Kicking Horse Trail Crew Update 1 - 2013
10 Jun 2013
The crew testing the reduced slope angle on Easy Rider before the final vigorous raking.
So has Kicking Horse, as the rumours suggest, closed its jumps and rock slabs? No, it certainly has not. Instead of destroying, the crew has been creating. We are but one half of Shiva. But let me get back to this.
OK, the bucket thinks we are a bit of the other half of Shiva too.
Some exciting things are going on this season. The lower mountain came out of the melt quickly, allowing us unfettered access to the existing trails. The hours and endless hours of repairing and reshaping we have done in years past allows us now to approach most of the old trails with just a rake (we can't find the extension cord for the leaf blower).
This rake has "approached" most of the trails at Kicking Horse.
The new trails, however, the ones that were scratched in by machine at the very end of last season and never had a hand tool touch them, were sloppy piles of rock that certainly fettered our access and have taken great effort to drain and clear. But most of the lower mountain melt water is gone now and the trails are drying quickly. We have some problems to take care of before opening, but are optimistic that solutions will be on the ground by the sneak peak opening on June 22 and 23.
Let's have a look at the efforts so far:
Lower Kranky Pants
Nothing to report but this:
Remember in The Empire Strikes Back when Han Solo cut open the belly of that winter camel thingy and all the entrails spilled out in a gruesome, slimy mass? Well, that was the first berm on the new Superberm entrance. Not super. Still scratching our heads over this one.
The rest of the new entrance looked like an unfortunate pimply-faced teenager when we first arrived. But as the third photo below shows, after a bit of hand-crafting surgery and maturing, it looks now more like one of those kids who spends a lot of time in a tanning booth (hopefully not getting melanoma).
We need to still get to all the other new work further down on Superberm, but at least it is not wet. So far we spent an afternoon beefing up a hip that was added further down last year. Just have to fill in the gap now.
Fill in the gap? Yes, that brings me back to the rumours that have been lingering around like a dust tail on a still day. For the record, the only change that the new owners have required is that we fill in the gaps. We did that to the few scattered around the park last season, but now we are going to do it to Stickrock. Nothing else will change on the trail. The flow will be exactly the same (albeit with a slightly improved exit), the wood will still be remarkably elevated, and the slabs will still be rock hard. And the filter slab at the top should still scare the bejeezus out of anyone but an expert rider.
3rd slab still rock hard? Check.
We are finally putting together the last pieces of the Green puzzle. We have been striving to make our green runs actually green (beginner) by rerouting steep sections and adding some zing to their character. A couple of these spots in the trees on Easy Rider are among the problems I mentioned earlier. Whether they are ready to go on the sneak peak weekend is dependent on the amount of rain we get versus the amount of sun. But the section in this post's first photo is ready and waiting.
So far, rain is winning.
Judging by their numbers along the trail, Easy Rider is grouse approved.
We haven't done anything to this yet because it is still under snow, but just want to remind you it was built at the very end of last year along what we think is the first section of the alpine to melt out. Maybe, just maybe, this will be revealed and dry in June.
Believe me, we want this open more than you do. But it comes by its name honestly. The drainage efforts made last fall were largely successful, but one 50m section of quag requires another reroute. We anticipate a lot of wooden bridges being necessary.
Regular season opening is June 28 and cheap season passes are available until then. After that, they are still cheap, just not as cheap. More info here. Of course don't forget the Western Open on August Long, and stay tuned for twoonie races and more. I'll leave you with this video that is seemingly unrelated to our bike park. It is a teaser for an upcoming story about the local club's effort to have a network of freeride trails in Golden officially sanctioned. As three of the bike park supervisors are also club directors, it is dear to our heart and completely relevant to what we do up here. Biking is biking is biking and we support it in all its glorious Golden guises.
Hope to see you up here this summer. Come quickly, these mountain aren't going to be here forever! Check out this erosion. Ride on. Crowe