Video: A Town Embraces MTB After Tragedy in 'From Slide to Ride' - Race Face Creator Series

Sep 23, 2019
by Race Face  

Filmmaker: Skye Schillhammer

Synopsis: Darrington, Washington, sits nestled in the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains. This once prosperous logging town is now struggling to find an outlet for its community members and is working to fulfill the economic void once supported by the timber industry.

Why We Chose this Film: This film is about a town that took a tragedy and turned it into something positive. They’re moving forward and it’s a great demonstration of the power of mountain bikes to lift up the human spirit but also be a beacon for the community.

Head over to Creator Series to see more photos and watch some behind-the-scenes footage!



Tune in Wednesday for Scott Secco's Billder!



Regions in Article
Darrington


60 Comments

  • 90 0
 Big props to Ian, Blake, Tom, Bryan, Thadd, Mark, Kevin, Nick and the rest of the unsung heroes of Evergreen crew who have camped out for months on end building these trails.
  • 12 0
 ^^^^
This.
  • 11 0
 I met Bryan just other day whilst working on a trail building project in Lenzerheide, hell of a nice guy and he was telling me about Darrington.

Good job to all involved, trails look amazing and it’s fantastic to see communities rallying behind mountain biking for the future.
  • 21 0
 And on that note, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance needs support of those of us living or riding in Washington. They are Washington's only statewide trail org and certainly one of the best!

If you like and ride Darrington / Duthie / Raging / Olallie / etc, be sure to join or renew your membership: www.evergreenmtb.org/join?utm_source=pnwmtb_fb&utm_medium=fb_link&utm_campaign=Boost
  • 28 0
 That dog tabletop scrub @ 11:00!!!
  • 23 0
 What a great job showing the positive impact mountain biking can have on a community. I’ve been lucky enough to participate in a handful of dig and ride days during the construction process of this trail system. Really cool to see how this project has progressed. If you get an opportunity to get out on these trails, definitely don’t pass it up!
  • 15 0
 I have a friend who lives in Darrington. He used to be a logger and is not necessary the type of person you would imagine being excited about this type of thing but he is pumped about the trails being built! He was telling me that he is ready to get a bike and learn how to ride, and he has already seen these trails bringing money into town. He cant wait till more stuff gets built and someone opens a bike shop.
  • 2 0
 @EKrum: I know a bunch of these kind of guys from my hometown. My concern about doing this stuff near that town (I know some guys that manage/own a land trust) is that the local boys would just go and hammer it on their dirt bikes into oblivion.
  • 19 0
 Going on my "to-do" list of rides fo' sho'. There feels like a general buzz of energy in the PNW that is unprecedented. All along the Cascades you will find this sort of enthusiasm for MTB. We're talking from conservative logging towns to isolated ex-religious communes turning their gaze to the world at large. What is it they see? Survival. Tragedy comes in many forms such as the landslide or economic downturn from logging. MTB is the way forward to not only heal these communities but to put the rest of us back in touch with what matters. The crowded cities with the rat race are taking their toll on the human experience. Lets get off our asses and get out there and RIDE!
  • 21 0
 Awesome story. If that's 1 of 9 from Race Face then I am pretty stoked on seeing what's coming.
  • 17 0
 Thanks - and actually this is the first film of 10 that made up the Creator Series for this year. Stay tuned for all the incredible films! Next up is BILLDER by Scott Secco - debuting on Wednesday (9/25/19).
  • 18 0
 That was beautiful.
  • 13 0
 Man, Skye and crew make great films Evergreen is doing incredible work Darrington is beautiful and rugged
  • 10 0
 Great piece, Skye! We're stoked to have the opportunity to build trails in this amazing community and we can't wait to share them when they're complete. The lower North Mountain mountain skills area is open and ready to ride. The upper North Mountain trails are still under construction though– our crews are working as fast as they can! We're working closely with our partners at the Washington State DNR to finish signage and bridge installations. Stay tuned for an announcement about a soft opening late this fall. Until then, we'd really appreciate if folks only venture out on to the upper trails if they're volunteering for a work party. We'd love nothing more than to see Darrington grow and evolve into a true destination mountain bike town. It's only a matter of time!
  • 8 0
 I'm interested if anyone involved can speak about the benefits to the community. Its new, so I'm sure it hasn't happened yet...but whats the overall hope for the community that doesn't ride MTB's and is somewhat impoverished? (my hometown is super similar minus the slide and I'm interested in how to pitch this).

Seems like everyone in town won't be able to ride it due to lack of skill (maybe interest) and certainly finances. Those are big hurdles. So I'm guessing the impact is to bring in MTB tourism to add to the economy. More people visiting the general store. More people hitting the restaurant/mini-market. Maybe drawing some people to move there but work lower in the valley? Getting more families in is critical but there are just no local jobs post-fed-timber-shutdown. People are desperate and as the community continues to dry up...the meth will come. Its already eaten a number of towns in the county. Maybe this can be a solution to communities like the one I grew up in.
  • 5 0
 @Svinyard and anyone from Evergreen or preferably anyone from Darrington who can speak to this question? I'm interested to know this too

"I'm interested if anyone involved can speak about the benefits to the community. Its new, so I'm sure it hasn't happened yet...but whats the overall hope for the community that doesn't ride MTB's and is somewhat impoverished? (my hometown is super similar minus the slide and I'm interested in how to pitch this)." - from Svinyard.
  • 23 0
 @leelau @Svinyard I can speak to this a bit. This was an interesting situation, because I made this film before we had time to really see the effects. The biggest, and most important aspect regarding the trails was that the town had a plan to really incorporate the youth with biking. This is what Glacier Peak Institute is all about. They take kids out and give them a chance to do things they may not be able to afford. From rafting, hiking, rock climbing and now biking. The difference with biking is the instant thrill and excitement the kids get, so they have a higher likelihood of really grabbing onto it. Darrington is already a town being affected by poverty and drugs, and has felt the effects of logging decline. So as far as effects up to this point, we have already seen an uptake from the kids to ride the trails. I grew up there, and was the only biker. Now I am seeing many more families use this as something to do, either for their kids or as a family. It hasn't taken off incredibly fast, but it's happening. The skills park (the only part of the system publicly open) at the bottom of the hill is only a half mile from town, with a dirt path that leads you there, so it's very accessible, even by bike. Every time I'm there I see more kids, and have even started to see photos and videos pop up on instagram and youtube, which is really exciting to see. The other aspect everyone talks about is tourism, and this has definitely gone up from the bike trails, which aren't even publicly open yet! Businesses are noticing many more people in town from the trails, and these are people who are driving hours out of their way to ride trails that aren't on maps yet. These trails are good, really good, and will definitely be on the radar as far as some of the best legal trails in the region, which will for sure bring people to the town. Hopefully they will see this video, and have more respect for the area, and hopefully feel good about spending some money in town at the brewery and grocery story, and maybe, just maybe, drive a reasonable speed on the dirt roads.
  • 8 0
 @schilly: Very cool man, thanks for the update. Its awesome that you guys are paving the way as a piece of the sustainable, rural living solution and multi-use land. The timber guys (my family lol) aren't keen on getting a bunch of out of town yuppies riding all over their land and then complaining about timber harvest near their trails/pretty view. Hopefully that changes as they realize the town can cut it without some new economy helping...and compromising.

Its nice to have another local Washington small-town sending it in a new way to at least try. This will help. Congrats on all of the hard work and hope your town gets healthy. Truly. Things are different in the little communities where everyone is family (whether you like it or not). Can't imagine that kind of life lost.

It'd be awesome to see some of our little towns come back to life. Rural PNW used to be such a jewel when we were kids...now its too often meth haven. Time to flip that.
  • 7 0
 This is a "build it, and they will come" moment. Those that live in Darrington may currently not ride given the next nearest trail system is about an hour away until now. The lower trail system that is family and new rider focused has been open for several years now www.trailforks.com/region/darrington-12030. The upper trails will be added to Trailforks once the system is completed and officially opened by the land manager and EMBA.

Economically, Darrington is now even more ripe for business development and investment to occur. As one of the gateways to the North Cascades, highway 20 and the Methow Valley, the addition of destination grade trails just begs for new or improved cafe's, tiny home rentals, breweries, hotels and beyond. If for example a lodge were built at the outlet of the trail that will descend back to town were built, perhaps offering shuttle service even, will they not need local employees?

The future for Darrington is bright!
  • 5 0
 @schilly: Skye, this was some incredible work, showing everyone your hometown and the passion everyone has for it. Really nice work man.
  • 10 0
 Here's a suggested Darrington mini-tour for your visit:

Buy an extra shovel and some work gloves. And admire the taxidermy:
Darrington Hardware & Supply
www.darringtonhardware.com/pages/darrington-hardware-location

Have a pretty damn good burger:
Burger Barn
www.facebook.com/The-Burger-Barn-170533362957040

Pick up a sammy and snack for the ride:
IGA
darrington.iga.com

Have a beer and killer nachos (pizza's great too):
River Time Brewing
rivertimebrewing.com
  • 6 0
 @geephlow: and @schilly thanks for that. I'm talking to some of the builders about when there's a next build day. It'd be a good chance to learn more and give back
  • 6 0
 @boxxerace: please look up a place called Derby in Tasmania, Australia, for a glowing example of where this can all go... this video is a good place to start: youtu.be/66i8-A67lLo
  • 5 0
 @Svinyard as Skye mentioned part of it is about the kids and having accessible, beginner friendly trails was an important phase 1 of the project. The other part is about helping out the local economy by delivering some incredible, shuttle friendly trails as a short trip from the Seattle and Bellingham areas. The main trails are close to being open and they will not disappoint with lots of vert and fun challenges. Hopefully this is the start of more mountain bike tourism in the area. At Evergreen we are trying to show local communities the benefits of bringing folks from out of town to ride and spend money in the local community. As logging slows down in these communities, recreation development is a fantastic way to diversify the local communities.
  • 2 0
 @Garethccc: Thanks for sharing, will do!
  • 6 0
 That was really good.
Watched a really interesting show about the slide on OPB. (PBS) Check it out if you want to learn something and also cry. A lot. Some brutal stories about the victims. Sad sad deal that happened up there.
  • 8 0
 Excellent film. Thanks Race Face for that. Looking forwards to the next ones..
  • 9 0
 Excellent piece RACEFACE...nice gift to the world Darrington!!!
  • 7 0
 Not many (if any) mountain bike videos get me tearing up, but this one hit me in the feels. Beautiful story! I hope to make it there to check out the trails sometime.
  • 8 0
 Killer job Skye! Way to tell the story of that area.
  • 4 0
 That’s great! A few of my friends and I are pretty excited tomride down there soon. Once some of the trails are posted on trailforks you can guarantee the couple of bars and restaurants down there will be packed with riders after/before rides.
  • 3 0
 Awesome job, Skye... Incredible piece. Also, for those interested in learning more about the 2014 Oso slide, The Everett Daily Herald has offered by far the most thorough and in-depth coverage. This is a must read: www.heraldnet.com/news/the-rising
  • 6 0
 Absolutely fantastic film and an amazing story.
  • 5 0
 I'm not crying. You're crying! Wow, Skye. So well done. Proud of you.
  • 5 0
 Nice job Skye!
  • 5 0
 A lot of emotions
  • 4 0
 thank you, that was beautiful... from slide to ride !!
  • 4 0
 great story and film. putting this town on my list.
  • 4 0
 From B hill to Darrington...Skye makes it happen...major props dude.
  • 2 0
 Incredible video and amazing work. I look forward to coming up soon and I'd love to talk about how Send It Society can get involved 3
  • 3 0
 @schilly amazing story and film, nice work skye!
definitely have to visit darrington sometime
  • 3 0
 It’s so cool to see all these happen I’m kinda a local and am really stoked too see how fare it’s has come and will go
  • 2 0
 That was excellent. Very moving and absolutely made me want to visit. Cant wait to check out on the next biking trip. Thank you!
  • 4 0
 oh yes, whats next?
  • 4 0
 Amazing.
  • 3 0
 Does anyone know where I can a video of that stoked awesome kid??
  • 2 0
 Wonderful story, would love to ride in Darrington! Wishing the town all the best...
  • 1 0
 I love that mountain biking is doing positive things for this community. I would feel even more compelled to visit if the video featured at least one female rider.
  • 2 0
 So Gnarly....Great job guys!!!!!
  • 2 0
 Great story. I plan to visit!
  • 2 0
 Nice! Reminiscent of Oakridge...
  • 2 0
 This video even makes me wanna move to Darrington...
  • 2 0
 Beautiful
  • 1 0
 Very cool story to share and nicely done.
  • 1 0
 So why doesn't trailforks have any trails shown for north mountain?
  • 1 0
 Because the trails are not done and officially open yet. Hit me up if you ever want to come lend a hand and dig and ride:
  • 1 0
 great story.
  • 1 4
 yeah, clear cutting results in landslides... gotta pay the price for the greed
  • 3 0
 Mate. . . Your an idiot. The geologists Called this “slide hill”. Snohomish County Should have never allowed homes to be build there.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.020289
Mobile Version of Website