This year truly tested the trail network. We had heat domes that dried out the dirt, massive moisture events that flooded trails, and a noticeable increase in ridership.
We know trail builders often wonder “how destroyed are the trails?” after major weather events. The great news is that our trails do incredibly well. Squamish is full of passionate builders, and it shows. Only a few days after a major weather event you can head out for a ride and know that blowdown is already cleared, puddles are drained, and trail issues are being addressed.
SORCA Trail Crew started 2021 by working with Gravity Logic to rebuild Pseudo-tsuga. It was the largest trail project of the year. The trail is an old one and has seen many revisions over the years. Rob Cocquyt described the goal for the rebuild: “If we throw a bowling ball down the trail, it should stay on the trail, and come out of corners with momentum”. In Squamish, it is rare to be able to let go of the brakes, and simply let the bike go. The new Pseudo sections allow riders to simply trust the bike and enjoy the momentum. Nicole Kennedy and Sam Bowerman from the SORCA trail crew put in countless hours of raking and shovel tamping to get that trail opened quickly. Also special thanks to Ride Hub and Commencal for sending staff to assist in the build and also the many other volunteers.
The mid-summer heat dome was a struggle for the crew. This was an event I have never experienced. It really limited the amount of building we could do. Soils were too dry to work with, and the fire hazard limited the type of work we could do. As a result, we focused on trying to de-vegetate the many non-forested trails. Vegetation removal is not glorious work, but in Squamish it is a large part of what trail crew tackles mid-summer. Please think of us when pedaling in non-canopy areas!
This fall we focused on bridges. Many of our bridges are over 15 years old now, showing their age and beginning to fail. We are also trying to replace bridges so that they can manage larger volumes of river run-off. I hired Emmett Hancock, Evan Wall, and Jacob Tooke for the Fall. These guys have an unfathomable amount of energy and passion for trail work and love building bridges.
I also would like to thank Ben Haggar for co-leading the trail crew with me.
That is all for now. Thank you to all the SORCA membership for trusting me in making good decisions with regards to the building and on-going maintenance of the trails! My plan for the next couple of months while off-contract is to ski and whitewater kayak excessively. See you next year!
Sincerely David Reid
Recent trail work:
- Rebuild of bridge across creek on Phil and Cams
- Rebuild of two bridges on Stl’lhalem Sintl’ (climbing trail)
- Rebuild of Skookum bridges
- Bridge built on access to Upper Half Nelson
- Lots of blowdown removal
2 weeks ago