Building trail is hard work. It takes a strong will, a strong back and a strong understanding of proper trail building techniques to create fun and long lasting trail. The job is made that much easier with over 1000 of your closest trail digging friends! At Race Face, we are proud to support the ongoing efforts of the Shore Corps, who as a group have been tirelessly working on Vancouver’s North Shore trail network since the groups inception in 2012. Tackling one trail project after another, the volunteer RF Shore Corps have been gaining significant momentum lately, making a difference with every shovel full of dirt thrown. Comprised of over 1000 graduates who’ve come through the Artecyx North Shore Builders Academy, members first attend a theory session in the classroom followed by a practical build day in the forest before earning their Race Face Shore Corps patch.
Mark Wood, North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA) Program Manager, created the ever-evolving Builders Academy curriculum, having now delivered the course to trail associations throughout the province of BC and beyond. Eric Brown, Trail Director of the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition in Bellingham, WA. gives the Builders Academy program 2 thumbs up -
It has helped the WMBC get our volunteer trail builders on the same page. - Eric Brown, Trail Director of the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition
Drawing on years of practical experience and incorporating the best of modern trail building techniques, the program emphasizes adaptability & creativity, “Trail building is an art form. This course teaches the fundamentals,” says Wood. Students are encouraged to think critically, being mindful not to over-process trail environment. Plus, they’re having a good time doing the work which makes it all that much easier -
The days spent out in the woods digging are like a social gathering, more like a party with good friends than hard back breaking manual labour! - Sean Brassil, Shore Corps member
Ongoing training for the Shore Corps takes place on Advanced Trail Days where they learn progressive skills like trail design, structure construction, forest ecology and trail rehabilitation. Graduates of the advanced program gain opportunities to lead future projects and build on their experience. The students eventually become the teachers, leading trail days and specialty projects. “After attending my first practical trail day, I was hooked!” Tom Hudson, a self-professed dirt addict, has now become an official Shore Corps Trail Boss. The program is creating a motivated and educated trail crew that that makes a difference now and will leave a legacy to follow into the future
Mark Wood and the Race Face crew that attended our Trail Academy theory session.
On November 24, Race Face sponsored the final Shore Corps build day of the year – dialing in a new section of trail on Fromme mountain. Despite the less than ideal conditions, a hearty crew of about 50 Shore Corps members and RF staff showed up to get filled up with coffee and donuts before heading up the mountain with tools in hand to get to work! Two days previous, RF staff were treated to an after work, in office, Trail Academy theory session with Mark Wood. The technical lessons learned in the classroom were now getting put into practice in the cold and wet alongside experienced Shore Corps members! Tons of work was done that morning and the stoke level was high, even finding time to do a Mannequin Challenge on the trail! After the last rock was moved and gold dirt thrown, it was time to head down towards the tantalizing smell of the BBQ and to share refreshments and stories, celebrating another great year of Race Face Shore Corps trail work and growth!
Race Face is proud to support the efforts of the NSMBA and the Shore Corps – helping to take the amazing trail network of the North Shore to the next level, making the future bright for one of the meccas of our sport! Can’t wait for 2017 to roll around to get those shovels to dirt again! Trails for all, Trails forever!