March has been an interesting month weather wise in the Sea to Sky corridor. Here in Whistler, we have been enjoying record breaking snow fall with epic powder days to be enjoyed on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, whilst 40 minutes’ drive south in Squamish the mountain biking trails are pretty much all open and good to go.
Saturday saw the first of the 2012 SORCA volunteer trail days as organised by Roland Benesocky.
T2R Guide Manager Mark and I headed down to Squamish from Whistler to attend the trail day, arriving at the Diamondhead car park at 9.45am.
The weather in Squamish was warm and dry, ideal for a trail day, and as such there was a superb turn out for the day, with over 45 mountain bikers in attendance at the start of the day.
As normal, the guys from Bean Around the World in Brackendale very kindly sponsored the trail day by providing coffee and breakfast for the volunteers, which made a great start to the day.
As we finished off our coffee, Roland greeted everyone and explained the goals for the day.
By using some of the funds from the 2011 Trail Passes, SORCA had been able to invest in some initial trail cutting with the use of a digger to start a climbing trail from the Diamondhead car park up towards the ‘Angry Midget’ trail. This trail revision has been done along what was originally the final exit from the Pseudotsuga trail, changing the line and adding in some additional traverses to make the trail a more manageable climb, enabling riders to access some of the SORCA trail network without having to ride up the dusty logging road.
The digger had also been used to cut a new exit trail for the end of Pseudotsuga out in to the Diamondhead car park.
With the welcome out of the way and the tools handed out, we set off hiking up the trail, splitting into two groups. Mark and I started by heading up the new climbing trail.
With the cutting work already done, the volunteer man power was used mainly to rake out the new trail surface, removing all the stones, to create a smooth trail that will be firmed up using a compactor in the near future.
With such a good number of workers, we had the newly cut trail fully raked out within the first couple of hours all the way up to the connector with the original trails.
As Mark and I reached the top of the finished section of the trail we cut across and walked down the new descent section, trimming some of the over grown vegetation as we made our way to where the new trail had been cut.
The lower section of the new descent had been cut in wide to allow for some sculpted fast turns as well as the need to incorporate a stream crossing and some drainage.
So the next couple of hours, we focused on shaping a massive 180 degree berm descending down to a couple of doubles before a berm leading out on to the car park.
Sculpting a new trail is always fun and rewarding, allowing a certain amount of creativity. This combined with the warm sunny weather that we were enjoying in Squamish made the trail day especially enjoyable.
We ended the trail day with a barbeque put on by the guys from Extra Foods, during which we were able to relax in the knowledge that we had all achieved some decent trail work and added value to the trail network.
I can’t wait to get back down to Squamish to enjoy the trails on my bike with some of the Ticket2Ride guests this summer. It’s going to be super fun.