Video: Silent Swamp - An Evergreen Trail Building Mockumentary

Feb 15, 2013 at 14:47
by Stacy Karacostas  
Enjoy this tongue-in-cheek look at how the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is serious about sustainable trail building. Plus get a sneak peak at the new Silent Swamp / Preston to NW Timber connector trail - slated to open summer 2013 on the East Tiger Mountain outside Seattle. This new trail will add another almost 3 miles of sweet singletrack to the existing 8+ mile trail system open to bikes; and this is just the start of what's in the works.

Views: 27,797    Faves: 201    Comments: 11


Evergreen's got Trail Crew Leads out working hard on Tiger right now trying to get this new trail done. Work parties are happening every weekend and every Wednesday through February and the beginning of March to get the latest section whipped into shape. If you’d like to ride this new trail sooner than later, please do come on out and help 'em get it built.

Fueled by 1500 passionate members, 10,000 followers, and 1000's of volunteer hours, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has grown into Washington State's largest MTB and trail building organization. Anyone and everyone is welcome to come out and get dirty with us. No experience, skills or particular physical fitness level required.

Learn more about Evergreen, and find the next work party on our calendar.

And, credit where credit is due...

Video by: Kevin "Kevmo" Philbin
Music by: Girl Talk, "All Day"


116 Comments

  • 39 13
 I am so thank full for every hour my local builders put in maintaining and building.... when I have the time to give back, I will.
  • 35 2
 It's tough putting time aside for building, but if everyone does a little, the trails will continue to be there. My hats off to those that build more than they ride. I have a beer for you whenever you want it.
  • 13 0
 I want a mcleod hoe. It makes me sad you can't get them over here!
  • 11 0
 go to a welder and get one made, they are super simple to make as a welder i know, pipe welded to a piece of plate cut out just the way you want. it'll cost you bout $10 canadian in material and a 24 pack, if u find the right welder it'll cost u a sixer
  • 14 0
 im a welder it would take me about half an hour to do this and a fatty
  • 2 0
 c25porter, We have work partys weekly, will take our beers there!
  • 40 9
 thats such a bullshit statement clunchpowers. 'when i have time' if you have time to ride you have time to build
  • 6 1
 I agree Matty, don't know why the downvotes!
  • 7 0
 People who complain about shit tracks but don't build..
  • 4 0
 If you have time to ride you have time to build nuff said. Only when you dont have enough time even to ride, is being too buisy a fair excuse.
  • 1 2
 I couldn't imagine spending so much time on trail building. I build a lot of tail, but it doesn't take forever. Last year I put in a mile of trail in about 100 hour. definately got mudded out in the winter, but thats fun to ride still. Even on my little p3.
  • 1 0
 My way of building a lot of trail (as it isnt heavily used i can be fairly laid back) is chop a line through the trees/undergrowth, mellow out the annoying tree furrows and ride it Smile
  • 4 0
 @clunchpowers - MAKE the time, son. MAKE the time.
  • 7 1
 I spose some people have very little time to ride so they would rather spend it riding
  • 5 0
 Its easy, when you throw your bike on the car, put some tools in the trunk. spend half an hour building/maintaining, and then ride. Or carry a folding shovel in your pack (army surplus store, twenty bucks) and if you see any problems on the trail give them a few minutes of love.
  • 6 5
 @mattymc24@sngltrkmnd .. do you guys live my life? I'm lucky to ride 2-3 hours a week, if that.... let alone get out and build. I have two kids and a wife and a full time job and numerous other responsibilities. I'd suggest having a think before you type. Not everyone on here is a single person with ooddles of time to build and ride. I said, when I have the time ( when both my kids are in school) I will. I appreciate every trail that I'm on every minute that I can ride. When I do go out, I clear fallen logs, clear branches and do what I can to keep the trails I use in good condition. So go eat a bag of dicks you keyboard tough guys..... infact if you have so much f*ckin time on your hands, get out and build trail instead of tap, tap, tapping on your keyboard........
  • 1 1
 3 hours a week to ride, so spend half an hour digging, or like bmx trail builders, build for those 3 hours every day in winter, ride for those 3 hours every day in summer. Before you go off on one at me, i havent ridden in 3 months, but have spent 5 hours digging. I also have probably spend more time digging than riding in my life, and likely more hours digging than you ever have.
  • 2 0
 I spend at least 3 hours every week working on the local pump track.
  • 5 1
 5 hours digging. Jeepers. Give this guy a trail building medal.
  • 2 0
 You have no idea how little time i have. Like i said, zero hours riding. Last year i spent at least 1000 hours digging. Better for you? I am also yet to see any evidence of you having done any digging, you only have to look at my profile to see i put in the hours.
  • 5 0
 My mate has 3 kids and works away from home yet he still finds time to build/fix trails with me.
Like others have said, spend a bit of time before you ride fixing up the trail.

Ride and then clean up the lips, berms etc before you leave.

Spend 1/2 hour or even 15 minutes before you ride doing some digging/raking

Bad weather days when you can't ride, grab your shovel and rake and work on the trail.

every 1 out of 4 rides spend the time digging or every second ride spend 1/2 hour digging.

There are so many different options you can always work some digging into your time. You can't expect everyone else to build you a trail to ride. We all have limited time.. Well most of us.
If everyone said.. "Oh I don't have time" then, there would be no trails to ride. Stop being a "trail freeloader" and find some time, make some time to do it.. Take your kids into the forest for the day and make a day of it. Go for a family picnic and take your shovel with you.. Its not hard!
  • 1 0
 You guys are lucky. I miss building trails... The trail systems near me are so worried someone will delete a hard spot to improve their Strava time we're not allowed to work on the them without supervision, and the supervisors are pretty much all old XC pansies who frown at building jumps. It's lame, but I see where they're coming from. I've almost died a few times because I was expecting a root or a rock that I use for a berm to be there and someone took it out for their go-around.

And last year the last trails that were "pirate" and we could build on got taken over by the ski area. Bittersweet because now we can't make them bigger, but we can jump on the chairlift for $30.

I honestly can't think of anywhere I could go to build a jump... The local pump track is a bit more open to helpers, but that's because people take their kids there after it rains EVERY time it rains.
  • 2 0
 yo clunchpowers i also have kids go to school full-time, wife works all week and the weekends, i get off school and have 2 hours before my kids come home from daycare, I make time, beg, borrow, steal time to ride/ build, my back's f*cked from packing logs down the mt by myself this winter. I wake every morning feeling older than the day before. I kkep going thinking if i didnt do this mine and other kids wouldnt have a place to ride. To me the pain and lack personal time is worth it. U can always try bro.
  • 2 0
 Well said, pinkkrow. I wasn't tryin' to preach to clunchpowers. Just adding a different perspective. It's easy to say "I don't have the time." The trick is to own it - "I didn't MAKE the time." We make time for all kinds of bullshit that's not productive.
  • 2 0
 How can a tool named after a Scottsman not be available in Britain?! It's a travesty! Call the Prime Minister!
  • 1 0
 he will just put 20000000% tax on it.
  • 2 0
 @james carey, the reason you dont see many photos on my profile especially of ones trail building is because i actually dont give a crap what people on the internet think about me and therefore dont feel the need to impress anyone with my photos.
  • 1 0
 Neither do I. I just like sharing my progress with the world and hopefully inspiring and motivating new builders. You only have to look at the top trail builders around the world, and they all do it too, it is more of a communal thing, and a part of trails, the sharing of the artwork of building. I have nothing to prove, i know i put in the hours when i can, i was simply illustrating a point that even though i cant ride, i still managed to dig. No need to get sarcastic and be a dick about it when you dont have any real evidence that you put in so much work, and have a right to jump at me for my comment
  • 1 0
 I'm always lookn' at other builders pics, it shows me where the world's progression level at building is at. I cant really think i would know as much without reading and looking at pictures. I was lucky as i had a chance to work with one of the first trail builders in the lower mainland BC, Gary Harder. The guy is a frickn awesome builder, one of the best no doubt, but I cant limit my resources by learning from one person. If it wasnt for the internet i dont think the level of trail building would be where it is at. And just to add some people dont like posting pics of "Pirate trails" for legal reasons.
  • 1 0
 If you dont post a location then nothing bad can come from it.
  • 9 0
 "Oh I just don't have time to help dig " and "what do you mean the trail is closed for repair , I always ride here on sunday it's a public forest " and "I'm a f*cking c^&t and too lazy to pick up a rake but quite happy to tell you how to do it"

DIG ! RIDE! DRINK BEERS! AND DIG SOME MORE

I work 50 hour weeks and like to do at least 5hours of trail work a week pity riding is only 8 hours at a push 10
  • 12 1
 I am going to watch Damage Inc.now
  • 5 0
 Lots of people think that in order to look cool they need to post vids of themselves dumping 360's. In fairness, it is cool but, I think that if you want to look really cool more people should post vids of themselves creating trails......that's where it's at!!!
  • 1 1
 This year at the trailfairies at glentress might timelapse each session Smile then various bits of us riding and the parties etc Wink
  • 7 0
 Trail building is so fun I love it!!
  • 1 0
 The feeling of riding something you've built is so much better too! i felt a bit unfair building the trail for a race i was racing in though . . .haha!
  • 3 0
 One of my favorite vids ever! You guys are awesome. Big thanks for rounding out my day with a smile and all the work you do. Hope to one day ride and turn a shovel (Excalibur) up there. Is it weird that I named my shovel and not my bike?
  • 4 2
 Be careful not to maintain the wrong trail. I my local trail had a mega sketchy off camber rooted steep turn that was almost impossible to ride. I took it on myself to fix this problem with a nice wide burm for anyone to ride and make it drastically safer. The wrong person found out and I was suddenly charged with destruction of state property. Even the guy who charged me with this was heard saying that I built it perfectly. Just make sure you know the protocol before breakin out the shovel.
  • 16 0
 I thought you were gonna say the trailbuilder pulled it out. That happens too. Some people prefer a mega sketchy off camber rooted steep impossible corner over a perfect berm. Always good to check that too.
  • 15 1
 Yeah, some people take it upon themselves to modify a trail so that they can ride it but they are also dumbing the trail down and making it less challenging for everyone else. Don't touch the big rocks and roots if it isn't your trail.
  • 5 2
 This small section of trail was almost unrideable. Since im involved in a pointless legal case now over a 20 foot berm im gonna use it to maybe get some attention to oyr trails and turn them into something worth riding
  • 12 1
 I don't usually get involved in these, but how can you say "turn them into something worth riding" If the trail never grew over it was/is getting ridden. Not all trails are built for all abilities, if this section was incredibly "unrideable" that's an opinion. And while I have never seen the trail or you ride, did you ever consider maybe this section of trail was beyond your level? Every one enjoys something different about ridding, maybe the person who built this trail enjoyed the challenge of an "unrideable" section or maybe it was to keep punters off of it. Either way, I'm super disappointed to hear your now engaged in a lawsuit, that sucks. but maybe it's a lesson in not building/maintaining other peoples trails to match the level you think they should be at. This is essentially the same as the kids at dirt jump spots that chop lips and landing so the jumps aren't as challenging. Just an opinion
  • 1 0
 Wait, so did they catch you on the trail with a shovel or did someone dob you in for it?
  • 3 0
 Don't f*ck with peoples trails full stop...

I'm sick of people saying ' oh its was unridable ' .... Yeah unridable for you maybe but many can clean it every time , don't get your own maximum abilities mixed up with other peoples.

I get incredibly pissed of with people altering my stuff cos they think its unridable , people see some roots and an off-camber ride it a few times at most , fail , give up and alter it to thier own level of ability. ( and im not trying to brag about my skills ( lack of ) i'm far from some trail god ).

Before my trails got logged people with 8 inch modern DH bikes were cutting out the mild off cambers ( the hills is pretty flat so no ' real' off cambers anyway ) , filling in braking bumps and chopping out roots...

If it's not your trail leave it alone , if it's beyond your skill or not your taste go and build your own stuff..
  • 1 0
 Trail we used for a race a few weeks back we modified (we arent sure who built it) the end was interesting, stupidly steep with a triple root about a foot each with holes in between, we re routed the end perfectly, everyone loved the trail, and i dont think ANYONE got down it cleanly and had some of the best enduro riders in the country there, we dumbed it down cause the idea of the race series (The Innerduro, ran by Innerleithen MTB racing, scotland) is to bring more people into the dicipline! and its also quite hard to build a challenging rooty steep section of trail that is sustainable, a lot of soil will just erode and will make it unridable (i have been trail building with the glentress trail fairies, and also as part of innerliethen mtb racing for races and also personally, I know FCS view on building and stick to it, pretty much dont make it obvious so they dont get sued when someone crashes riding . . .
  • 2 1
 I can't even count the number of trail sections ruined by well-meaning but naive builders. "Almost impossible" and "sketchy off camber" is exactly the type of trail many people want.

So please, don't modify or dumb-down other people's trails. The proper thing to do is seek out the authorities or people who built or are currently in charge of maintaining the trail. First ask them if modifying the trail is desired.

Remember, everyone expects different things out of a trail. I consider the trail in this video to be a paved highway, but there's nothing wrong with that. Volunteers organized and built the trail and it is enjoyed my many people. It's awesome! Similarly, the sketchy, almost impossible trails should be left alone unless work is blessed by the trail owners/maintainers.

But yeah, lawsuits suck. I hope you come out of this one without legal bills or fines!
  • 5 0
 Did nobody else notice that protour just made a valid comment?!
  • 2 0
 Just because you build a trail on public land...which is illegal in the US Doesn't mean it's yours
  • 1 0
 I've just been going through trying to get permission to go and improve trails for water drainage . Only really had done 1 trail at the moment . It's pretty hard to not to alter the trail and keep everybody happy.
XC rider's like to tech trails at slow speed but for more gravity focused riders like to keep "flow" . But then again if the XC crew don't dig who give a rat's arse what they want!! ha ha
  • 1 0
 As a small business owner and a family man with two younger kids, I can understand people say, "It's hard to find the time". In addition to that, we have had several situations around here where well-meaning folks have performed "trail maintenance" in such a manor that it actually causes a bunch more work for the people who knew what they were doing to repair properly. So to say that someone should just take the tools along and put in a bit of repair time can be a double edged sword.
Around here, it is highly discouraged to perform trail maintenance outside of an official work party where the work being performed can be overseen by someone in the know. Now because of this policy, it often makes finding time to join a work party difficult to impossible for people with busy schedules. And sure, you could make the argument that repairing the lip of a jump of berm is dead easy, but even those menial tasks have been screwed up by those who thought they were doing the right thing.
Don't take anything that I just said as an excuse for not trying to make the effort, but at least in a lot of cases, there are some behind the scenes reasons why people find it difficult to volunteer and the last thing a qualified trail builder wants is to have the trails damaged even further by people who mean well, but really don't understand proper trail maintenance.
  • 1 0
 Mate I know . I work most days trailcare is on in some area's so I've sorted it so I can get a crew out when it suit's me . I'm trying to keep a family happy too. It's not about how much you do it's a case of if you do it at all.
  • 1 0
 Wow I never dreamed id get that kinda response to that comment. But Just a little history so you can understand this particular situation. I grew up on a hard tail xc bike. It was my first love. I still enjoy all the awesome xc trails around and that's why enduro is my favorite race format. Im also expert level dh. So I know both sides of the arguement and when I said "not rideable" I didn't mean too hard. I meant that if you tried to carry any speed you would die. I don't mean slightly off camber. I mean the hill was at 70% grade and not maintained for years. It was not a trail anymore from erosion and lack of use. The guy who attacked me only heard about the work and then WALKED to the place to check it out. Unridable meant not even xc guys liked it.
  • 1 0
 Xc country guys don't like jumps and other stuff that scares them so that argument doesn't really work.
  • 3 0
 Wow! Thanks for all the props y'all!! We're pretty psyched about the new trails we're building on Tiger (and elsewhere in Washington State), and this fun video. Come on out and dig with us anytime...
  • 1 0
 I threw some dirt last weekend - the trail looks freaking awesome. And for those that haven't hit Tiger in a while, you should come on out and do some digging before it reopens for the season after tax day.
  • 5 0
 Some pretty neat info on trail building
  • 3 2
 These dudes need to come down to New Mexico....where the dirt is moon dust and refuses to pack, and where 75% of the ground is jagged rock hidden under a tiny layer of silt... everytime I watch these videos I am forced to envy the incredibly sculptable canadian soil.
  • 16 0
 these guys work hard, but I don't think they imported that dirt from canada.
  • 12 0
 This is Washington State, not Canada.
  • 1 0
 You're so lucky you can build trails almost wherever you want.. Here in germany it's a conflict theme for us bikers to build up some trails.. I'd kill to ride a sick trail like this Big Grin !
I'm really impressed by all the effort that's put in this trail!
  • 3 0
 If only that was true! This is the 2nd new (legal)trail in the area in over 20 years. The first was just last year. These trails are the product of thousands of hours of advocacy work and even more hours of labor by staff and volunteers. Anyone can go scratch a line into the woods, but such trails are all doomed. If you want trails that will last and hold up to years of use you have got to get involved and do the work necessary. Don't be discouraged by the timeline. Too many riders behave as if nothing matters but today. I have been getting rad on bikes since I was 4. I am 42 now and riding at the top of my game. You are going to be doing this for a very long time, and the things you do now will affect your riding opportunities in the future.
  • 1 0
 Wow.. allright, I'm not familiar with the laws and rules in the USA and Canada..but I always see those sick movies and clips from you guys and think "wow..those trails are awesome!"

That might be a good idea to talk to the city administration and the guys that own that woods in my region.. but it seems to be a lot of work to establish those great ideas..
  • 1 0
 I would love to collaberate with you guys to make better trails here in georgia....they are sofisticate enough here like its hard to explain but they need better workers and better features cause they certainly have the potential we just need the people....us men and women of S.O.R.B.A are great but we need pros
  • 1 0
 ever seen a gordho? built from recycled sawblades with a 5' aluminum handle. much lighter than a mcleod. crescent shaped one side, rake across back, enough surface for compaction. 6 of them in the garage ready to go for $50. per
  • 3 0
 Best music in a video I've seen on PB to date. Just a great fit for the video.
  • 1 0
 i am actually taking a break from building right now Big Grin i guess i should pick up the shovel and start again! Thanks guys for all the work that y'all do! I will try to head down your way sometime for one of those dig parties!
  • 3 0
 Charlie the dog spends more time on trail then most people do. I can even get him to dig a little too!
  • 4 0
 Thats my boyee Kevmo! Awesome vid dude.
  • 3 0
 Yea Kevmo!
  • 2 0
 As I understand it, Kev was still processing that vid as he walked in the door at the last EMBA gathering. THAT's commitment!
  • 3 0
 Nice work, Kevmo!
  • 4 0
 A documentary with jokes is not a mockumentary... or I didn't get it.
  • 3 0
 I didn't think a video could get me "stoked" to build but this one just did. Signed up for TM this weekend!
  • 3 0
 I just built some berms today, straight up mental relief moving durrtt
  • 2 0
 That's a great video. NY, where's our trail building association! Also, the last song in Pheonix vs Ludacris- Low in 1901 Smile
  • 3 0
 Good music, good trails, good camera work. Awesome Video! Keep it Up!
  • 1 0
 I wish we had something like that around here you guys are lucky to have such deticated people and really nice landscape to work with
  • 1 0
 Evergreen is awesome! Great organization to volunteer for. Tiger mountain was definitely one of my favorite rides back in my home town. Get out there and build some trails!
  • 1 0
 Love it. PinkBike is definitely doing its part to make legal trail building hip.

Now, can we get some trail building videos from US Southwest, Southeast, and New England?
  • 1 0
 Thanks for all the props y'all. We're pretty excited about what's going on at Tiger, and statewide, with new trails these days.
  • 1 0
 Building and maintaining equates to full f#cking awesomeness in mtb. Builders hold not only the tools, but the future of our sport in their hands.
  • 1 0
 2 questions
1) what're the songs?
2)where can you get a half rake/half compacter like that?
  • 1 0
 hwood1010, That tool is called a mccload
  • 4 0
 MCLEOD is the name of the half rake / half compactor. As in, "there can be only one".

The songs are from Girl Talk.
  • 3 0
 Gaiters rule!
  • 1 0
 I worked with Mike at Duthie hill. I hope i can get back out there and help some more this spring.
  • 1 0
 As a trail builder its grea to see others creations, well done guys sweet trail!
  • 1 0
 mountain biking has given so much to me. thank you builders. i do some, but i gotta do more.
  • 1 0
 @1:47 what tool is that, where can I get one and how much are they..... I want one.... Now! Lol
  • 1 0
 It's called at toter, Canycom makes them, there around 6-7K. They make trail building a whole lot easier. Pull the pack trail and jumps pretty good.
  • 1 0
 WAIT 6-7k wtf it's a freaking rake with a tamp attached to it definitely not worth 6-7 thousand dollars
  • 1 0
 love these trails. great work!
  • 1 0
 makes me want to build a new trail!
  • 1 0
 Do it! You won't regret it.
  • 1 0
 Get on it! Smile
  • 1 0
 they are obviously good at trail building, now they just need some jumps
  • 4 0
 Oh, we do that, too! Big ones. If you're ever in the Seattle area check out Summit Ridge Freeride Park in Black Diamond.
  • 1 0
 @nick: The current land use contract with DNR (Dept of Natural Resources) as I understand it prohibits jumps on Tiger. Doesn't mean it's not a fun trail - jump features just aren't permitted nor appropriate for this site.
  • 1 0
 That doesn't mean they aren't there... open your mind!
  • 1 0
 Get you some Tyler! Can't wait to come out and ride that!
  • 2 0
 great video Smile
  • 1 0
 Awesome job with the video.
  • 1 0
 Looks like guys live the dream! Oh I want this to.
  • 1 0
 when you buy a bike , buy a shovel . They both go hand in hand
  • 2 1
 The tools are great.
  • 1 0
 Yeeeeahhh!!!!
  • 1 1
 What trails do you recommend the downhill bike for at Tiger Mountain?
  • 2 0
 none. There is a 3 mile fire road climb and its just not steep enough for a big bike
  • 1 0
 @nolanr There are plans for a legit DH trail out there one day in the next 5-7 years, but nothing currently.
  • 2 0
 The DH trail is going to start this fall. We are going to bring in a few 100 tons of boulders and rock to make a more tech/ steep trail that is still sustainable to lots of tire tracks.
  • 1 1
 jeeeey Big Grin free beer for me and my mates than.
  • 1 0
 *You're up early
  • 1 0
 Sweet
  • 1 0
 So much cracked glass...
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