delicious.
  • + 1
 I haven't been back to KH since '05 but these pics take me right back...epic terrain! Thanks so much!
  • + 1
 All welcome news. Looks like they got you a new truck too.
  • + 1
 That trail crew is sick!
  • + 1
 this or fernie, yeehaw!
  • - 3
 It's not Han solo who's who slices up the belly but Luke skywalker.. Wink
  • + 5
 Wrong. Solo saves Luke. Then says " and I thought they smelled bad on the outside" or something like that...
  • + 2
 Yeah, Han cuts up the tauntaun and stuffs Luke in it. But scientifical research proves that the whole thing might be, *gasp*, fiction!

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