Video: Remy Metailler Previews Pamplemousse, Squamish's Newest Trail

Oct 9, 2019
by Rémy Métailler  

Squamish as a new Black Diamond Trail! It’s called Pamplemousse and already over 1600 people rode it in 9 days!

James Ivory, is the main builder of this trail. It took him and his friends 3 years to build the line. All of them have 9 to 5 jobs, so finding the time to dig after work was a challenge. James owns a guiding company (@ridebc_squamish). Check out his website for more infos: http://www.ridebc.ca.


The trail starts just before Credit Line. If you enjoyed this trail and want to ride it, I advise you to join the Squamish Off Road Cycling Association: https://sorca.ca, this way you will be able to support trails like this one!

Thanks a lot to the trail builders for the work!

New trail preview up on my Youtube

New trail preview up on Youtube.

Subscribe for more: here

Regions in Article
Alice Lake & Highlands, Squamish

Trails in Article
Pamplemousse


76 Comments

  • 60 0
 Thanks Remy for taking the time to film with me! Had a blast trying not to hold you back haha! If you ride this trail and enjoy it consider buying a Pamplemousse riding jersey at Corsa Cycles. $40 and all profits go to a beer fund for the builders! Also buy a SORCA trail supporter / trail pass!!
  • 1 0
 How long did it take to get the section 57 in order to build the trail? We are finding this to be one of the bigger challenges in the Okanagan.
  • 1 0
 @bowness8: 8 months. And that was considered timely. It’s a challenging system no doubt. Apparently there is budget coming up to hire some new rec officers. Hoping for that will improve the turn around time.
  • 1 0
 @james529529: 8 months is probably the fastest we have ever got one. Glad it goes quick out there.
  • 15 0
 Got on this trail for the 2nd time this week today before work at about 645am. Its a fun trail and a good addition to the area. I would call it more of a technical flow trail as maintaining speed for some of the jumps is harder than these guys make it look. Its also very bench cut and at times narrow making the jumps and features feel a bit more exposed than typical. There is also a lot of exposure at most of the corners resulting in a very high potential risk should you blow a corner. I will also say that given the amount of traffic the area sees I am sure that in a 4-6 months the wear on the trail will make it significantly more challenging. All and all i think the Black rating is a good call.
  • 13 0
 glad you're enjoying it Smile . indeed some exposed benches but I think the really adds to the feel of the trails. The forest views are great as you're rolling through. And you can see your friends below you!! Definitely the wear will make it a bit more technical. Feel free to join the Pamplemousse trail maintenance page on Facebook and help make sure it stays buff Smile
  • 6 0
 3 years in the making, legal, props to you. Wish I was out the right now, looking like great work. I'm 6 months in on my first legal trail and it's mega work. Have built mega dirt jumps on ??? land for decades but something really satisfying about doing it your way without a committee of 20 people jumping in different directions.
  • 22 0
 Dirty Jane, Entrails, Gouranga, In and Out Burger. These trails are black on Trailforks. Anyone at their limit on Pompelmous thinking they are ready for Gouranga because they are both rated black will be in for an awakening.
  • 5 0
 @kram: even Credit Line is a pretty big step up from Pomp
  • 5 1
 @flipfantasia: Totally.

As a comparison, Cheshire Cat, Section 57 and Word of Mouth are blue. I can only go by the video and my wife's comments as I'm broken, but seems like those trails are more difficult.

I don't want to get too critical, as really part of the problem is there's not enough different ratings available to choose from. Interestingly Pleasure Trail has a single black on the sign, although Trailforks has it as double.

Dark blue or purple would be a good addition to divide blue and black.
  • 1 0
 @Squamishboz: Thanks for the explanation, as I was wondering why it was rated single black. I was thinking it was related to the GoPro effect, but what you say makes perfect sense. Either way, it looks like an absolute blast! Great work James.
  • 5 0
 @kram: Europe as well as coast park use a red triangle as an in-between from blue to black.
  • 2 0
 Easy black or hardish blue. Def a black if you hit the step down.
  • 2 0
 @kram: If you go to Queenstown Bike Park (NZ) on trailforks, there are actually dark blue trails on the map. Never seen this anywhere else in trailforks, but maybe the functionality is there.
  • 4 0
 @kram: I've said this before in other places, but it would be so easy to adapt even the current system to have a greater range of ratings. Why not double greens and blues? Or green squares and blue diamonds? It's entirely intuitive with no reasonable way to misunderstand the adoption of new ratings. That's a 50% increase in options right there. (If you don't count "Pro" lines almost never found outside of parks or the few other options which haven't caught on in a global way.)
  • 8 0
 @lostlunchbox: and @kram. definitely, more trail ratings would be great. would take a unified effort across the province. I did consult with many when considering the rating for this trail, from the rec officers who gave the permit, to SORCA members / board members, intermediate, beginner and expert riders. What I can say for sure is that Pamplemousse is not a blue, so that leaves the single black rating. If there was a rating between blue and single black would trail would likely fit there well. But for now, a black it is Smile
  • 2 0
 @kram: I don’t think the problem here lies with Pomp, but with the other Squamish trails. Gouranga and In and Out are never black trails! They are double black for sure, and then that would leave Pomp as an easy black, due to the steep corners up top and the (small) but mandatory gap in the main line down below.
  • 3 1
 @james529529: Nice work on the build, it's a great addition.
@kram It would stand to reason that with so few options for rating currently, (4 with 3 containing all that most consider worth rating, blue/black/doubleBL that a personal ability bias must be accounted for. That is to say that a 'blue' rider would/could find this trail a challenge beyond that which they feel is within their wheelhouse. With RollerCoster as the baseline for Blue, I would would sign off on that rating. The problem -like you well pointed out- is that trails like L.O.T.S are rated Blue as well. If a rider is near their limit with L.O.T.S and considers that the high water mark for Blue then Pamp will surely be a head scratcher for the Black rating as it requires far less on all fronts of ability / commitment.
The duration / involvement / accessibility and potential element exposure based values seem to weigh in to Alpine climbing rating in a way that current quaternary bike rating system fails to capture. All nuance aside my point is that a double black rider will be confused by this trail being given the Black rating IMO.

Be it resolved L.O.T.S would be Blue Diamond C3 (tech blue with a 3 out of 3 involvement/commitment) and Roller Coaster would be Blue Flow C1 (Easy blue with a low involvement/commitment) and so forth.

Riders happy on Black trails like Entrails, Out There, Pura Vida, Icey Hole of Death, Pipeline etc will also be wondering how big the bracket can get within Black as they are without a doubt very different from James' work of trail art that is Pamplemousse. They should not all be dropped in the same bucket, that's for sure.

The ratings are not working. Best course is ride the thing and enjoy it. Can't wait to have you back on two wheels buddy.
  • 1 0
 @banffowen: Sort of like how rock climbing has the two scores? 4.10, 5.7, 5.15, etc
  • 1 0
 @mtbikeaddict: the 5 just means using a rope. I wouldn't use the North American grading system as an example of clear grading actually. It starts at 5.1 then 5.2 etc to 5.10, and then you start adding a, b, c or d to further split the difficulty. Some people just use a plus or a minus instead of a letter.

Using an open ended grading system (not being confined to a fixed number of grades) is probably the best way to deal with harder and harder trails, along with a description of what is involved; smooth, steep, drops etc.
  • 1 0
 @BigAlfonz: Never having ridden outside of NZ I'm surprised to read that dark blue trails aren't a thing world wide! It's super helpful for that stage of knowing what you're capable of trying to step up from blue Smile
  • 2 0
 @kram: yeah we've been talking a lot about it for the past year or so on the WORCA trails sub-committee, we've tried lobbying the RMOW to update the Whistler Trail Standards too, to no avail as of yet...definitely agree that the current categories are a bit too broad by todays trail building variations and too many people expect that blue means super low grade smooth, when it actually is much more varied than that.
  • 2 0
 @flipfantasia: Definitely had this discussion many times at trailheads with other folks scratching our heads. Seems like a blue diamond, dark blue or purple are the most common suggestions. Adding a triple black could be useful too, as I have seen it where people think they are ready for black diamonds by riding Schleyer and then get themselves into trouble thinking they've hit the big time and everything is now in their wheelhouse. If Schleyer is a double, where does that leave Pleasure Trail that's rated as a single black on the trailhead sign (dbl on TForks admittedly).

I do like the suggestion of having a diamond and square for each colour. Green and Blue Diamonds and Black Squares plus maybe a Triple Black for the stuff only the very experienced should venture into.

On another note, I guess I don't agree that one feature should dictate a rating unless there's no ride around and it's very hard to walk. Putting a 50 foot gap on the main line of Cliff's Corners half way down with an awkward ride around doesn't make it a double black. Putting a few of them as the main intention of the trail would. Just my opinion of course.
  • 1 0
 @kram: agree fully
  • 1 0
 @flipfantasia: I'd be interested to hear the discussions on that. Perhaps pinkbike could run some kind of article interviewing builders / various riders on the trail rating standards. Colors are good for maps, but it would be nice to have a more descriptive system too. I can ride pro level tech trails (not as fast as them obviously), but I'm not particularly good at jumping so it would be nice to have a way of differentiating what makes the trail hard.
  • 2 0
 Bloody complicated .
UK has
Blue
Red
Black
Double Black/Pro/Expert
  • 1 0
 @pigman65: That's confusing, the North East is very simple green, blue, black, double black diamond. Down south you have yellow beginner, blue intermediate and red is expert or diamond terrain. I prefer the first northeast system from decades of skiing and mtg it just makes soo much sense. BC I just went to Spanky's on Blackcomb and there are no signs but know the whole area is double diamond zone.
  • 1 0
 @pigman65: That system looks pretty great and definitely think it's good to have a category between blue and black. BC in general has some pretty crazy trails and there are lots that could easily be graded as a step higher. There is probably an argument for a few in Squamish to be upgraded from black to double black, with the hardest double blacks being ranked as pro.

The trail in this video I'd agree is definitely closer to a blue than a black.
  • 1 0
 @pigman65: The trouble is the grading isn't consistent throughout the country (probably the same situation most places). There's a black rated trail at Llandegla which is ridiculously easy for that rating IMO. Then you go to Laggan and see the difference in difficulty on the black there. Worlds apart.
I think some places over grade their trails so they can claim to have a bigger range.
Even in the same location it can be confusing. At BPW I'd rate parts of Root Manoeuvres (red) harder than some of the black rated runs there (such as Zut Alores).
  • 1 0
 @metaam: I'd rate melted willy (blue) as a black due to the ridiculous speed you can get up to Wink
  • 2 0
 I'd love to see if Trailforks could implement a user submitted (based on upvote/downvote?) ranking progression of trail difficulty kind of like what Whistler has for Tech and Flow trails. One could rank the trails in their ridelogs with physical/technical difficulty and even get comparisons across multiple regions. I think someone on the NSMB forum had a Squamish slab difficulty progression list.
  • 1 0
 @nzstormer: I think the current system works, but could use another rating between black and blue.

In my opinion it works not because of the colour, but the shape of the rating. Colors fade and whatnot, but the shape is always there and easily interpreted. Maybe instead of dark blue (could be confused with regular blue), we should have a pentagon or something.
  • 13 0
 I don't have the grapefruits to ride like Remy.
  • 6 0
 A while back I commented that I wish I could see videos of Remy riding something other than park. This series has been awesome. It shows the skill even more when he rips trails that he doesn't ride everyday. Keep it going!
  • 1 0
 Yep best videos , along with Friday fails
  • 5 0
 That was definitely not your average trail dog. And not the usual super gnarly trail, but still the same level of enthusiasm from Remy.
  • 4 32
flag almostheaven (Oct 9, 2019 at 16:06) (Below Threshold)
 Luckily, it's enthusiasm that's a few tiers below that other loudmouth Frenchie from Whistler. *groan*
  • 3 0
 Absolutely love this trail! Stopped by Alice Lake a few weeks ago (apparently this trail had just opened) and got to ride it. Loved it! Favorite trail of the trip and a nice flowly "cool down" to the other tech intensive trails at Alice Lake. Even the chicken route around the drop is actually pretty fun. Lots of props to all the hard work and builders that worked on this trail!
  • 3 0
 Superb build, no doubt!
But..that zone still needs a blue exit back to Perth/pia and Tantalus.
Imagine of you could ride blues all the way from upper mad Hatter without needing to ride a black or mashiter.
  • 8 0
 Get involved and build it!
  • 2 0
 Looks like a sweet trail! Can't wait to ride it!

I think the rating system is fine.. You have to assume what's difficult for one person may not be as hard for another. And when riding a black or double black there can be a huge variation. Look at In Deep vs Dirt Merchant, for some folk DM is chill but in Deep can be really intimidating and vice versa.

That being said the first few times I rode Hueso and In and Out I thought to myself "How the f is this not a double black"
  • 4 0
 If you find DM easy and In Deep scary, then you need to ride some more tech you jump rat!
(said with tongue very much in cheek) Smile
  • 4 0
 "I think the rating system is fine.. "

I agree. Adding more rating *levels* will not help, because ratings will still be subject to the judgment of the person doing the rating. There will still be disagreement - maybe even more, because there will be more levels to argue about!

What I think *would* help is for there to be more clarity on how to *apply* ratings. Consider a trail that is mostly level "L", but has one or more sections that are at level "L+1". Should this trail be rated L, or L+1? If the L+1 sections have ride-arounds, I'd argue it should be rated L.

This seems to be the case with Pamplemousse (judging by the video - I have not ridden it, but have ridden many of the trails in the area). It appears to be a blue, but with a black gap section that can be ridden around. So I'd rate it blue.

Maybe instead of adding more ratings *levels*, we should consider separate ratings for the mandatory and optional lines on a trail, where separate lines exist. So for Pamplemousse, the rating would be blue mandatory/black optional.
  • 1 0
 Totally agree. Personally, I suck at jump trails but am pretty competent on tech trails.

Also, trail ratings need to be based on the most difficult features of the trail. A trail might be blue for 90% of it but if the other 10% is very challenging then it wouldn't be appropriate to have a blue rating. A lot of Pamplemousse looks like it's blue based on the video but there's definitely enough black aspects to have an overall black rating IMO.
  • 3 0
 Alice lake is the place ! Looks super flowy for a black diamond trail, props to the builder !
  • 2 0
 It’s just got a couple steep corners (with moderate exposure) and a gap jump in the main line of the trail, hence the black rating.
  • 4 2
 the options are black but my wife rode the main line blind first try, and while she's a decent rider, she doesn't ride black trails blind first try!
  • 1 0
 @flipfantasia are you saying your wife who can't ride a black trail blind did the gap?
  • 1 0
 @nickdk: no, because the drop really isn't on the main line, even when I rode it, I didn't see the drop until I was beside it and then realized I had rode past the turn to get on that line. the way the trail rode at speed, the option line to the drop didn't seem like the main line.
  • 2 0
 Looks super fun. But also looks like a Blue Squamish trail, not Black, IMO.
  • 3 0
 when mountain bikers die and go to heaven, i think it's probably Squamish.
  • 1 0
 This is how modern trails are built. Plenty of flow. No roots no rocks. Perfect for modern bikes. Cool. Trails I like are empty.
  • 1 0
 Luckily Alice Lake has them all Smile . In fact most in the area are really rough and natural!
  • 2 0
 They have Lacroix in Cananda?
  • 3 0
 In Quebec we have a trail called Dh de La Croix. Although Pamplemousse is more amusing Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Dude in the blue shirt (who built the trail) has a Grade 3 AC separation. Welcome to the club brother'
  • 1 0
 good eye. I do. and a big collar bones that make it look worse than it is ha
  • 1 0
 Love your riding videos Remy, keep 'em coming! Many thanks to James for all the hard work!
  • 1 0
 sick trail ,well done! Any trail with a 7 foot drop can have a black rating.
  • 1 0
 Pamplemousse!! Did Remy name the trail? Sounds fitting!
  • 4 3
 1600 riders in 9 days. Someone's got a big mouth
  • 5 0
 That number sounds insane to me - every time I've ridden Alice Lake you just see other people once in a while. 1,600 sounds like a bike park trail.
  • 5 0
 @bull-dozer: yeah high indeed. I've got counter on there so it's real!!
  • 3 0
 Even though it wasn't on Trailforks you've been able to see the entrance/exit from Jacks/Credit Line for a while, I could see it early September when I was up there riding. Didn't poach since I don't know the builder and didn't think it was done yet. Will check it out next time looks super fun! Thanks James and SORCA.
  • 1 0
 @bull-dozer: alice lake is funny like that. with differents ways to get in and out, everyone gets so spread out. Ive ridden on a saturday and had the place to myself, then on a wednesday afternoon run into 15 people on rupert.
  • 1 0
 Not sure why the neg reps - 1600 in 9 days is exactly what squamish is all about now. Words out. We have pretty good trails and that brings in the tourist.
  • 1 0
 @onemind123: good for the economy, good for more section 57s
  • 1 0
 @james529529: and thats probably about 10% of the number of riders that poached it during the build.
Nice work guys.
  • 1 0
 @Yaan: i dont think so - majority of locals are pretty respectful to not to ooa h during build. I admit i was hiking in the are w my dog a few weeks before it fully opened and walked down it for a preview - had to see where my sorca dollars were actually going! Was not a lot (if any) tire tracks down it (unlike what i saw riding it today).
  • 2 0
 YEAH James!!
  • 1 1
 They just had to name the trail after the worst la croix flavor.....what a shame
  • 1 0
 looks like a canadian rude rock!
  • 1 0
 Squamish has the best dirt around.
  • 1 0
 Easily the best La Croix flavor.
  • 1 0
 Love these vids! Good work Remy and James!
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