Last year, Squamish's mountain bike community raised a whole bunch of money to build a whole bunch of new trail.
It was an incredible effort by more than 520 individual and corporate sponsors. Since then many people have been working hard to make these trails a reality, and we are almost there. There is no question that the gargantuan effort put forth by the community to raise funds for the project has been matched by Joyride Bike Parks, Gravity Logic and a dedicated group of volunteers. The results are going to be an incredible addition to Squamish's already extensive trail network and we can't wait to share it with you. This spring/summer we are going to be adding almost 9km of trail to this already great biking town.
Rosie's contribution to this project should not be underestimated.
In the coming months these footsteps will change to bike tracks and riding in Squamish will get even better
Construction started last spring, with work on the climb starting from the end of the existing Stl’lhalem Sintl’ climb at the top of Half Nelson and continuing up through the new BCTS cut block before traversing NW towards the 19th Hole. There was a fair amount of symbolism about how far this town has come with respect to mountain biking and recreation as Rob Cocquyt and the fellas from Gravity Logic crossed over a trail that they 'built' 20 years earlier with a rake and a borrowed saw. (see GL's post on the subject)
Paddy Kaye and Joyride dove in from the top to start creating what will be the first machine built trail from the summit of the Diamond Head biking area. Paddy is a soft-spoken understated man whose greatest desire from this project is for the community (that he lives in) to get what it deserves. They got about 1km before breaking for the summer to go work on some prior commitments. One of the ways that a Volunteer run Non-Profit like SORCA can receive such great value from its trail builders is by filling the gaps in their schedule. Thanks to the commitment of the trail builders and volunteers, Squamish is getting an incredible product for a fraction of what it would cost commercially.
When the autumn rains returned, it was time to get back in the forest. With Rob's help, we flagged the route for the 2nd part of the climb through a mix of 2nd and old growth forest until it reaches the top road around 910m asl. We then brought a small 17g excavator in and worked from the top down using gravity as our friend and made great progress roughing in about 2.5km of trail in 30 days. The trail crew and a cast of volunteers followed behind installing culverts working the drainage. Water management has been such a huge part of this project, trails have been built in the area before but without the capacity to get proper drainage in place the mountain has always taken them back. Joyride continued refining what they created in the fall, collecting material and managing water until the end of October when they transported their machine to work from the bottom up to avoid the snowline that was steadily creeping down to lower elevations. December the 5th was the last day of work on the project for 2016, that night mother nature dropped 30cm of fluffy cold repression on the trail network that would hang around until April.
Digging in the Dank
Some old monsters were found lurking in the woods last year when flagging the line for the 2nd half of the climb trail. Sacrificing beer to them didn't seem to do anything
Can't see the forest for the trees? Which way would you go?
It kind of looks like the sun came out, I assure you it didn't
Pudding stone drains everywhere
You cannot have a trail day without a little white yappy dog. Squamish got 520mm of rain last November during the build.
Rob cleaning some teeth after meal time.
A moody coastal BC Tuesday, Joyride moving their machine to work from the bottom up to avoid the dropping snowline.
Couldn't hide from winter forever, Deer wintering grounds at the bottom of Grin and Holler
Spring took its time 'sprunging' but when it finally did early last month; the fellas from Joyride were back at it in full force writing a story that will be read with two wheels. Will, Justin, Ryan, Alex, Dalby and Paddy have been battling the muck and building a ton of great trail. Design, shaping, raking, and of course, drainage are all being completed, it's still a full-fledged construction site out there. Please avoid the area until opening. We aren't quite on the last chapter but it's getting close. The descent trail needs a new name and since it's been a community project from the start, it makes sense to get input on the name, please send ideas to email@example.com and bonus points if you can incorporate the celebration of 25 years of SORCA volunteers making Squamish a great place to ride bikes in the forest. As a homage to the Squamish First Nation who's traditional territory and in some case private lands we bike in, the climb will named as a continuation of the Stl’lhalem Sintl’ trail. When it's complete, it will take you up 700m over more than 11.5km. There is still a bunch of drainage work to complete but get those legs ready.
Paddy Kaye of Joyride giving thumbs up to wearing his work shirt on picture day.
An early season mud wrestling tournament was considered, our insurance wouldn't cover it.
First you create the canvas
Then you paint
Will on the 17G in a big sand box
The road at the top on May 8th, melt baby melt
A part of the Joyride Crew who have been putting in a huge effort
SORCA is a volunteer-run, not for profit entity that puts on events, advocates for biking, maintains and expands Squamish's Trail Network, this project would not be possible without the help of the following sponsors and contributors, thank you, thank you, thank you!