Video: Salsa Verde - Two Year Recipe to a Rad Trail

Nov 1, 2015
by Chromag Bikes  
Roca Verde/Salsa Verde

Views: 30,842    Faves: 393    Comments: 21


I've always been intrigued by the myriad of styles, character, and construction in mountain bike trails. Years of riding The Shore, The Woodlot, Whistler, Squamish, Pemberton, and the interior offered up a plethora of building techniques that I took in as an astute observer and eager student. Unfortunately, the time building a full trail requires never seemed to materialize.

That is until an untimely injury sustained during a bike trip to Central America. I had broken my hand in a crash in the first week of that trip leaving me unable to ride or work when I returned home.

In the classic case of 'when life hands you lemons' I took the downtime as an opportunity to explore the forests around me. Before long I had flagged multiple lines and got to work clearing brush. Each day in the woods inspired new ideas for features. Within a few months, my hand had healed and I was able to start the real work.

Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.
Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.
Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.
TEASER Steve Storey - Salsa Verde images

The terrain I had chosen was difficult at best to work with, but with help from all around good guy Danny Martins, the task was made 99% easier. Not quite 100% due to his habitual late morning starts. But considering he works for free and doesn't complain, Carlo as he's sometimes known, is the best pal you could have trail building by your side.

Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.
Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.
Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.
Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.
Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.

Over two years, we slaved away cutting, shaping, and digging. Building this trail became our obsession. In that time, we spent more time working on our dream build than actually riding our bikes. Our backs ached, muscles were taxed, joints became chronically sore. Day in and day out we returned at every free chance we had. Completed sections were christened with ritual post dig beers.

Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.
Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.

What seemed like an impossible task soon became a reality and the arduous journey to completion was done. We never took short cuts and it took much longer than we both envisioned. The time and money invested are nothing compared to the feeling of riding our own hard work sculpted from the earth. We're proud to present our creations, Roca Verde and Salsa Verde.

Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.
Images by Justa Jeskova for Steve Storey - Salsa Verde Article.
TEASER Steve Storey - Salsa Verde images

None of this would have been possible without help from these amazing friends:
Lisa Mason
Justa Jeskova
Michael Sousa
Caleb Einhorn
Mike Gamble
Dave Robinson
Jessica Shoubinson
Thomas Wood

Words by @stevestorey
Photos by @Justa25
Video by @mike-gamble

MENTIONS: @Chromagbikes / @stevestorey / @Justa25 / @mike-gamble / @bikesr4fun8daysaweek / @soose




103 Comments

  • + 85
 Trail builders are the real MVP's of MTB
  • + 5
 Builders are rad! Sick trail. Nice work fellas!
  • + 2
 Cheers pal! ????
  • + 24
 I would not compare this trail to the Wood lot or North shore. Salsa Verde looks closer to the modern gems being built in Squamish. This trail has plenty of tight natural lines with stunts that flow with the overall character of the trail. Thank you!!!!!!!!
  • + 16
 That was exactly the intended outcome, thanks for the props! The mentions of Wood Lot and North Shore were more about their building techniques and taking things I liked about what they had done and incorporating those into this trail. Drainage, rock work, cribs, etc, not necessarily copying the style of trail.
  • + 21
 Thats some spicy salsa
  • + 17
 STEVE, that is one choice cut filet mignon in the mountain bike of trails, Delicious! Shame I live down in San Diego, or I'd buy you a second round of suds for that great build!
  • + 3
 Haha, cheers buddy!
  • + 10
 Awesome work, congrats.

Who would close down a public trail like that in the US first: lawyers or misguided environmentalists?
  • + 7
 Gotta find it first
  • + 2
 In this case, not that hard to find. But point taken. I believe the BLM shut down North Fork area in WA state, so I guess it was neither lawyers nor enviros.
  • + 2
 Whoops - DNR not BLM.
  • + 1
 @powderturns: not any more Wink . It's all being legalized!
  • + 7
 Can't trick me this time salsa verde. I know your not a salsa brand bike, but rather a special session place.
  • + 7
 Royal Blood + Shredding the gnar = AWESOME !!!
  • + 3
 Had the pleasure of riding this trail with Steve for the Deep Summer Photo Challenge during crankworx this year, lots of hard work and planning went into this one. That's for sure! Wicked trail, nice to see the video finally!
  • + 1
 Cheers, Anthony. Was a pleasure to share the trail with You guys in that shoot. Good times!
  • + 1
 Where is it? Please tell me....or just a hint(a close trail) please.
  • + 1
 @larr: It's near Roca Verde and Cerveza Verde Wink
  • + 5
 Tons of great features to send some style but the rider waits the last one ?
I'd like to see a POV vid of the whole course does someone know wher I could find that? cheers
  • + 2
 Maybe if you ask Steve nicely he'll put one out.
  • + 1
 @stevestorey if it's ok for you .. Wink
  • + 2
 Yeah, a POV of the whole trail would be awesome Smile
  • + 1
 I will have something up the beginning of next season. Don't have a GoPro at the moment and looks like winter is now around the corner.
  • + 6
 The real question ....where is this dam trail and when can I ride it ?
  • + 7
 Nice work Steve!
  • + 2
 Thanks, glad to see people stoked on it.
  • + 6
 Could have done with less cinematics but the riding was sick af
  • + 6
 Agreed. I wanted an idea of the whole trail and even that drop to small jump was segmented so you never saw him actually drop and jump in one shot. Chopped up so I couldn't tell much about the trail as a whole. Congrats none the less. It seems I learned this week that it took 3 years of advocacy to build a turd in our forest, so you have it made.
  • + 3
 Thanks, @bizutch . I'm more than sure what you built is better then a turd. I understand the frustration but you have set the ball in motion as far as trail advocacy goes at the very least. Good luck in the future and looking forward to seeing some great stuff from your area of the world Smile
  • + 1
 Awesome riding!!!
Can anyone out there explain to me the trend of excessive slow motion in today's edits??? Once in a while on a sick shot is one thing, but almost every other shit? A good example of too ugh is not bad... It was bad....
  • + 1
 DSLR era in MTB/action sports filming. The slow-mo is the only part where you'll see the rider 100% crisp and clear instead of the otherwise shakey, studdery/choppy footage.
The bright side is that without it you'd probably miss what brand of bike someone rides or their googles brand/logo. And the rooooost!
  • + 3
 Trailbuilding is all about dedication!
supa props to the Team!
Salsa verde looks delicious and lil bit spicy!!
You Whistlerites ROCK!! @mike-gamble, Steve and the others!
  • + 1
 Thanks, Audric. Mega props to the team. Wouldn't have happened without so many generous friends.
  • + 5
 Loam... pure loam. Amazing trail work btw!!
  • + 4
 Nothing I like better than a sick freeride edit and Royal Blood...I mean unless I was shredding the trail myself of course.
  • + 2
 As a fellow trail builder I have to congratulate you on your amazing work. If you are ever in Chatel, France let me know and I'll show you some sweet trails.
  • + 2
 Thanks, man! Means a lot coming from a fellow trail builder. If I do end up out there I will definitely take you up in that. Same goes here for you too.
  • + 5
 rad
  • + 2
 Wicked trail, do you get a shuttle up or push ? Can't see there being any sort of roads there.Those boulders are everywhere, I want some..
  • + 2
 where are these trails. and thanks to all builders out there, and for those who have never tried it get a shovel. Well worth it.
  • + 1
 As a trail this is exactly the perfect blend of everything! Well incorporated man made stuff paired with natural terrain that is left raw and of coarse the moss and loam! Got a hard on for your trail, big props
  • + 2
 Much appreciated, thanks! Having a mix of everything was our goal. Maybe we'll throw a teeter in at the end for good measure Wink
  • + 1
 Nah, just some jumps to flat.
  • + 5
 amazing work
  • + 5
 my god that was sick
  • + 1
 Amazing work! Where are these trails, as I would love to ride them! I feel as though if you're going to build a trail do a video on it and promote the trail it should be shared?
  • + 4
 no one owes you directions to anything.
  • + 2
 Ha! That's one way to put it @flipfantasia. But yeah, long story short, it's a secret.
  • + 0
 No they don't not at all. But IMO its a dick move to promote a trail and trail building via a video all about the trail and than call it a "secret".You want to keep it a secret than keep it a secret. You want to share it share it. Don't share how sweet it is followed but ohhhh its a secret. How ridiculous is that. Lots of secret trails out there. We all ride hundreds of trails we never put a shovel to the ground on so that argument is dumb.
Share the video but not make it about the trail make it about the riding if you don't want people to know or ask where it is. People use to build so people could enjoy its most likely how we all got into riding.
Enjoy your trail and being exclusively pompous
  • + 2
 And @flipfantasia its not about owing, its about creating a community that's open and welcoming not closed and clique.
  • + 9
 It's not necessarily a secret but directions will not be posted online. I would like that the trail be discovered organically. One of the most beautiful parts of mountain biking is finding new trails through your own explorations. Plus having people discover it slowly will mean that it beds in slowly and lasts longer. The trail is there for everyone and I look forward having people enjoy what we created. It will most likely be on a map one day but until then it will be left up to those willing to search it out Smile No ones being pompous, closed off, or clique-y.
  • + 3
 right on, steve. the way it should be with creations like this!
  • + 1
 fantastic looking trail guys...a serious-sized endeavor with great results Smile ....& Royal Blood has been my digging/riding soundtrack this season so nice to hear that too \,,/
  • + 1
 Great digging/riding music. Had it in my head for a while on this build.
  • + 3
 Fantastic. Man I miss building.. Off to watch the video for a 6th time now..
  • + 1
 Building sure is addicting. I miss it already too haha. Thanks for the extra views!
  • + 3
 excited to try and survive this next summer. top stuff.
  • + 3
 More like Salsa caliente!

(if u speak espanol you will get the comment)
  • + 2
 great job all around. you should definitely break your other hand immediately Wink
  • + 1
 If I do (which I hope not to!) I'll definitely be running around the woods looking for the next project.
  • + 2
 mega composed throughout...and some pedaling for good measure. That looks like a fun trail in the woods right there.
  • + 2
 That's a great looking trail! Really like how raw you kept a lot of it. Wanna ride it next Spring if I can get the lowdown.
  • + 2
 When is Knolly going to rename their DH bike, the current name is misleading.
  • + 1
 I don't pay much attention to the brand name, more about the bike itself for me.
  • + 1
 Unreal seeing what someone can do with the natural terrain in Whistler when they put so much work into it, looks like a piece of art Steve!
  • + 1
 Thanks for the kind words. Spent a lot of time walking and coming up with ideas. Really wanted to make sure we had no regrets in line choice.
  • + 3
 That's awesome. Worth the anticipation.
  • + 3
 I'd go and break another hand of yours...
  • + 2
 Hmmmm, could do without haha. Will probably just start another project without the broken hand Wink
  • + 1
 Half the shots seemed to be shot late day and were way too dark. I'm so jealous of that trail though, I wish I had room to build like that here.
  • + 3
 That's one nice piece of work right there!!!!
  • + 3
 Nice work guys, that trail looks awesome total loam and flow!!!
  • + 1
 Amazing work on the trail! Has me dying to come ride it. Nice visuals and shredding as well!
  • + 1
 Thank you. Guess we did something right by bringing out that 'must get out and ride it' feel from people Smile
  • + 1
 Damn I need to find and ride this trail is looks epic, and is probably 10 times as epic in person!
  • + 1
 I'm a bit biased but you're not far off on your estimations. Everyday I was in there working was a pleasure being surrounded by so much beauty. The forest in that area is absolutely incredible.
  • + 1
 Good trail, good riding, good edit, good music, well done @stevestorey I'm peanut butter and jelly.
  • + 1
 Thanks kindly, Kickstand. Happy to share the enjoyment of this project with everyone!
  • + 3
 Awesome!
  • + 1
 Super epic trail looks like a fun time .
Are u middle finger braking ?
Is that a big F#@k u to the world ?
  • + 2
 Yes, I am. Punk rock riding? Haha, old habit from riding v-brakes back in the xc days and using two fingers to brake.
  • + 3
 Ghost Pepper right there
  • + 2
 And fortunately this Salsa doesn't end with ring sting Wink
  • + 0
 holy dull chain... cuttin more dirt than wood from the looks of it. Just sayin. Sweet build tho. Props to the digging.
  • + 2
 Yeah buddy, so pinned!
  • + 2
 Song?
  • + 2
 Little Monster by Royal Blood
  • + 1
 How long is the trail from top to bottom?
  • + 1
 Not too sure. Haven't measured or timed anything at this point.
  • + 1
 decent
  • + 1
 WE NEED MORE ROOST!!!!
  • + 1
 That trail is nasty.
  • + 0
 myriad...plethora
  • - 3
 He's suspension is quite soft.
  • + 1
 I noticed that too. Seemed like on even the small stuff he was nearly bottoming out.
  • - 4
flag zshipowick (Nov 1, 2015 at 13:40) (Below Threshold)
 Your suspension is probably too stiff...just sayin.
  • + 4
 No, MY suspension is better than YOUR suspension!!!!!
  • + 8
 There were a few big rocks lurking under the duff that have since been removed. I usually run about 17-18% sag and have about 16 clicks of high speed compression with 5 volume/bottom out spacers.
  • + 5
 Im a american, i cant understand your big fancy science talk. talk in normal words.
  • + 7
 Haha! Not soft.

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