Kicking Horse Bike Park - Trail Crew Update #7 - 2011

Sep 26, 2011
by Steve Crowe  
The straight goods on Kicking Horse Bike Park, straight from the trail crew's fingertips.

Every autumn gives us a few mornings like this.

Every autumn gives us a few mornings like this. Is life pretty awesome, or what?

Like the dirt roost that eventually disappears as the dust settles back to earth, so goes another season at Kicking Horse Bike Park. The wahoos and peels of laughter are fading with the colours as we have packed away the tools and cleaned out the drainages in preparation for next spring's runoff. We bid you adieu, summer 2011.

All in all, the feeling around here is that we had a successful year in the bike park. There was bad weather to start the summer, but August and September were legendary. A certain grizzly co-inhabitant's shenanigans caused budgets to vaporize in the spring, so we didn't get to work with machines much at all and are behind with our development wishes. But to paraphrase Mick: we can't always get what we want; but if we try sometimes, we'll find, we get what we need. So this winter we are going to try really hard to get what we need for next year.

A wee pot of gold lies in that yonder bike park. Very wee.
A wee pot of gold lies in yonder bike park.

September has not been a particularly productive month for us on the bike trails. Much of the effort has been cerebral of late. Plus we have been harvesting the fruits of our labour with a few laps. Part of the cerebral effort included a trip to Whistler for a Gravity Logic-hosted industry forum. We spent part of our time discussing the viability of bike parks as a business, and the other part rippin' laps in the bike park to sample the example. Props to the crew there for helping keep the sport progressive and exciting. We had a fantastic and fruitful trip.

Physically, here's some of what we've done to wrap things up:

Hobo Junction: Added a third berm to entice people onto this connector from Northern Lights to Chute to View. It isn't often used, which is a shame because it's a great combo and this berm linkage flows really well. We can learn from this package.

A lovely little romp through the sub alpine
A lovely little romp through the sub alpine.

Stunt Park (Options): Someone did great violence to some of Aaron's woodwork elsewhere this summer. Instead of getting angry, he got creative and went to work with Matt, transforming the tumbledown park of yesteryear into an expanding web of fun.

Development of the stunt park continues

This is only one of the options.

Dirt Jumps: We fixed a bit of damage and evened out the lengths of the last two tables in the blue line. Then, since the tables were set, we thought we would serve taco.

The Taco was added to the end of the DJ line thus finally finding a home after a vagabond s existence.

The Taco was added to the end of the DJ line, thus finally finding a home after a vagabond's existence.

School Marm: The original wall rides were built to be set up and taken down each year. The problem was, they weren't built very well for that. So now these new suckers aren't going anywhere. Please oh please oh please be careful snowcat drivers.

Made good use of donated BC hydro hardware to build the new wall rides.

Made good use of donated BC hydro hardware.

Stickrock: After dmadness expressed some concern about the condition of this trail, our curiosity was piqued and we began a thorough bolstering of the wood (almost complete). Come on Fat Snow, let's see what your big butt does sitting here this winter.

Annual year ender to the top of Mount 7. Check out Aaron s sweet air in the middle.

Annual year ender to the top of Mount 7. Check out Aaron's sweet air in the middle.

I've thrown together a video compilation of scenes shot mostly through the end of the season that I hope you enjoy:

Views: 6,008    Faves: 48    Comments: 5

The Western Open is going to go off again next year on August 5. Book your rooms now. Strengthen your brake fingers all winter. Here's an up-to-date helmet cam of the course:

Views: 7,958    Faves: 46    Comments: 11

Already thinking about next season. But I guess in the meantime I'll enjoy some skiing at a little mountain I call Kicking Horse. Come check it out. Have a great winter!

Oh yeah, big thanks to Dakine for keeping us well kitted for another season; my wife loved the colours.


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  • 14 0
 I loved seeing "old" bikes ridden hard out there. Seemed like quite the contrast of the bikes you see in the GTA. Just proves you don't need the newest gear and garb to make it down the mountain (something we ALL need reminding of, time and again......especially me Smile .
  • 3 3
 Shoot I ride an 03 (01 designed) DH rig on shivers (55lbs) and I can shred harder than most young bucks on their brand new 7k$ dh rigs. Bike age has nothing to do with anything. If world cup champs didn't need to be riding the latest and greatest for sponsors sakes, I bet many would still be riding lawwill's etc.

All these young kids do for my opinion on them, is confirm that they buy into anything that wins. Just like "hearts new world championship win on his giant". Now everyone thinks giant is top shit again, just because someone did something great on it. In fact, the bike is an outdated POS from yesteryear, with new flash and a new revival. SO, proving my point more, all this modern shit is all bs. It comes down to the rider. A rider won the championships on a very outdated design (early 2k's at that). Old school designs, great riders. (I didn't use POS in the literal form, I was using it more as a way to say well outdated).

Heck, I see people shredding harder than any amateur's on old bikes. Literally, from hucking to racing. I see old yeti DH-9's podium'g local races in the pro ranks etc. It's a mind trip for many, but it makes me happy because when I see others riding older bikes it not only brings me back in era of memories, but also shows that this new marketing shit is a bunch of bogus hype.
  • 4 0
 rffr, I totally agree with your comments, except your sentiment about the Glory. Calling it an "outdated POS from yesteryear" is just silly. While the concept of floating and virtual pivots isn't brand new, and are used in many different iterations by many different companies, they are far from outdated, and are a tested and proven suspension design. And while Giant might not always be the first adopter of new technologies, they consistently produce relevant an reliable bicycles that a capable of winning races. The fact that Danny HART (not heart) proved the bicycles competence is only the confirmation of what many other racers, who don't jump bandwagons, already knew.
  • 7 0
 Geez you guys up there in Canada are so lucky to have all these resorts. Looks off the hook
  • 2 0
 I was there on closing day, and the day before! It was my first trek to a lift accessed bike park, and what an introduction. I was challenged beyond my mental and physical limits riding the Horse. It was all I expected and more. This mountain will make a true rider out of anyone with its raw and natural terrain. Its unrelenting, I still can't move my hands very well....... Can't wait to do it all again next year!!! And to anyone who says the Lifties and staff aren't nice people, they were awesome! Friendly and not hesitant when asked where the goods were, the Gondola operator gave us a map and told us what to ride. it was awesome! I do agree with the apres scene, but take it for what it is, its a rather new village at the base, all you need to do is rent a Suite with a Private tub on your the deck, and bring the party back to your room!!!!!
  • 1 0
 I hit up KH 3 weeks ago and for the last weekend before the pain and agony of the long winter hits. Snowboard to pass the winter blues! Anyway, I just wanted to give a shout out to the KH crew for getting the trails in great shape despite the effect of last years winter and late start to the season. I thought the trails were fantastic. Some rough terrain just makes you a better rider in my opinion! Yes, the food options are not the greatest and everything is way overpriced. That would be my only hiccup to KH Resort. I would of rather stayed at the resort for eats but luckily there are great restaurants and a Sobeys 15 to 20 minutes down the mountain. See you soon
  • 1 0
 Most of my complaining is due to the lack of amenities at the hill as we stayed in one of the rooms up there and everything shut down super early. I was told that I could buy a 6 pack of beer and found out that I could not. I asked in the sushi place if the guy knew if I could but 'off sales' in the bar when it opened, he got upset and told me that 'off sales' are illegal in BC. The ticket staff weren't sure if they were running the chair for extened play as there weren't many people. We arrived at noon because there was extended play and weren't going to ride, or pay full price, if there was no late riding. The entire village, except for the machine on the 3rd floor of the next hotel over from us, had no working pop machine. Unreal. I did not expect the trails to be buff, I expected them to be maintained. Large rocks around blind corners and braking bumps through EVERY berm is not maintained. I guess the biggest problem is that I had just ridden at Sun Peaks, Silverstar, Panorama and Fernie and I expected more from Kicking Horse.
  • 1 0
 I was there on sunday and although cold rainy and windy I had a blast, wood was slippery and i wouldve loved to ride the slabs again but alas too much wet. I did take notice to the connector from northern lights to Home run ( the blue connector ) whicgh ive been using all year to link yet my favorite fast paced decent of the alpine mountain, and although at the time the berms were kinda like riding on buttery mashed potatoes, the sliding was fun and awesome... great job on this connector.

I also noticed some beefing of stick rock ( slippery mad chaos on the wet wood for first ) and was glad to see it done as I did have concerns that winter would destroy parts of this epic trail.

Ghetto berm replacement on super berm was also an awesome treat.

as i am sure you are all aware blaster will need much love in the spring ( bomb holes wow ) and my curiosity peaks as to what is going on at the base, lower section of superberm ?? is this to be a future jump line ?

I will for sure be back next year as always, and Crowe... I still got about 10 1/2 " drop in anchors for your rocks should you need em in the spring.

Rode sunday untill my nutz were wet dispite waterproof pants and my hands went numb from chill and then taked on another lap for good measure.... I even took the time to examine a stunt from the trails perspective when i slipped off the tree stump skinny on time travel and landed in a soft soft juniper.... lovely day. Great times . keep up the good work trail crew, its appreciated. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Oh BTW...GREAT job KH Staff!! I spent a couple weekends up there this summer and every day we went out we saw a groups of trail staff working there butts off to build sweeter trails for us!
  • 1 0
 absolutely peed my pants. if i could hire you to film my days and make witty comments on the results, i would. phenomenal work,'re an incredible backwards-bike-rider!
  • 1 0
 wow this is amazing ,and its in canada can we ask for more yes we can but oters will fallow in the future alots of montains out there
  • 3 0
 Pack a lunch you lazy pr*cks. Smile
  • 1 0
 look forward to riding there next year as my budget didnt allow for me to make it this season.
  • 1 0
 Geez you guys up there in Canada are so lucky to have all these resorts. Looks off the hook
  • 1 0
 It is pretty off the hook Smile If you ever do a trip up here you can do Kicking Horse, Fernie, and Panorama...All are about an hour and a half drive away from each other.
I believe the nearest major airport is in Cranbrook, BC. There you can rent a car and hit up Fernie (Fernie Resort) which is only about a 45 min away from Cranbrook...then from Fernie hit up Invermere (Panorama Resort) which is about another hour and a half from Fernie..then from Panorama hit up Golden (Kicking Horse) which is another hourish...depending on how fast you drive.
  • 1 0
 Your from Cali so I consider you lucky as it is!!!!
  • 1 0
 Cranbrook to Pano in 45? You gotta Lambo??
  • 1 0
 @oldslalomskier: I said Cranbrook to Fernie in 45 min. Fernie to Pano in an hour and 45 min ish...again totally depending on how fast you drive on the mountain roads.
I wish I had a lambo!! My WRX is fun to drive on those windy roads tho Smile
  • 1 0
 This is a stupid question, but where is Kicking Horse?
  • 1 0
 Golden, BC
  • 1 0
 This is a stupid question, but where is Kicking Horse?
  • 2 0
 Golden, Britsh Columbia
  • 1 0
 Epic Brake Squeel from the first video
  • 1 0
 such a rad place to ride!
  • 1 0
 Really tried to make it up there but Kamloops sucked me in.......
  • 2 2
 Best bike park east of Whistler!
  • 1 1
 Is it open year round?
  • 1 0
 No...Kicking Horse resort is well known for its epic powder days in the winter as a ski resort. Its PACKED in the winter but SUPER quiet in the summer (meaning no waiting in lift lines) and there are so many trails you rarely see any other riders unless you catch up to a slower group.
As you can see from the first picture it's already snowing there...they had an epic year last year in terms of snow...I believe the last weekend you could ride the bike trails was a couple weekends ago...
  • 2 0
 Kicking Horse's last day was yesterday, and there definitely was no snow. Some rain on and off through the day, but most of the trails soaked it up right away. Saturday was an epic day with 25 degree temperatures and blue sky as far as you could see. Great way to finish out the season there.
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