Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Between the Trees

Squamish offers a varied array of trails. From manicured groomer-esque Half and Full Nelson trails, to old school rooty, rocky, primarily fall line trails such as Powersmart. This is what makes the town such a renowned area for mountain biking. As with most trails in BC, the logging industry has created roads through the pristine forests to facilitate the cutting and removal of trees. This in turn created access for mountain bikers to explore the terrain and create trails through tireless hours of hard work. The down side to the access created by the original logging is, with the roads and infrastructure already in place, the area is also a perfect place to re-harvest. Throughout the past two seasons Powersmart and the lower Section Skookum are sprouting colorful patches of flagging tape marking cut boundaries, future skidder roads, and log landing areas. In time, this area will be re-forested and the trails will be, at least temporarily, lost. In recent years, local logging has done an amazing job working with SORCA (the Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association) and trail users to minimize the impact on trails and to fund the re-construction of trails. This trail evolution cycle has become quite common throughout BC, it can cause anger, frustration, controversy, and is a great topic for debate. Logging helped create the original trail, reforestation will alter the original trail forever.
For our edit this fall we really wanted to capture the look and feel of the Powersmart and Skookum trails in their current state: fast, rooty, rocky, technical. This trail has not received any significant maintenance in the past few years as logging has been expected for some time. The current state of this trail is far from how it began its life, and farther from what it may become once the surrounding trees are removed.
This season we also spent many rainy evenings working on a small playground of fresh take offs and landings between patches of lush West Coast foliage. Big jumps though the ferns was the goal while keeping impact on the living forest to a minimum. This new playground, although not physically linked to Powersmart/Skookum, was the final stop for our edit.
Riders: Jeremy Norris and Pat Foster.
Credit: Savage Films