Frisby Ridge Closure and Upgrades - Summer 2016

Jul 21, 2016
by Daryl Ross  
FRISBY RIDGE TRAIL CLOSURE - Revelstoke, British Columbia

The Revelstoke Cycling Association (RCA) with support from Recreation Sites and Trails British Columbia (RSTBC), has issued a Voluntary Closure of the Frisby Ridge XC Trail:
Lengthy sections of the trail - some of which are located in fragile alpine zones - have deteriorated or been damaged to a point that significant upgrades and remediation work is required. Several additional sections of trail could face similar issues unless they receive substantial interventions. The current condition of the trail has resulted from:

• Limitations of the original trail tread to withstand significant increase in traffic.
• Weather event coupled with fresh trail work and over-eager bikers through September 2015.

The first 2 weeks of September 2015 were especially damaging to the trail. The long-weekend that year was preceded by very heavy rain and unseasonably cool temperatures. Just weeks prior to this, the RCA trail maintenance crew undertook extensive dirt work to address drainage issues on some of the wettest areas of the trail. Unfortunately, long-weekend crowds and those that followed through the cold, wet September did not choose to find other trails to ride. The cold temperatures meant that the trail tread could not dry out and recover between rain events. The fresh maintenance work was still very soft and many hard-worked areas simply turned into quagmires under the heavy rain and biker traffic. Faced with mud holes and standing water, bikers began riding and walking off trail to link dryer sections together resulting in significant trail creep and damage to the sensitive surrounding areas.

Frisby Ridge Closure amp Upgrades

The Revelstoke Cycling Association is undertaking an extensive upgrade and remediation project that will take place over the remainder of the 2016 biking season. This project will address drainage and erosion issues throughout the length of the trail and will utilize a combination of machine work and hand crews.

The RCA and RSTBC have issued this voluntary closure due to the current condition of the trail, the sensitive nature of the alpine environment and the nature of the upgrade and remediation work required. The risk of further damage to the trail and surrounding area is real as detours around work areas in fragile alpine zones would inevitably lead to more habitat damage in these areas.

For reasons of public safety, this Voluntary Closure will become a mandatory, Official Closure once the trail work begins in early August 2016. This closure will remain in effect until the rehabilitated trail re-opens for riding in July 2017.

Due to the annual July 15 mountain Cariboo closure and seasonal snowpack, The RCA was only very recently able to ground-truth the extent of the damage and disrepair to the trail. The RCA shares in the disappointment about the trail being closed for the remainder of this season, but we are confident and optimistic that the sacrifice and work of this year will create a better trail that we can all enjoy and be proud of for years to come. For a great alpine XC experience, we encourage riders to use the more technically challenging and advanced Keystone Standard Basin Trail. For a flow-trail descent similar to Frisby Ridge, try Flowdown at Mount Macpherson.

The RCA strongly encourages the riding community to embrace this opportunity to strengthen their commitment to ongoing trail stewardship not only in Revelstoke, but for all trails everywhere.

Title image by Dave Silver.

For more information, please contact:
Daryl Ross - XC Director - Revelstoke Cycling Association - / @djdrail
Click here to learn how to make donations to this important project.


  • + 12
 Good to see. That trail got hammered so hard last fall, and everyone who rode it in those conditions should frankly be ashamed. It's not hard to see what kind of condition it's in. It's an out and back. Hopefully, some of the initial flaws in construction can be solved and the trail will drain a little better too. With as much traffic as Frisby gets, sadly, idiot proofing is vital.
  • + 10
 Don't forget about the incredible alpine trails and stunning scenery at Sol Mountain Lodge as a great substitute for Frisby Ridge! Check out @SSPhoto26 's photo album:
  • + 1
 @WanderingWheels I'm not from Revelstoke, but going there in a week! I was planning to do Frisby but my plan change! What is the loop that your doing in Sol Mountain??? Thanks
  • + 4
 @Pennywise96: When I go to Sol I like to loop all the trails!!!! Great trails overall and you can ride most of them in a big day! Check out the trails on Trailforks or give us a call and we can take you up there for the day. Better yet, book a room in their Lodge and stay overnight!! Nothing beats waking up in the alpine!
  • + 8
 Kudos to the RCA and the Ministry for making this decision. Great long-term thinking and forward-looking approach. In order to secure alpine access for years to come, we must be somewhat self-regulating and willing to close trails if needed. As sad as the trail closure is, to me this is positive news coming out of Revelstoke. Cheers from the Cariboo!
  • - 1
 Cheers for the Cariboo that aren't up there in summer? Another person buying in to the heli skier BS environmental reports. I rode Frisby yesterday and started at the sledders entrance and the entire trail was perfect condition. What a bunch of shit!
  • + 1
 @twiersum: uh you totally misunderstood the comment
  • + 2
 Revelstoke never saw what was coming. Was there last fall and word was the trail got trashed so I never rode it. It is in the alpine and BC, plus everyone has heard about this trail so the only way to make it work is to have HARD closures going forward.
  • + 2
 Yeah, this is incredibly sad. I get the desire to ride - particularly if you've taken a trip somewhere to ride a wishlist trail - but be sensible about what you see when you get up there. There are always other trails. If we want the trail system to work, we all have to be conscious stewards of it - even when that means giving up a ride you've dreamed about in favour of something more appropriate for current conditions.
  • + 4
 Ride muddy trails then complain about how expensive drivetrains are, how often suspension needs servicing, how unreliable dropper posts are.
  • + 4
 I'm worried about Khyber pass trail in Whistler suffering the exact same thing if people ride it the next few weeks!
  • + 1
 at least Khyber is an official trail now. Hard to close an illegal trail for maintenance.
  • + 1
 @j-t-g: I doubt that Rec Sites BC and the Columbia Basin trust would be putting so much support behind an illegal trail
  • + 1
 @j-t-g: Or maybe you were talking about Khyber ... reading comprehension was never my strong point.
  • + 1
 Well done taking a stance for the long-term viability of the trail network. Hopefully people are respectful of the situation; the area is no stranger to closures for various reasons(winter cariboo closures) so as long as people honor the wishes of the club then the trail will continue to be enjoyed in the future.
  • + 1
 Trails go through a maturing process. Mistakes are made. Water errosion rears its ugly head. Repairs and changes are made . The trail matures into somthing wonderful. When u see a sighn put up by thr builder saying please do not ride this trail untill it dries out. I respect the wishes of the builders. The damage apears to be from water more than tires. Thats a big puddle.
  • + 1
 I rode Frisby last August (it was great!) but the single track up and same trail back down lead to a bunch of strava-chasing idiots blasting by and skidding out their tires on the corners while dodging those climbing up. Some parts of the trail even then were a bit water-logged and most riders were opting to ride around or even walk to avoid making things worse. But I guess Sept was a messy month and damages couldn't be avoided. Good thing Revy has tons of other riding spots, though.
  • + 1
 Well I guess we mean the same thing really. Just when railing goes too far it becomes a drift
  • + 1
 mtn biking is eating itself with it's over popularity.
  • + 6
 But ... Grow the Sport !
  • + 5
 @cmcrawfo: if the sport's growing (and it is) then imo we need more rider education and more trail resources (as the RCA is getting). I'd suspect that people would lay off Frisby if they knew why. This piece by Steve Sheldon of TORCA is really good about riding trails in the wet
  • + 3
 @leelau: I'm unconvinced that it's possible to convince significant numbers riders to not ride in the wet, avoid skidding and drifting, slow down, stop short-cutting etc. for the good of a trail. The only effective strategy I'm aware of is to design trails that reward the type of riding you want, and can withstand the use (and abuse) they'll inevitably get.
  • + 1
 @stewspooner: Sadly my experience is that you are right but I guess it can't hurt to try to educate
  • + 3
 I'm assuming the best strategy is a bit of both. Riders who have been involved in trail design, armouring and draining IMO are more thoughtful about when and how they ride to preserve the trails. Having trails that can be hammered in the wet and hold up creates options when conditions are less than optimalmal.
  • + 0
 - delete
  • + 3
 @stewspooner: drifting is hardly a crime. It's a byproduct of riding fast
  • + 2
 @JimLad: I know that it's pointless to "criminalize" or even try to discourage however you want to ride. I have a strong personal preference for railing my turns, I understand that it's the quickest way around a turn (see Sam Hill's line choice at La Thuile), and as someone who spends my days building and repairing public trails I see that drifting erodes and degrades the compacted trail surface compared to railing, but drift all you want. It looks like fun.
  • - 3
 I rode this trail Thursday from the sledders entrance and it was in beautiful shape! No big mud areas, a few small puddles but come on, figure it out! I'm sure the mud is lower down the ridge by the 2x4 entrance but seriously, let's have a little more transparency here. If you build a trail in a watery area your going to have issues. The other 80% of the trail is in great shape!

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