Trail Report from Dave Reid
It’s been a fun couple of weeks tackling some very different projects. For those of you who love a great/difficult climbing challenge, Section 57 has a new section of trail at the start of the climb up to Cat Lake. Jim Harvey (the original builder) invited me to assist him for a few days of work on it. The climb will be challenging to not dab, but I have seen a few people on non e-bikes pull it off. Also there is always the fitness challenge of bridge to lake in under 20 minutes. Good luck.
The big project we have been working on is the rebuild of upper Pseudo-tsuga 1, 2 and a portion of 3. We recently opened 1 and 2 and it sounds like people are stoked with the changes.
I had a bike coach tell me that when they originally saw the closed sign for rebuilding, their immediate thought was “oh man, I bet they ruined it.” That bike coach called me on my phone after riding it to tell me it exceeded his wildest expectations, and that he absolutely loved it. I love it when that happens.
For those that are curious about the Pseudo-tsuga trail name, the latin genus for the Douglas-fir tree is Pseudotsuga menziesii. The genus is interesting, as the use of the word Pseudo means fake. Roughly translated it means fake fir or fake hemlock. A Douglas-fir is not a hemlock, spruce or fir, however it looks very similar.
When I was 20, I attended an outdoor education program on Vancouver Island at Strathcona Park Lodge. A First Nation elder was invited to teach us, and told us this story about the Douglas-fir. It’s a fantastic oral history narrative about a significant fire on Vancouver Island, and also makes identifying Douglas-fir (Coast Salish lá:yelhp) easier.
A Pacific Northwest indigenous legend tells that there was once a great fire in the forest. All the animals began to flee to escape the fire; the birds flew away and the deer and other animals were able to run away. However, the mice with their tiny legs were not quick enough to outrun the fire.
They asked the maple tree, the western hemlock and the western red cedar for help, but they were unable to offer help. Then they reached a Douglas-fir who encouraged the mice to climb up its thick, fire-resistant trunk and hide in its fir cones. The mice took shelter inside the cones and survived the devastating fire. Even to this day, if you look at the cones of a Douglas-fir closeup, you can see the little hind feet and tails of the mice sticking out from beneath the scales of the fir cones.
Don Ross middle school invited me to teach 60 youths about trail building. I have to say the kids are alright, and super receptive to learning how to trail build properly.
Thank you RideHub, Commencal and Dialed In Cycling for volunteering time to help on Pseudo-tsuga!!!! Also thanks to Irish Pete for dropping everything midday to help on Section 57.
- Tree removal – Deliverance, Mark My Word, Unrelated Dead Guys
- Fred – prep work for a new bridge, and some light armouring
- Section 57 climb reroute
- Pseudo 1, 2 and upper and lower 3 rebuild.
- Hired Silverback Tree works Ltd. to remove trees on the Sea to Sky trail on the canyon section. Project initiated by Squamish Trails Society.