This is the area where you will find the latest park updates from Head of Trail Crew Cam Sorensen. Cam has been heading up the trail crew at Silver Star since 2005 and has designed the master plan for the bike park trail network that you enjoy today with the help of some of his closest friends and colleagues on trail crew. There is no one that knows this park better because he's built every berm, designed every jump and dreamed up every new trail.
Mother Nature! What is the saying; when it rains it pours? That is what she did this week. After a very successful race weekend with a BC Cup and North West Cup the weather continued to be somewhat unsettled to say the least.
Over the weekend we had to close the mountain due to high winds. This was a first in my tenure here at the resort. We have had to close for other things over the years (very seldom mind you) but wind has not been one of them. Trail Crew and Patrol had to stay late into the evening clearing all the downed trees from the bike trails just so we could have the bike park open on time for Sunday.
Midweek we did not fare much better; but this time Old Mother Nature also brought the rain with her. If you have ever ridden the Silver Star Bike Park after a rain you know what it is like! J It would be similar to Trail Crew putting in a thousand overtime hours buffing out the park. We can work as hard as humanly possible and nothing buffs up a bike park like a little rain (or a lot in this case). We received a whopping 51mm overnight! But mix that with the wind and it forced Trail Crew to do a full walk through most of our trails top to bottom on Thursday. However, all the senior guys got to talking over lunch that day, and we were all impressed with how well the park held up. In fact, it looks AMAZING! With the forecast this weekend of sunshine, the riding could well be off the chart! And I have the weekend off so you know where to find me.
We have a bunch of new trail to ride in the Silver Star Bike Park. We said we would have a new XC trail to ride ever week or so. Well, with this year’s hard working crew we have opened 3 new sections of trail this week. That’s an extra 3 + km of new trails that we have opened this week alone!
Stage II of Chakra opened TODAY! This added over 2km to the already existing Chakra. Start with a BX Creek and return via Chakra and you have over a 6k loop of fresh Silver Star XC! I know the crew is very proud of this trail and I think they should be. There are a lot of man hours into it so enjoy!
Lower Eric’s was finish today as well. The boys hammered this one out in the heat! South aspect, hard bench cut trail over the past couple days. They all lost a few pounds of fluids for sure! Upper Eric’s is one of the trails we grandfathered into the trails system. Over all this is more of a DH style XC trail. And only one way direction (down).
And Grizzly Adams was opened late last week. This is not for the faint of heart, literally! You will need some cardio to ride this trail in either direction. It is a black short cut trail out to the Mountain View Cabin.
For all you DHer’s in the crowd we did not forget about you! There were little buff jobs happening every morning in the park. The connector trail had a full rake this morning in fact. Not sure how long it will last with this heat wave. We really could use 10 -20mm of rain every week. It is like hundreds of little trail ferries working the trails when it rains! Sorry I digress; we also continued work on upper Jedi. I know there are a lot of people excited for this to open. We will all have to wait though. A trail of this size takes time. We are still on target to have it opened early August. Sorry no early opening on this one. L
BC Cup / North West Cup DH race this weekend. Jason Martin has been hard at work making some Mod’s to the finish of the course this week, with help of a few of the other guys. The whip jump has been moved up the course and the flat drop fad away corners have been replaced with large Moto Whoops. The line is also changing to bring you faster into the finish line, no more sprints for the finish. There is also a “Long Jump” close to the bottom. It will be interesting to see how far a DH Racer can fly.
The weather is going to cool a bit for the weekend which is great news for the race marshals on course this weekend. Don’t want any of our Volunteers getting sun baked. We also need a few more people to help out with the race if you are interested. Great swag bag for all volunteers this year!
Have a great weekend! See you on the trails.
Silver Star Bike Park is known for being a progressive Bike Park. We pride ourselves on this fact and strive to make it one of the best Parks in the world in this regard. What does that mean?
It means you can learn and progress with baby steps. Since expanding the bike park we have been dedicated to have trails for all abilities so each level of rider can progress at their own speed and have the best possible day in any Bike Park.
With that goal in mind we try and echo our trails so once you are confident on one trail the next step up has the same feel. This stands true with machine built flow trails and tech hand built trails. If LTG is a little easy and you need more of a challenge, head over to Double Dog. Clearing all the jumps on Super Star? Try Shazam or Jedi Mind Trick, or maybe it’s time to try out Rock Star or maybe you are already on Rock Star and those jumps are just too small, learn to connect Pipe Dream or Walk the Line. There are lots of options to suite your ability!
It’s important to have a level of respect for the way the park has been built and the level of skilled required for certain trails. For example if you are a fast rider, and we have lots in the park, please respect a slower rider when riding Blue and Green trails. These trails are designed for them! They are designed and intended for the intermediate rider to hone their skills and enjoy the park. It is disrespectful for a faster rider to blow by a beginner or try and pass them when they’re trying to learn and gain confidence on a trail that is intended for that level of riding. And it also can scare the bejessus out of a lesser rider. If the Park is busy (which is normally only weekends) and the riders are slowing you down, time to move up to a Black or Double Black trail. Silver Star has never had a problem with this in the past but we are seeing it creep in and we hope to keep this at bay and keep our small mountain feel even as our ridership increases.
In due respect if you are an intermediate rider and the Gate Keepers at the head of the black trails are above your skill set, please do not walk over or around them to continue down the trail. Yes, some of the Gate Keepers are rollable but this is not the intention. If you are not capable of confidently handling the Gate Keepers at the head of the trail, please roll into one of the many easier trails and work on your skills and speed until you feel confident getting over these Gate Keepers. The Vault is another area to practice your skills. They are representative of the skills and speed needed not to hold up other riders up on that trail. Maybe you can get down the trail, but you will hold up other riders. And yes they get bigger and more difficult as the trails get harder. Pipe Dream and Walk the Line are a much more difficult feature than the top of World Cup and Rock Star. Again showing the skill set needed for these trails. The idea is to allow you to see what level of rider you need to be before continuing down this trail with confidence. These are important features to make sure you can safely navigate the trail and also to make sure you don’t interfere with someone else enjoying the trail who has the required skill.
Now with what we did this week…
The Berms on Lower World Cup where pulled up. They are a little soft but the trail is open top to bottom now.
The second last berm coming into the lift was re-tooled. If you hit the bonus weekend you found yourself blowing the next berm before rolling into the lift. We opened up the line and it now spits you right into the pocket of that last berm. Thanks Mike Hainault!
Lower Shazam received a full buff up. There were numerous trees down, wet spots to deal with and a few holes that were filled. But I have to say I think this is the earliest we have had this section of trail open.
Jedi Mind Trick had a little alteration near the bottom. Crossing one of the ski runs the trail slowed a little too much. We opened up the corner and straightened out the line to carry you across a bit faster. Still a little soft but once the trail hardens up it will be a great improvement
Silver Shack started getting some extension on the bridges. The hope was the ground would dry out; turns out the bridges are going to get a little longer. Watch for this to continue next week.
We made some changes to the Middle of Super Star last year. The section of trail was always rough and the downhill berms blown out. We brought the trail across the slope to control speed and had intentions of increasing the flow of the trail with a couple extra berms. Turns out we got a little overzealous. If you ride Super Star you will know the section. Trail Crew caught some slack for adding an "XC" section into one of our most popular downhill trails. Thanks to Jason Martin this has been rectified and the trail is flowing again! Thanks Jay!
We made the same mistake with Shazam last year. We tried to take out too much of the grade again. Most times it works really well and feels great having your bike unweight. The cheat line that has formed on this section of Shazam will become the new berm and the trail will return to the transfer feel people love, coming very soon.
We pounded in a 200m + of Stage II of Chakra. The XC crowd is going to love this trail. I know Steve Darby is having a lot of fun building it. I can't wait. Should be completed mid-summer.
The sign posts are up on the XC trails. There are 15 6x6 posts out in the park now helping you navigate the growing XC trails
The Slope Style is just around the corner. July 11 & 12th. The crew got to work on the course this week. Buffing the drop landings, pulling up the landing of the Whale Tail and changing the profile of the jumps. Going to be a great event. Have yo registered yet?
And we added in a "new" Gate Keeper at the top of World Cup. This is the access point for a many of the Black jump trails. We took away the drop style Gate Keeper that has been there for a number of years. It is now a small wood jump with a bike length gap to a dirt landing. The gap is filled in with rough big rock so is not friendly to ride over. It is small, smaller than most the jumps on Rock Star, to help you gauge the skills needed to enjoy those trails.
I think we did more than this over the week as the larger crew is amazing this summer! We have a great bunch of guys work on Trail Crew this year, so if you see them out there thank them. They work really hard so we can all have great trails to ride!
This Park Update is written 6 days before or first bonus weekend June 21st & 22nd. And I do so with a sense of realism and an optimistic view that Mother Nature will give us some warm weather these next 6 days (having your fingers crossed while writing is difficult). We will be riding our bikes through some snow tunnels on the upper corner of the mountain, there will be some soft wet spots on the trails but mostly there will be buffed smooth trails to ride throughout the park.
The snow pack has been late leaving the resort this year. It has been a double edged sword for trail crew. It has forced us to delay the opening of trails at the top of the mountain back until this final week, but it also has allowed us to build a bunch of fresh trail and make changes on the lower and Village elevations of the mountain. The trails we do have open, keep a keen eye, as you may come around a corner and have a small section of snow to get through before getting back on you pedals. They will be few and far between though. There is just no point in closing a whole trail for a small patch of snow! But please respect the trails that are closed as they are closed for a reason and should all be open for the regular opening June 26th.
The all NEW green trail, Easy Street, from the Village to the bottom of the lift will be completed Monday or Tuesday. This will take away from the scary shale slope you had to ride to get to the lift in the past. Trail Crews feeling with this new trail is it may be a “Dark” Green. Bottom line, there is a lot of elevation to lose before getting to the lift from the Village. We hope this trail will work for the true beginner but also feel we will be going back in to make a few adjustments once the trail is running up to its full trail speed. In the meantime I think we could see some intermediate riders really enjoying this new addition.
The all NEW Chakra (stage 1) XC trail will be completed and ready to ride for this bonus weekend. I know there is a lot of hype and excitement around these new additions of XC trails to the Silver Star Bike Park and this trail will really tie together what we started building on last year. Watch for Stage 2 to be competed in a couple weeks.
Also on the XC side the NEW & very Exciting Explorer Loop will be finished this week. This is a ½ km green loop for little Johnny or people just getting into the sport. It is right beside the Village and has a little of everything. Ups, downs, swooping corners, mini berms and not too long to burn out those early season legs.
On the flip side the rest of the Green XC network will remain closed for the bonus weekend as it is under water in a few sections as the snow melt is just coming off of Mountain View and Sidewinder.
Blast Off is up in the Air. We are pushing hard to have one of our most popular trails ready for next weekend. If you remember the last couple updates of last year we did a full re-build of the hole trail. Problem is we dug up a couple underground springs and we are waiting for them to dry up. We are confident we will have it open for Regular opening June 26th, as we have worked this trail for years and understand the terrain very well in there. Again it is just a late melt and the water is still moving. Check with the peops in Tickets before Blasting Off out of the Village. If it remains closed, try out the all new East St.
There are a couple fresh changes being made to upper Pipe Dream. If you ride the trail you will know the spot. You come around a drop fade-a-way corner and the carpet has blown apart and the bomb holes use up your full suspension before G-ing out into the next berm. One of the only rough spots left on this trail is being rectified this spring!
Other trails that will not make the Bonus Weekend Cut due to snow / wet soft trails are:
Some of the wood features in the Park are getting to the end of their life span. This is okay with Trail Crew! This means we get to pull them out and bring them up to the current times with more flow and less “skinny” factor. Double Dog received the first of many of these upgrades already.
The all NEW Silver Shack that was built last fall has had the last of the bridges built this spring. For all you Enduro types out there you’re going to love it! This fresh, soft, loamy trail is good to go. So long as you don’t mind ramming through a couple snow sections. We tested it this weekend and 95% of it rode amazing! With any luck this week the last couple spots will melt. But hey, it’s mountain biking, a little section of snow just adds to it!
Remember this is a Bonus Weekend! We are getting to ride 90% + of the one of the best Bike Parks in the world! And truth be told with all the fresh trail we have pushed in already this spring you actually have more trail to ride than you have come to expect form Silver Star Bike Park! See in a few days!
The snow is finally starting to melt and the full team is starts today!!! We have had the Crew Leaders out on the trails flagging new lines, digging out snow on the upper trails, putting the bridges back in place and getting ready for another incredible season in the Silver Star Bike Park. Do you remember this video below? This was from a couple years back (2011) and I have a feeling this could be very much like our first bonus weekend, tacky fun dirt with snow tunnels at the top. It is an experience you don’t get to do very often.
With the full crew starting this week we are excited to get cutting some new trail. With the late melt we are couple weeks behind our scheduled plans but I think with how keen some of these new guys are we could make up some serious time! Keep in mind we have been building and maintaining this amazing park with only five guys all these years. Just imagine what the Park is going to look like with 12 guys digging this year! Every year since we extended the bike park to utilize the Comet 6 pack chair, 9 years ago, we have been pushing in new trail without exception. This will continue! In fact I’m pretty sure with this many on Trial Crew you will see a lot of changes this year. Yes, the new XC product is going to pull from these 12 guys but it also means the main DH Park crew will only focus on the fine tuning, expanding and buffing the DH trails. What could be better than that?
Thanks to the reception of our owners we can now build an amazing XC network and still maintain our main focus and core value – our DH trail. For those of you that love the Park as much as we do this is a very good thing!
I will keep you posted on our progress and try to get a few photos of the new builds coming at you this spring. In the meantime get your legs ready, Bonus weekend is only 19 days away (June 21/22)!
The key to Silver Star success is the Trail Crew! We are blessed with a core group of guys that love riding bikes, enjoy building trail and most importantly return to Silver Star year after year!
This is the first year in a long time we have lost more than one member on our crew. It was a sad day when Chris Brown and Derek Brosseau told me they would not be returning. I know it was a hard decision for both of them and I wish them all the best in their future endeavors!
With the major expansions planed for Silver Star (see first two posts of the year) there is no way the existing crew could pull it off. As much as I love building trail we needed to bring in some more builders.
I have to say I was impressed with the over whelming amount of resumes I received to join our team! If I could have, I would have a trail crew of 25 strong. Every one of the people that we interviewed would have made a great addition to the team. As it turns out we could only take on 8 new members this year. Now that is a lot! Considering we have been building and maintaining this park with a core group of 5 all these years.
I think and hope these 7 new guys and 1 kick ass girl know what they are in for? The trail crew on Silver Star work HARD. Harder than I sometimes wonder is humanly possible. It is so obvious these guys like their work and I am proud to be among such a good group of trail builders!
Mike Hainault has been with the trail crew since the original expansion in 2005 and on or around the mountain for years previous to that. He took one summer off to finish his business degree but still loves moving dirt too much to get a “real job”. His vital input into every trail on this mountain has been key and keeps me honest. “Thanks Mike!”
Jason Martin joined Silver Star trail crew about 8 years ago. His is an avid biker and heli ski guide (along with Mike) in the winter. Jason has become one of the best Excavator operators anywhere. He has a keen eye for the line and can build a trail from start to finish with the best of them. And once he has that trail built good luck keeping up to him!
Steve Darby took a break from Trail Crew for a couple years. He was a valuable member on the crew for three years before he followed his career into a first responder with BC Ambulance and Silver Star Ski Patrol. When Steve caught wind of the Major Expansion he had to get involved. I think he truly missed building trail and I am pumped to have him back.
Along with me these will be the Trail Bosses and Team leaders heading up the next evolution of the Silver Star Bike Park. With them will be a crew of fresh builders ranging from Graduates from the Capilano University Mountain Bike Operations program to experienced builders from New Zealand. I am very excited where the Silver Star Bike Park is headed and what the trails are going to look like.
See you all on the trails!
This is the second park update for the season. If you missed the first one please go back and see what we have in store for this summer and the next couple years.
With all this fresh building going on up on the mountain we are also going to be ramping up our signage of these new trails. A lot of the trails we are building are going to double as snowshoe trails on the resort in the winter. So we are going to put in permanent signposts with mini “you are here” or if you’re French “Vous etes ici” on the maps. There may be some off shoots of other trails out there. You may encounter, old game trails, horse trails, Nordic ski tracks. We ask that you stay to the marked Mtb trails. For a couple reasons, one; we don’t want to see you get lost and pulled down to Lumby, missing the better part of your day on a skidder road and two; we don’t want people following your track to Lumby. Not that Lumby is a bad place to visit but you just paid for a trail pass and we want you to use it.
On that note every one please purchase your trail pass. It is only a nominal fee of $5 to ride the XC trail network on Silver Star this year or buy the XC add-on for your season pass for only $20 (XC is included in your DH day ticket). This will help with the cost of all this signage we are putting in, the patrol that are there if you need them, let alone the sheer cost to build all these trails. And if you feel you are going to enjoy the trails all summer up on the mountain, away from the Valley heat, the mountain is only charging $37.50 for an unlimited summer XC pass. I think that is quite reasonable for what we are offering and we hope you all encourage each other on the trails to have a pass so we can continue to build more trail!
We are also going to be changing some of the trail patterns people are used to on the mountain. With all this new building we have put in a dedicated up track (Silver Shack) to take you to the upper section of Paradise . You no longer have to risk life and limb to pedal against traffic coming down Paradise to get to the backside. Please respect this and head out Cross Mountain trail, AKA the paved path. Silver Shack will take you 3.3 km out and around the reservoir with a low-grade steady climb to mid mountain (built last fall). Getting you away from most the DH traffic and then you can continue up Paradise from this point (the best part of Paradise).
There will be a few other trails like this out there this summer that are now one-way traffic. The goal is to cut down on the likely hood of you getting T boned by one of the cross traffic trails. Don’t fret most of these you wont even notice, we are just going to start getting every one that is pedaling through the park out to the new epic trail (Beowulf, more to come on that soon! J) used to the new trail patterns. So again just respect the signage. They will be simple “one way, do not enter” style signage.
All the new trails we are implementing into the XC net work will be Cross Mtn and above. So don’t let yourself get sucked down one of those beautiful down hill tracks. Your XC trail pass wont get you back up the lift. You will be able to ride a couple select trails down with that pass if you get yourself to the top but if your goal is to descend DH trails you should probably be looking at a DH pass.
Those of us that have two bikes and plan on taking in all that Silver Star has to offer; we will be offering a Valet Service for your bike this summer. We all feel a little uneasy leaving our new whip in the parking lot as we hit a few park laps. Roll it into the rental shop; they will store your bike for a nominal fee while you mix it up on your second steed. Pop back into the village swap out bikes and hit the XC network at the end or start of the day.
The calendar is stacked this year! From the BC /North West Cup on July 19th and 20th, to the Free Ride Mountain Bike World Tour Stop on July 11th, 12th & 13th, and our first Enduro race on August 16. Please check the calendar on the web site. www.skisilverstar.comskisilverstar.com/s/my-activities-and-events/special I will continue doing updates through out the season so you can see what we are working on. But it is going to be a great season. I can’t wait for it to get started!
The Mountain Bike season is just around the corner!
Our past GM Michael Sherwood was the driving force to our Bike Park and is a very large part of why we are where we are today. It was his insight into the potential of what our resort could be that led us to this point. And his legacy will live on moving forward.
In the early years of the expansion of the Silver Star Bike Park we looked to the big guys down on the coast to see what was working. Silver Star has been running lift access mountain biking since the early 90’s. But it was not until Whistler brought on the inaugural A-Line trail and showed the world how fun-riding bikes at a resort could be and the true potential. Since then Silver Star has always strived to push the limits to lift access mountain biking and to bring something new to the resort every year.
After our success with the first couple machine built trails we did not sit back and ride that wave, we built another one and another. Re-building the old ones and refining them to making us one of the most beloved mountain bike destinations in the world.
This continues today. We started the newest trail Jedi Mind Trick last summer to rave reviews! By the end of August I believe this trail was seeing close to 70% of all rider traffic on the lower half of the mountain. So with that kind of success it was a no brainer to push the trail all the way to the top. The line has been flagged and the upper portion of the trail is slatted to open late this summer, with the middle section in earl 2015.
This is the kind of stuff that sets Silver Star apart from many of the other places people ride. We are continually pushing our product and what we have to offer. And Jedi is only the tip of the iceberg. The mountain has approved a ¼ million-dollar budget this year to move Silver Star into the next phase of mountain biking at the resort. We are not content to just sit back and only build on the DH side of the Bike Park any more. We see the potential of all the other genres of riding. With the explosion of light weight carbon, 650b, “enduro”, trail riding (whatever you want to call it I call it mountain biking) we are into it! We want to help drive our sport and want to help steer the growth of this amazing life style. Now maybe I am biased or have a vested interest, but here is way. I like to ride my bike a lot and I LOVE building trail. And I want to build trail I want to ride! In the past it seems that the crew and I have very similar styles and people like to ride what we build. So with that being said we feel people are going to love this new phase of development at Silver Star.
What is that direction you ask? More trail! Lots more trail. We already have over 50km of dedicated DH specific trails. This is from Machine built green flow style to uber Gnar tech single track and everything in-between. We are not going to slow down the building in the park; in fact are going to ramp it up. Last year the crew was divided, some in the Park and some of us building these new trails. The next phase of expansion will see more of these XC/all mountain trails while keeping a crew dedicated to the DH trails.
With the start last year we managed to open almost 20km of new trail. This year will see us expand on that with another 15 + km of trail and by 2015 we will have over 100km (DH & XC) of trail to ride in resort. That was not a typo, yes over 100km of trail! This year you will have a new section of trail to ride every week. So you may want to bring both bikes to Silver Star this year. Start off with little pedal in the morning; get the legs warmed up and then hammer in a bunch of Park laps!
Most of these trails are going to be new school flow built XC trails. Picture a machine built trail with pedaling sections, fast flowing down hills, wide open flats and areas where you are going to test the full range of that new 1 x 11 drive train you got for Christmas.
We will be open a little earlier this year the way the date’s fall with our first bonus weekend on June 21st and 22nd. The lift will then close for a few days and re-open for the rest of the season June 26th,, seven days a weeks with extended play Wednesdays and Fridays. We will keep the XC trails open straight through. Unfortunately we will not be opening the XC network trails any earlier this year due to snow. So get your legs ready for the end of June because it is going to be awesome!
Part 2 coming next week - Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
Well that’s a wrap! Trail crew is done for the season. With the help of Brandt and Jason Rictor we were able to connect the dots with an extra machine. The new Deere 17d made quick work of the new climb to the top trail we have been working on this fall.
This was a first for the Bike Park Trail Crew working well into the fall through snow storms and dark mornings. I have to say the new trail is going to be the most fun you have had climbing to the top. But in all truth when you ride the trail you are Not There Yet (NTY tentative name for the new trail). This newest addition will spit you out at the bottom of the Home Run T bar (winter below the Vault). That means you still will have a bit of a pedal up Paradise to get you to the top. The best part is that top section of Paradise, from the Putnam chair up remains undisturbed and in pristine condition (one of my favorite section of the up track). The reason for this… we will start building the “epic” out towards Alder Point and beyond from this point next spring.
This is all part of the big expansion I alluded to in my last update. We should have the Alder Point trail done by late summer and the full loop completed the year following. To give you an idea of the size and length of this endeavor we punched in Jedi Mind Trick in a couple months. Jedi is 20’ wide with berms and large jumps. This new trail is going to take 2 years and is only a foot and a half wide. Get the idea?
Because of the grandeur of this project we are also putting an additional Trail Crew team tasked with solely building XC trails around the Knoll. As a result the XC / Enduro crowd will have a new section of trail every week or so without having to wait 2 years. All in all it is a very large commitment from Silver Star and shows our commitment to growing mountain biking at our resort! J
With all this extra building going on we are going to need extra hard working trail builders to join the team. We do not want to dilute the DH Crew; in fact we are adding one extra member to that team as well. So if you have the skills, love working hard (and I mean hard) and would like to join the Silver Star Trail Crew next summer drop me your resume’. firstname.lastname@example.org To be honest I will be taking a bit of a break from the Bike Park for a few months so send them in after Christmas. I will be gearing back up in March when we get ready for the 2nd Annual Frost Bike extravaganza March 1st and 2nd so mark those dates on your calendar. Until then enjoy the winter powder I know I will!
The lift may have stopped turning but Trail Crew is still hard at it!
We had a great season in the Bike Park. Trail Crew accomplished more this year than we have since the expansion in ’05. We pounded out 3 new XC trails, re-built upper Shazam, re-tooled Blast off (wait till you see that next spring), did a re-route on Super Star (that is going to get tweaked a little), built the all New Jedi Mind Trick and started work on pushing Jedi all the way to the top! On top of that, I think we managed to keep up with maintenance quite well too. All this done with only a 5 man crew!
With all that hard work, the Crew still has not stopped. We are building a new trail right through until the snow flies. The idea is to have a bunch more trail pushed through so it can sit this winter and be ready to ride in the spring. How are we doing this…? Our ownership has bought into the growth of the “all mountain / Enduro” market. This is great! We are rolling full steam ahead with a $250,000 expansion to the Silver Star Bike Park! We are taking the trail crew from 5 hard working guys to 12, we will have 4 excavators going all summer, there will be a new trail popping up every week next summer and we can focus more energy back into the bike park.
The plan is to have three dedicated building teams. The first will continue on the current XC product we started this summer and expand that network. This area is all around the Knoll and intertwines with the winter snowshoe trails. This is the area you will see new trails popping up constantly throughout the summer.
The second team will start building the “Epic”. This is going to take you from the Village, out to Alder Point (soak in the views), then drop you all the way down into Putnam. There is some deep dark forest down there! You are going to feel like you are in Never Never Land with mossy old growth forests and huge cedars. When we started scouting out the line this summer I was shocked to find this kind of forest in the dry Okanagan. From there you will have to climb back out and around to the front side of the mountain. This will take a couple years to complete, but will be built in such a way as you can ride it in sections to begin with. The plan is to have the Alder Point out and back completed sometime next summer. We started on this section of trail this fall and are currently working on right now. It will also double as a single track climb to the top of the mountain. I will post some photos next week of the build.
The third team will stay focused on the Bike Park. This is very exciting for all the DH’ers in the crowd. This year we divided our resources to get the XC / Enduro product off the ground. Next summer we have big plans to rebuild sections of trail, push in new trail and take our maintenance/grooming program to the next level! I will give you a little tease of the plans in the next update.
To say the very least; next year is the year Silver Star blows up! This is what the summer team has been working toward over the past several years. We believe we have a great Bike Park and the people are coming to see what all the hype is about, but next year if you don’t make it to Silver Star you are going to be kicking yourself.
What a weekend! The new venue for the slope style went off this weekend. We had a great group of riders come out for the event and even a bigger group of spectators taking it all in. Watch our Face Book and web site for the upcoming recap video if you missed it. And after watching I am sure we will see you next year.
It was all made possible with the help of our sponsors, Fox Head, Rock Star, X-Fusion, Oakley, Dakine, Toyota, Norco and Brandt Tracker hooked us up with a sweet brand new John Deere 50G excavator to shape all the landing. That thing had the trail crew vibrating when it showed up on build day. Speaking of trail crew if you see any of those boys give them a huge pat on the back. They busted the butts to get that course up to the standard that I am sure surprised most. Thanks Derek, Mike, Chris and Jay for all your hard work, I could not do this job without you! Along with them the Silver Star operations staff (Tim, Bill and crew), we appreciated your time and machines. Thanks.
Okay enough about what happened last week, what about this week you ask…. Well keeping with the Silver Star motto of great maintenance we are not sitting back at the end of season waiting for the final two bonus weekends. We have been busy doing some heavy work on the trail. If you rode Super Star or Rock Star this past weekend you probably noticed a bunch of rework to the middle of those trail. That is continuing this week. Section of trail getting fully re-built. Berms pulled up, jumps being re-shaped and straight-a-ways being smoothed out. Don’t feel left out if you can’t make the bonus weekends, we are doing the section of trail that we can’t touch in the spring. This way they will be ready and waiting for us all next year. But really you should try because nothing is like riding freshly built trail!
Rock Star had a couple jumps and a berm changed just above paved / Cross mtn. This is the “newer” section trail crew calls the Loop, that is a hate it or love it section. The step up had the some material put into the middle, giving it a little more friendly “case”. If you were cleaning it before you should not even notice. Leading up to it we took out the roller and moved the first jump forward. Should give the intermediate rider a little more set up time. The sniper berm has tripled in size. If you could nail the old berms and let your bike run the follow jumps were never an issue, now with a giant berm there should be no problems. You can follow your little sister through there and make the jumps. A word of warning, we waited until the end of the season to do these changes because of the soil type in there. Thinking we wanted to do it in drier condition, the forecast is for some heavy rain this week. If it is wet on the weekend this section could get very muddy. Consider yourself warned. On a the other hand the rest of the park is going to be MONEY with a little rain! J
We are also starting the FULL re-build of the oh so popular Blast Off trail this week. This trail has seen minimal maintenance this year. The idea was to let it go a little longer than normal because we wanted to give it the once over this fall. Again it is a trail that we cannot touch with machines until late in the season due to the ground water. The line is going to stay the same for the most part, but every berm and jump on that trail is getting pulled up and re tooled. I for one cannot wait for this one! This is
just a heads up if you are one of the first few riders down there on Saturday morning. It will feel slow. That trail is so tight we will not be able to do a proper pack on the berms, so it will need tire traffic to speed back up.
We are also working on the XC product over the next few weeks. Unfortunately nothing we will get to ride this year, adding an all new climb trail to the top of the mountain for the spring. This is only one of many projects happening this fall for the all mtn. / XC product on Silver Star.
Have a great bonus weekend. I will be away for this one, so enjoy the freshly built section of trail, wish I was here!
When Trail Crew builds a new section of trail, or re-vamps sections of trail every once in a while we don’t get it right. Now for the most part the SSBP Trail Crew is pretty dialed and hits the sweet spot, but be assured when we miss, the crew knows about it. That is the nice thing about having a trail crew that love to ride their bikes! We can ride a trail like say Jedi Mind Trick and now we nailed it, or the new section on Shazam we re-vamped and killed it and also the all new Shazam trail off the top and know it just did not work. Just know when we miss it we, we will try to fix it. That upper section of Shazam had changes last week and it is “flowing” much better. We took out a couple of the overly tight berms and speed up the line, we finished out a couple berms so can hold the line, next we will smooth out the trail to keep you moving.
With the lack of rain maintenance is always a challenge, but we will continue to do what we can. Super Star had a couple of the really bumpy berms re-built with our mini and 250 gallons of water, Walk the Line had the last of the plywood removed and smoothed out, Lower World cup had a bucky jump refaced. We thank you for your patience and rest assured we are going to continue to improve all aspects of the Bike Park.
Even with all the maintenance we are building an all NEW Slope Style course. It is going to have a very industrial look and stadium feel. There won’t be a bad vantage point in the house as it is in a giant “hole”. We will have the riders dropping in from the top corner and working back and forth with “boner” logs, huge step ups, drops, wood “dirt” jumps, big air ¼ pipes and a whale tail finish. It is an FMBA tour stop this year so will be well organized with proper judges and formatting. But more than anything it is going to be a fun course to ride and a great event to watch. We will also have the Shazam Chainless race on the Sunday. So no matter what you want to ride in one of the events or watch the show it is going to be a great festival weekend on Silver Star Aug 31st – 1st. See you up here.
We made it! Jedi Mind Trick is fully open (for this year). For those of you that had a sneak peak last weekend you will be happy to know Stage 1 of this new Top to Bottom trail is complete. Reports are in and it is a hit! I think once people start riding this trail and it gets up to full riding speed, packed in, we may be forced to push Stages 2 & 3 in as soon as possible. Jedi is a blue trail but is not for the faint at heart. The jumps will feel big, the berms will press you through the corners and the overall feeling is exhilarating. All the jumps are rollable and nice and wide, giving a safer feeling. We pushed the features a little further apart than a lot of the other trails at Silver Star. This gives you more time to set up in between each jump. The only question now is what trail to link up to find Jedi on Paved Path (Cross Mtn.) Enjoy and watch for the next stage summer 2014.
The new BX Creek XC trail turned out pretty good too. I have to admit this one still needs a little more refinement but some people do say I am my own worst critic. The line is great, the flow is prefect, we just need to do a little more side hill work and bang out a few of the bumps. But for a 4 km first year trail I have to say I am quite happy. And even more excited with how our New XC product is coming along. We are in the middle of Flagging out 3 more new trails for next summer and working with Sovereign Lakes to bring in even a larger network for next year.
I have to give a huge shout out to Bas Van Steenbergen for making our Bike Park look so darn fun! After watching his and Harrison's latest edit it gave me goose bumps, knowing that we are a part of something so amazing. I am happy to call Bas and his brother Tom locals and even more stoked to know their skills were refined in our Bike Park. Thanks Boys! If you have not seen the Vid click on the link below and tell me you don't want to go ride your bike after watching this.
Another BC Cup has come and gone at Silver Star Mountain Resort. It was another successful weekend of racing bikes at the resort. Thanks to everyone who came out and watched, raced and volunteered! The changes we made to the race course were very well received by racers! Granted the Whip Jump was not the best feature SSBP has put out. For next year we are going to haul in some extra material and make the take-off twice as big for the speed you carry into that sucker. I apologize that it was not up to the standard everyone has come to expect from our park and it will be rectified for next year’s race! The track felt like it was running faster than last year but Chris Kovarik’s winning time of 3:03:46 was only marginally faster than the winning time last year. I think we have to factor in this year that the course got dusty and rutted more than last year, but the racers loved it. Last year’s BC Cup was the busiest day the Bike Park has seen to date, this year was a little quieter. There were still almost 300 racers but I saw very few locals on the hill this weekend. I was able to sneak away for a couple laps after the Manitou tech did a little adjustment to my Dorado and I have to say the park is still running really good! The dust is starting but overall the park is holding together quite nicely. And with the rain in the forecast this week, we should be running hero dirt for the weekend.
Trail Crew is doing the finishing touches to our signature XC blue trail this week. The ribbon cutting will be on Friday. We have aptly nick named BX Creek trail – “Schizophrenia”. This is no disrespect to any one that has multiple personality or mental issues though. But the trail does have a bit of a split personality. You will be riding in cool dark forests, heat scorching south aspects, moist mud bogs (requiring plenty of board walk & rock work), moon dust corners, long bridge crossings, high speed flowing sections and even a couple lung busting climbs. Over all this trail will give you a little taste of everything Silver Star can offer (minus the berms, you have to ride the bike park for those). I will be putting my tires to it this week, to see if there are any final touches required, as I am sure this trail will be a little bit of a “work in progress” for its first year, but initial reports are it is running great right out of the gate. I for one am certainly looking forward to having an epic XC loop to do after work, on the mountain, out of the heat.
Jedi Mind Trick, what can I say about this trail other than it is going to be F U N!!! We are pushing hard to get this trail open and have the trail crew working 7 days a week at the moment to get-er-done! As you can see from the photos we are getting close. We may even open it up for a little sneak peak if we get some rain this week. Check with the white board at the bottom of the lift for updates as we are getting close! At this point we still have to connect the dots but God willing we should have the grand opening the first week of August. Stay tuned from more…..
Also here is a little info on the Sniper Camera’s out on the trails. They are running great this year and worth taking a peek at them. Sniper Action is a locally owned company; they have four cameras in the park on jumps, berms and wall-rides. Photos are automatically taken each time a rider passes by a camera and uploaded immediately to the Sniper Action Photo website where they can be viewed and purchased. To participate, simply pick up a free tag at Silver Star tickets or rentals and hang it from your bike seat. The tag has a unique code that allows you to view and buy your own set of photos.
Make sure to pick up a tag and check out your photos!
Thanks your hanging in there! I know it has been a long time between updates. The Crew has had their heads down this year more than ever. And that is saying a lot! Our Crew is like working a team of Clydesdales.
Since the heavy rains in the spring we have been hitting the maintenance hard in the park every morning. We had the park so buffed and ready for the season and then that 100+ mm of rain the last week of June “rained” havoc on the trails. We ended up chasing sink holes and rain ruts for the past month. Now that the park has dried out it is running fast and in really good shape. Our program has been hit the trails hard for a bunch of hours in the a.m. before the park opens, we start at 6 a.m., and then move over to the new project list we are working on this year. Jedi Mind Trick is coming along beautifully. We have the line cut and duffed and starting to put the shape to this new trail. It has turned out to be a little bit of a bigger endeavor than we originally planned for. For two reasons, first it is a way longer section of trail than we thought, second it goes through an old logging area that has turned in to a little bit of a “beep” “show”. With all that said it is going to become one of our most popular trails for sure!
The other major project we have been working on is the all new XC trail, BX Creek. This little gem is going to be one heck of a good trail when finished and long as well. I have to give a huge thank you to all the people that have spent the extra $20 to upgrade the DH pass with the XC add-on or purchased the XC only pass for $37.50 and have patiently waited for this new addition. The XC product is a work in progress but with your support the mountain has seen the benefit to this additional product. If this trend continues and people continue paying the mere $5 to ride the new network the Crew will be building throughout the fall right up until the snow flies. So thank you once again for your support and make sure if you see people on the trails make sure they have a pass, because it only means you will get a bigger, better and longer network for the future. We have a bunch of trails on the books for this year and the next several to come.
With the BC Championships just around the corner we thought we should give Dag’s a couple more updates. Race times will be faster for sure this year as we cut out a couple of those Jack Knife corners, opened up the sight lines and over all sped up the track. The trail over all now has the similar feel top to bottom, fast, fast and faster. We had Bas van Steenbergen and a few of the other local racers rolling through the course yesterday and the comments I heard sounded like “that is how a track should race! J” With the long range forecast I think the track will be loose and dusty. Just the way the locals like it! Good luck boys as I think there may be some heavy hitters coming this year.
With the dry Okanagan Summer now here, Trail Crew will do our best to stay on top of the maintenance we are known for. We will be loading the water tank on the trailer and digging out the hoses next week. It always poses a little challenge when the park starts to dry out but we are getting pretty good at dealing with it. But if any one has any inside line with Mother Nature, 20mm a week for the rest of the summer would be great! This would allow us to continue building new stuff in the park for us all to enjoy and not have to patch up berms. Either way Trail Crew will be hard at work giving you and ourselves the best park we can.
It is close, so very close! It’s only a few more days to the first BONUS weekend (June 22/23). The Crew has been amazing this year and the weather has cooperated (for the most part). We had to move very little snow this year, and in fact I don’t think we had to shovel any snow by hand! We hit the stuff at the top early with the mini hoe to give it a head start and it paid off. The three main trails off the top, Super Star, World Cup and Challenger will be ready to go with a little ribbon of snow off to the side for the bonus weekend. By the time we get to regular opening it should be all gone. I like having that little snow tunnel effect for the first weekend. The difference this year it will be way off the trail. If you are not looking, chances are you won’t even see it. From Hub 1 down we are 100% clear of all snow.
With that being said, the very upper section of Double Dog will remain under snow for the time being. It is the darkest area of the trail network and faces due north. You will be able to access DD from the World Cup Junction just below Hub 1. You will only miss a few 100 meters of the trail and truth be told DD starts to really get good below there anyway.
The new section of Shazam that was built at the end of last year turns out to be snow storage (who knew?). To get the mountain roads open early to do lift maintenance and earth works we plow the road as soon as the winter season closes. All that snow ended up on the new section of trail. All around the trail is clear, except for the large piles of snow on the entrance. But, again we’ll only miss a few corners for the first weekend. From Hub 1 down Shazam is getting a full re-build. It will be soft, but it will also be FRESH! Watch for the hoe off the side of the trail. You will be able to tell how far we managed to make it and expect more by the time you make it back up for the full opening on June 27th.
Pro Star / Walk the Line will remain closed for the bonus weekend. It is really wet and the entrance berms are not finished and there are still a number of trees down on the trail. You can expect Pro Star to open next weekend.
Other than that the park is looking amazing and 92 and ¾ % open and ready to go! This wet weather this week is great! With the early snow melt the park was looking drier than we have seen it in years. The silver lining is the weekend forecast is looking good! So think sunny and warm thoughts for us. Have the park buff and ready to go; add a bunch of rain, order up some sunshine, open for the bonus weekend and pack the trails in! See you on Saturday!
It is amazing what you can get done with 15 guys! The trail crew has had the pleasure of adding 8 patrollers and a few volleys to get the park up and running this year. Along with a good melt this has allowed us to hit more features and trails than ever before by this time in spring.
LTG has been a trail that saw moderate traffic over the years. It was a place you went to get your skinny game on, ride some roots or learn to get over a teeter totter. Now all the features are still there, but as for the roots, not so much. This trail is getting a full revamp as you read this. I have not had the chance to get in there myself but from the phone photos and the eagerness on the Crews’ faces I know it is going well and will be a favorite for many people this summer.
The re-build we did on lower Super Star last summer is paying dividends! Normally we have water issues in that area every spring. This year however it is ready to ride (after all the blow down is removed)! The ground is hard and will be fast out of the gate for the 1st bonus weekend on June 22 & 23rd.
Lower Pipe Dream has the “Elevator Berms” if you have ridden the trail you know the section. The way the trail was built it is very difficult to get a machine down the trail and some the berms needed a little tender loving care. I can tell you that without a doubt I will have a very tough time convincing the Crew to re-build a Pipe Dream berm by hand next time! It was hard work but well worth the effort.
We have started building the new XC trails around the knoll. We started with connecting the dots of one of my personal favorite’s Crack of Dawn. The trail never really had a proper finish in the past so now you will be able to follow right back into the village for a cold one at the Saloon at the end of your ride.
Jedi Mind Trick is the new Blue trail being built this summer (see my April 24th update for the feel of this trail). I have to say we are very excited to get started on this trail. We had an idea for where we could fit the trail in but had not had the chance to walk the dirt. Turns out we should have put a trail in this area a long time ago! You should have seen the look on Mike Haunalts and my face when we finished flagging the new line. We have built a lot of trail together over the years and I don’t think either of us has been this excited to get started on a new project. If all goes as planned the first tires should be on stage 1 below paved late July early August.
There are very few things in this world I enjoy more than riding my bike. Luckily for us, some of the mountain bikers that call Silver Star Bike Park home care as much about trail building as riding their bikes. If you know anyone who knows me they can attest to this. I am not sure if it’s the physical aspects, being outdoors, seeing the fruits of your labour, the challenge of building a fun trail or the fact that I get to ride the handy work. The bottom line is building trail is fun and I am happy I can make a living from it.
The challenge of opening this Bike Park can be daunting sometimes but again it is rewarding. I would love for nothing more than to be riding my DH bike in the Park June 1. But the truth is it will never happen. :( This is the blessing and the curse of having the Bike Park on a "ski" hill. There is just too much snow! I consider us pretty lucky here in the Okanagan, we get the heat that hits us early in the spring, most the trails are the proper aspect to melt snow and we have the commitment from management to get the park open as early as possible. I feel for the crew on the Island and Mt. Washington. They end up with a snow pack that can crush a house by the time they close. I could not imagine having to dig out their park to get it ready. I understand why they have choosen not to move forward with their Bike Park but focus on their winter product with all that snow!
These photos were taken May 17th digging out the "other" aspect of the park. If you look at the web cams you can see there are some areas that are really close. The problem is all the trails come off the top, where these photos were taken and head to Hub 1, where most the trails branch out. So no early opening for the Silver Star Bike Park again this year, with us digging out it will be ready to go for the Bonus weekend June 22. In the meantime get your XC on or hit up the Whistler Bike Park to you have your legs ready for Silver Star!
It must be that time of year again! I am on the road visiting all the bike shops promoting the Bike Park, and I am like a kid in a candy shop! All these new shinny bikes lined up ready for purchase and there are so many great platforms to choose from! It seems like almost every company has a great DH bike in their lineup and so many all mountain bikes to select. I don’t think you can make a wrong choice these days. Be thankful for your local shop, with their knowledge, they can help you make those decisions and for the service they provide to take care of that shinny new bike!
We are very excited about the 2013 season at Silver Star Bike Park. The mountain is still experiencing the potential in our wonderful sport and this allows the trail crew to continue to push the Park forward. Improving on what we have, building new trails and venturing out into new areas. The 2013 season will see some major changes in our Park and here are just a few things we have on the plate this year.
First off, one of the things I am very excited about, is the addition of XC trails to Silver Star again for this season. We have a long history of running events at Silver Star and they are not all DH races. We ran a number of XC races from Canada Cups, 24 Hours of Adrenaline and even a World Cup back in the day. Some of those old trails are still out there. Some “local” trails on the Resort have not been pulled into the master plan. All these trails need to be signed, mapped and tweaked. Now keep in mind that some of these are old school XC trails and the direction our bikes have taken, the trails will need to be updated and revitalized to the keep up to our new style of bikes. Not all of them, but some. And we’re going to build some new trails too! I can’t wait to get to work on this new network. However, please keep in mind that it will be a work in progress and it took us a few years to get the Bike Park to where it is today. We will have XC trails open and ready to ride this summer and over the next few years we will have a network that will rival some of the best around. I know, bold statement, it may not be this spring but it is coming! And I get to pedal on the mountain, out of the heat this summer!
We are going to continue the rebuild and upkeep on our original machine built trails. If you rode the mountain last year you may have seen what happened to lower Super Star and lower Challenger. We are going to continue this theme with upper Shazam and upper Super Star. Not the whole trail is going to be effected just the areas that need a little “flow” adjustment. This is what Silver Star Bike Park is famous for and when we are done, the idea is; no breaks, no pedals, lots of smiles.
The brand new sections of trail off the top will be ready to ride early in July, snow pending, opening day. The new Shazam section gives us all another option off the lift. J
We are holding the BC Championships this year for our BC Cup DH Race. Should be a crazy weekend, July 28th! The course was so well received last year it will see very little change. I say that now but once we get going I am sure we will see it tweaked a little. Ha Ha! Stay posted on that.
Trail Crew wants to make a small adjustment to the bottom of Walk the Line. This trail is so fun, but that one section has just a little too much pedaling. If the weather cooperates and we can get in there early… we will make that adjustment. If not we may have to wait until the fall. Fingers crossed.
Time for the new trail… Jedi Mind Trick. This is going to be a top to bottom ripper. This is going to be a 3-year build and we are going to build it from the bottom up. The planned feel for this trail is fast, flowing, berm filled, jump fest, where you are not sure it your tires are on the ground or in the air. Where you feel the wind rushing by but not certain if you can feel the dirt under your tires. You will not be sure if you just had a Jedi Mind Trick played on you or did you just ride the best trail of your life?
We have a Cracker Jack crew of builders in our Park, a full returning crew again this summer, so we will see if we can pull this off… I think we can!
All in all we have a lot planned for the Park this summer. This is only a tease of what the crew wants to do. Check back here once we get going and I will try my best to keep you posted on our progress. If I am a little slow with the posts I am sorry, but this is a good thing because this means I am out in the park digging!
Enjoy that new shinny bike!
Well the season has come to a close for the Silver Star Bike Park. It is always a sad day when we start to pull bridges and prepare the trails for the winter. It was a great summer and we saw a good turnout for the 2012 season. I am sure most of you are like the Trail Crew and don’t want to let it go with this wonderful fall weather we have been having! It can be the best riding of the year, and with any luck we will see the Bike Park push further and further into this riding season every year.
If you did not get a chance to ride our last bonus weekend you probably did not see the new section of trail we gave a sneak peak of. With the new upper Shazam we added over a kilometer of new trail off the top. It was a little lose and dusty but it gave us a good feel for what it will be like when it gets packed in. I think there may be a couple minor tweaks to this trail but over all we were happy with how it ran. We will be pushing forward with the changes to the rest of Shazam next spring so when you get into the park next June you will have a new trail to learn!
Along with the changes to Shazam we will continue with the rebuilding of Super Star and Rock Star. Two of our most popular trails will continue to get their much needed face lifts. We will keep the trails very much the same but just open them up and put them back to their original glory with a few upgrades here and there.
There is a new Blue Trail in the works as well. This was going to be a multiyear build from the top of the mountain to the bottom. Rumor has it that management wants to see it sooner than that. This is okay with us as we love building new trail so watch for sections of this trail to start popping up next summer!
We will be growing the events for next summer too! This is big part to do with the mountain hiring a new year round events manager. So give Jo Rene a big welcome and watch for her in the Park all summer, from what I here she is a ripper on a bike! With the success of the BC cup DH race there is talk of adding in an XC component to the weekend. See my next point on that.... Our Silver Style Slope Style event will become part of the FMB tour next year. With the accolades from the riders on our Slope Style course this year we figured it only fitting to take the event to the next level and make it official with proper judges and a tour stop! We will be running more toonie races, pump track challenges and a whole array of events, stay tuned in the spring for a full events calendar.
We have the go ahead to start working on XC / Enduro trail on Silver Star! You do not understand how much this excites me! Being a full time resident on the mountain I have always felt the need for trail in my back yard. It will start small and continue to grow over the next few years. Just remember it has taken us 7 years to get the Silver Star Bike Park to where it is today and we are always expanding on this product. XC will be no different, start small and grow it into a mecca to ride your bike! I look forward to it!
Thanks to every last rider that came out to ride Silver Star this summer. Without your support we would not get the chance to grow mountain biking at the resort. With your love of biking you will get to see all the things I noted above come true plus so much more. So once again, Thank You!
Now just because the Bike Park is closed does not mean you have to put your bike away. Go get some night lights! Your local Bike Shop will have a great selection to keep you riding into the short days of fall. I know Skyride Cycle here in Vernon just hooked us up with some of the new LED lights and it has changed my fall season tremendously! My old lights had that brown hew to them, but these new ones are like riding at high noon. So don’t let it go, get out there and keep the stoke alive! Until next spring......
Well it is here and what a sad day! It is the final weekend for the 2012 season! Thanks to every last rider that came out and helped make it another great season in the Silver Star Bike Park!
In recognition of this we are going to give you a sneak peak at 2013. We have been working on a new trail over the past couple of weeks and we are going to do a soft opening for all to see what we are doing. The brand new section of trail is going to give us another option off the top of the lift down to Hub 1; where most the trail branch off. We tried to keep it along the same feel as Shazam, and in some areas I believe we accomplished this, in others we were a little pinched for space so it has a flavor all its own. Needless to say it will be a welcome addition to the Park!
Now remember this trail has not had a winter to sit under snow, has had very little moister and is a work in progress (it will be ready in the spring). This is a chance to see the hard working trail crew at work and a chance to ride some fresh trail for your last days in the Park. It will be slow in spots and fast in others. It will need a season to burn in and harden up but you will get a good feel for what it will be like once the snow melts next year.
On that note we did have our first snow fall up here early in the week. It is hard to believe. Working out there today it was in the high twenties and all the snow is already gone. What it did do was leave us with some moisture to do a little buffing for your last weekend. Yes, the park is a little rough in a few spots this time of year and we could not get to every hole but I can assure you every single rider that comes up this weekend will see the maintenance that went on this week!
Enjoy the last day of the Park because I know I will be out there with a grin on my face!
PS: I would not try the new section of Shazam without a chain.
I have to start by apologizing to the riders that did the NOCS Chainless race last weekend. The plan was to get into upper Shazam and buff it out for the race. As you know, if you raced or rode upper Shazam, that did not happen. There are not enough hours in the day or days in the week. What this did do is spur us into looking at a long term option for this section of trail. We will start working on a re-routing / re-building of this area of Shazam so it is more sustainable. I know the concerns with doing this, we all love upper Shazam! We are going to give a portion of this trail the same berm to berm transfer feel that is at the very top. You will notice this is the most fun part of the trail and requires very little maintenance. We will be looking at starting this as early as this fall or early next spring before the park opens for the 2013 season.
This brings me to the next two trail up dates. First this shows the commitment from the Mountain Management and the Trail Crew. When most Bike Parks scale down and put their tools away in August to save money the Silver Star Crew is continuing to push the limits on the Park. We are still out there buffing trails right up until the regular closing date of Sept 9th and even right through to the bonus weekend on Sept 15th and 16th. So with this commitment let us show the Mountain we still want to ride and blow all the records out of the water. Just because the kids are back in school does not mean we all put our bikes away. On the contrary there will be fewer groms up on the hill so let’s fill up the park those weekends. Let’s not just fill the weekends, but also the evenings! There will be Extended Play open on the Wednesday and Friday coming up as well! How fun is that!
Secondly on the Shazam tip, we have started building a brand spanking new upper portion of the trail. We all know how good the Silver Star Bike Park is but even I get bored this time of the year off the top. With only having a couple of options from the top to Hub 1 the rider consensus was to push Shazam all the way to the top. The terrain is tight, rocking and going to prove to be a little challenging to keep the same style of trail but we think it is well worth the effort. Once again showing the commitment of this mountain to continue pushing the boundaries of what we can do!
With the dry weather we cannot buff large sections of trail very easily. Instead we have been focusing on the few problem areas. If you are a Rock Star rider you will find the T bar jump has a much larger berm that is rock hard! This is because the material is almost like rock. This should allow the berm to hold up to the rigorous riding of our most popular trail.
Along this line we did a couple berms on upper Super Star. Again if you are a regular to the Park it will be hard not to notice you have line chooses again.
For the past week we have been re-building the bottom of Challenger. This section of side hill trail beside the road is a little intimidating to the green rider. On the maintenance side the bank weeps water early season sluffing mud onto the trail surface. With the changes we are doing it will flow better, manage the water better, look better and most importantly rider better for the novice rider!
Have a great long weekend. And remember we only have two more weekends to go after this so get up here and ride your bike before the snow comes!
The heat is on! It only happened for a few short days last year but it looks like the park is going to be dusty for a while. Over the years we have managed to change the trails in such a way they do not get bombed out as bad when the dirt starts to fly away. This allows us to rebuild complete sections of trail or work on the Jump Jam course.
The new section of Rock Star, aka The Loop is complete and starting to run great. It took a bit for the dirt to pack in on this trail but last time I rode through we were making all the trannies! It is a nice prelude to some of the bigger trails on the mountain like Pipe Dream and Walk the Line. Sticking to our philosophy of allowing people to learn and progress at their own speed. Now people can stay on Rock Star until they feel confident with the whole trail and then move up.
For that past week and a half we have been working our way down lower Super Star. This is one of the original trails from the expansion of '06. It was time to give old Super Star a face life. Over 50% of the lower trail is fresh and new. We extended a few jumps, rebuilt berms and made them bigger, put in proper drainage and over all fluffed her up. Hands down the smoothest piece of trail on the Mountain!
The Silver Star Jump Jam course has been pulled up and being shaped. Dustin Greenall came in again this year to give the crew a hand and his expertise on the size of the course. We are stepping it up again this year! It would not be Silver Star if we did not improve on what we have! There will be a couple extra hits on the course this year along with a 12' step up to a 42' long Whale Tail. Along with the craziest banana log road gap you have ever seen! Mother Nature only grows a tree this size and this shape ever 200 years or so. You will have to see it to believe it! Along with the Jump we will have a Pump Track Challenge on the Friday night on the new track, a chainless race down upper Shazam hosted by NOCS. The Camp of Champions will be back in the Village with their Air Bag and Norco will have all their 2013 bikes on site for you fondle. The fun goes down the weekend of Aug 24, 25, 26. Until then the Park is running fast so enjoy!!!
Well folks, it’s August and we are well into summer now and the temperatures having been showing it but I have one question. How is it that it’s been 30 degrees out and the park is still not dusty? The trails are loving us this summer and riding absolutely amazing!
So with that said, we thought the trails (for the most part) could survive a week without us and we would start on a couple new projects. During the week we hit a few small problem spots around the mountain in the morning (including Gnar) and then once the park opened we got out of the way and let all trails run freely.
Now that does not mean we took vacation and went riding ourselves, rather we started building in a new area that does not require the chairlift. To start off with a couple hints on this project, you will need to bring up both your DH and hardtail bike next time. It is similar to nascar and depending on your skills you barely have to pedal.
OK, if you have not guessed it yet Silver Star Bike Park has expanded to right beside the parking lot and has a newly manicured PUMP TRACK!
Check out this time lapse of the build and as of Saturday Aug 4 at 2PM’ish the track will be open and ready to providing dizzying fun. Trail crew will be pulling out the BBQ for the grand opening; we’ll having some good friendly pump track challenges and have a wicked time. Bring a little bit of cash for smokies to support your favorite trail crew and don’t forget your hardtail. If you don’t have one, then find a friend that does and take it for a few laps after they are lying on the ground exhausted from pumping around the track.
Oh are you wondering where Cam is? You’re guess is as good as ours, he headed out to Rock Star on Tuesday and we have not seen him or Mike since. Can you please help out find Cam and Mike and let us know where they’re safe?
Thanks from the rest of your Silver Star trail crew.
Sorry for the late update this week. I have been too busy shredding the park. Man is it good out there right now! Every time it starts to get a little dusty a thunder storm roles in and unleashes some rain, putting all the trails into overdrive. I love it the day after the rain; everything turns into hero dirt again. This year it seems it is happening every week! I know after last summer all you boaters needed a hot dry summer, well I guess you should start Mountain Biking because it is fun up here and the perfect temperatures to ride bikes!
The BC Cup race went off without a hitch. We had a great turn out and put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces. For a full recount & some amazing pics of the weekend check out Jason Martins post on Pink Bike. http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Silver-Star-BC-Cup-DH-4-2012.html
Trail Crew is now into the maintenance in the mornings / building in the afternoon’s stage of the year. Every morning this week we went out and hit holes, rough sections of trail or re-built some bridge work before the park opens, the bonus of starting at 6am. Then once the lift started rolling we moved into build a new feature on Double Dog and the re-route on Rock Star.
The re-route on Rock Star has been in the works since last year. It is coming together and if everything lines up we will have it open for the long weekend. It is taking a bit to dry out in there and proving a challenge to build. I guess this is why the re-route is happening in the first place. But the new section will give some much needed flow to this area of Rock Star and a ton more features. We have rollers to berms, multiple jumps, hips and a section of trail that gives Silver Star its reputation. I can't wait to put that old straight fall line section of trail to bed……. next week!
For Double Dog we had to have a memorial for "Welcome to Gnarnia". This was one of the TTF's that was built for the Red Bull Trail Crew event back in '07. It was a great feature for the time but unfortunately it had its day. We were able salvage most of the wood and build an updated feature in its place. The new TTF's got the nick name Butterfly early in the planning stage. This is because of the shape of the feature looking at it from the side. We have a dirt take off to wood step up that rolls like a butterflies wings. That is to say, if you use your imagination. You can roll it, you can gap it or you can manual it. The choice is yours. Have fun and like always please check it out our first time, never hit anything blind!
Enjoy and see you in the Park!
3 days and counting until the return of racing on Silver Star! It has been a several years since we have had a high level race event in the park. When the park was expanded and opened up to make use of the Comet 6 pack for mountain biking, the focus switched from being a race mountain to being one of the Best Bike Parks in Canada with jumps, berms and machine built trails. Mountain Biking has come full circle and racing is cool again; well it has been for a couple years. I am happy to see a BC Cup and ABA sanctioned event return. This is truly rounding out the park and making us one of the best places to ride in Canada.
We have updated Dag's DH for the race. Those of you that remember it from the days of old will still love it. The New Schoolers out there will appreciate the few corners we opened up. We did not open every corner as we still want to see the racer that can find the line in the tight stuff. For the race we put in a brand new finish. There is now a couple of high speed, off camber flat corners with a few log drops to make it zesty. This will be the true test to who can corner a bike and the rider that can't hold on. We had a couple testers over the Whip It finish jump yesterday, they both came up a little short, so once the track speeds up it should be just about perfect. All in all I am pretty sure there is something there for every racer. Trail Crew and staff have started a beer pool for the fastest time of the weekend. So far the range is anywhere from 2:50:7 to 3:08:04. I think 2:50 is pretty quick but with the forecast the course will be running fast, so we shall see. Click here for a schedule of the weekend.
With the entire racing crowd converging on Silver Star this weekend we have been pushing hard to get Gnar finished. I could not think of a better gift for all you racers than a bit of fresh loam! If you have ridden the top section of Gnar and think the name is not really suiting, just wait! The newest addition to the Silver Star Bike Park is STEEP! It’s actually steeper than I like to make trail normally. When you make a trail this steep it is hard to maintain. Lucky for us this terrain is off camber so the water will flow away from the trail and not down it. Because of this you may have to get a little loose until it burns in! In a year or so it is going to be a root covered slay ride, until then or after enjoy!
Have you ever heard of the Witching Hour? Around here it is normally the end of the day. This is when Patrol is the busiest. Keep this is mind when you have had a good day riding the park and you are a little dehydrated and just can't hold on to your bars anymore. This may not be the time to send it! Maybe think of taking it down a notch and doing the run you warmed up on. Stats show this is when people hurt themselves the most, when they get tired. Please, please keep this in mind when you are thinking of sending it over that jump you have been eyeing up all weekend. If it did not feel good when you were fresh, it is probably not a good time to do it when you are punched! Thanks!
We had a little rain over the week and forecast for a bit more Thursday / Friday. It hopefully will be just enough to keep the dust down and the trails in prime shape. See all you up here for a great weekend of racing and riding.
The Heat is on! The Okanagan is truly an amazing place. I don't know many other places where you can go from full on mud to dust in so few days. The trails are prime time right now with all the moisture we had but I can't believe I am going to say this "we need a little rain". We should be good for about another week but it would be great if we can keep that moisture in the trails with a weekly 10 - 20mm for the rest of the season.
On the trails side we have Walk the Line and Pro Star now open. We pushed hard to get them open for NSMB's AIRprentice this weekend. There are still quite a few sheets of ply wood down over the wet section but the trail and jumps are running great as you can see from the photos from the weekend. Photos
A big shout out to all the AIRprentice participants and the NSMB crew for holding another successful event in the Silver Star Bike Park! I look forward to seeing what Mark Mathews can bring to the table.
Lower Shazam is scheduled to open this week sometime along with Upper Double Dog. The snow is receding quickly with this heat wave and Lower Shazam is almost dry enough to put tires in. These are the last 2 section of trail to get opened, bringing 100% of the trails on line!
Silver Star Bike Park prides itself on being one of the most progressive Parks anywhere. We truly have a trail for everyone. Our philosophy from the very start was to have stepping stones or should we say stepping trails to help riders progress in a safe and fun manner.
Every Trail in the Park has a sister trail or a big brother trail. So if you are finding Super Star easy, you can move up to Rock Star. If Pipe Dream is a little over your head please slide over to Shazam; and the same goes for Double Dog and LTG. All these trails have very similar feel and flow. Whether it be machine built jump trail or hand built with wood features, that is the concept for the Bike Park.
Please respect this design and philosophy! We find people on trails that are way above their ability or faster riders trying to pass slower riders on blue trails. If you are a high end rider on a blue trail give those riders the space they need to feel comfortable and enjoy their time in the Park. And if you are scaring yourself on a trail or not making tranny on the jumps, DON'T! Step down to a trail that you can have more fun on and progress your riding in a safe way. Silver Star Bike Park is a super fun place to ride Bicycles so let's get out there and have fun and be safe!
I have said it once and I will say it again, we have great dirt in the Silver Star Bike Park! Not only does it allow us to build some of the craziest berms around, but it also drains really well. After our first Bonus Weekend the park was a little sloppy, but after only a day of warm weather it is a completely different animal. The crew got to work right away after getting their biking fix on the weekend. After one week of hard work Trail Crew has got the park in tip top shape for the long weekend. On top of the usual buffing and maintenance we’ve also managed to get the first section of Gnar completed. This part of the trail is not really conducive to the name because it starts out in the open and will be more of the high speed flyer that leads into the true Gnar. I have not had the pleasure of doing a lap through there yet, but from what Jason Martin, the lead builder on Gnar , told me it as actually quite fast for a fresh loamy trail.
Along with Gnar we got Upper Challenger open, watch for tight snow banks and icy sections, along with some mud :). We are close to getting lower World Cup done. If you are riding Friday you will see us working in there. With any luck it will be dry enough for us to open for Saturday morning. Check with Tickets when you arrive.
Pro Start will be ready for Saturday if the weather holds. With the changes we made to the Mother the whole trail has the same feel now. We got the buck out of that jump and it feels great! I had to pull the testers off the jump because they were having too much fun and didn’t want to come back to work! Unfortunately Walk the Line did not dry out for this week end. If we put one bike through there the full trail will turn into a mud bog and stay closed for weeks. So unfortunately, we will be checking on the status of Walk the Line after the weekend so stay posted.
Over the entire Park is amazing! Watch for the odd sink hole or slippery berm but otherwise the rest of the park is nice and tacky!
Ok all you keen riders there are only 5 more days until our 1st bonus weekend of the season. The crew has been busting their butts getting the park ready for this early opening! If you see the Crew, one of the few Volley Trail Crew Guys or the Patrol Members helping out, give them a big hug or a strong pat on the back, because there has been some long days getting this weekend off the ground. Mother Nature seems to be dealing a mean hand this year. After the snow storm of June 6th that dealt 52cm of snow to the top of the mountain and snapped hundreds of trees the guys had to go back and revisit ever trail we buffed and cleared ready for opening. That storm brought more trees down than the entire winter on top of losing 5 days of work to let all that snow melt. The good thing the Crew was well rested after the storm and have been given'er ever since!
Here is the hit list of trails ready for the weekend:
Easy St - The green trail to the bottom is buffed and almost ready to go. We had a bridge wash out and are currently working on it. This one is going to be close. Please check with Tickets when you arrive Saturday to see the status on this trail.
Blast Off - Ready, Buffed and will be my first run for sure!
Comet Trial - It will have a few rain runnels so keep your head up on your first lap too make sure you don't get hooked into one of these babies, as well as watch out for a few water bars that have added to this trail.
Down Town - This trail is as good as it gets. I love ripping this one early season while the dirt is still nice and tacky
Dag's - Okay all you racers.... The cheat lines have been eliminated and the line set. We gave Dags a good buffing and the way it sits right now is the way we will be running it for the BC Cup Race July 22nd. There will be no need to go moving the debris around to make your line faster because we will be hard taping the whole course. You are better off to learn your line; as this will be the Race Course. Besides, Trail Crew hates having to fix braid lines on any trail. It makes work for us when we would rather be building you Gnar (the new Double Black single track)
World Cup - We are getting to it this week. However, there may be more snow at the top this year versus last year. Unless we get some warm weather be prepared for the meat locker at the top. WC is good to go until Paved. We are going to keep the trail closed from paved path down until we get a bit more dry weather and can build up the berms out on the ski runs.
Snake Pit - unfortunately will be closed for the bonus weekend. Look for it come the regular opening on the 29th.
Double Dog - Oh ya Baby! This trail got a bunch of Love this spring. The very upper section will be under snow for a bit, but from the WC junction down it is ready to go and looking good!
Flow - This technical single track is begging for the traffic this Bonus Weekend. Good to go from Top to Bottom!
Shazam - As per every spring the lower half of this trail will be late to open. The artesian springs are in full effect and it is a swamp down there. The upper section is all good to go!
Pipe Dream - Top to Bottom this trail is buff and feeling good! You know where to find me! LTG - All good have fun! Some features will be closed mind you, but the trial is in great shape.
Super Star - This trail will have the biggest deep freeze in BC. If you rode it last spring you understand, if not it is a cool feeling to be flying down a trail that is buff under your tires but 3' - 5' snow banks keeping you in. The very lower section is getting some machine work this week. Some of the berms are getting enlarged, the straight breaker section is getting some rollers, and the whole trail is mint!
Rock Star - Good to go Top to Bottom. We were hoping to get the new section open for this weekend but unfortunately we are dealing with Mother Nature. Look for it soon!
Challenger - The upper section will remain under snow for the time being. Please access Challenger Via upper Paradise. Once you go under the Blue over pass watch for it about 75m on your right. This trail we start getting re-worked early July.
Pro Star / Walk the Line - We are keeping this one closed for the weekend. Sorry gang, it is on the North Aspect and is still way to wet and soft, if it sees traffic so soon it may stay closed for weeks. Please respect all closures! And we lost some of the bridge work under the heavy load of the snow. We will be re-building the Skipper and will have it ready for the 29th. FYI we are changing the Mother jump too. So please check it out your first time through. This bonus weekend will allow you to get your jump game back, so hang in there!
Hiking Trails - all clear and ready for foot traffic. The new Prospector trail that goes from the Village to bottom of Comet should be a hit!
We will see you all out for our first ever Early Season Bonus Weekend. Let's show the Mountain we are keen to ride.
See you on Trails!
Mother Nature, or should I say Old Man Winter, is not playing very nice. Silver Star received more than 30cm of fresh snow Wednesday. It was one of the biggest/heaviest snow storms this valley has ever seen in the month of June. BC Hydro can definitely confirm this because they were working for the past two days and nights trying to restore power to the Resort with 6 broken power poles and a mess of hydro lines. Thanks to their hard work not everything in our freezer thawed, however, I did have to take one for the team and eat the hole bucket of ice cream mind you (it was delicious)!
Needless to say this weather has put trail work to a bit of a standstill this week. But all the riders are lucky we have a Cracker Jack Trail Crew and they understand what it takes to get the Bike Park up and running. A few centimeters of snow are not going to stop this crew from getting our first Bonus weekend June 23rd & 24th off the ground! In the big picture a bit of fresh snow is nothing compared to the meters of snow we removed off the trails last year to get the park open on time. We will be pushing though the next couple weeks to get as much open as we can for that weekend. It is looking like we will have almost everything open that is on the west side of the mountain. As you wrap around the north side there may be the odd section of trail that will remain closed until the full opening on June 29. If you can all get out and do a sun dance Trail Crew will do our best to get ALL the trails open. Keep posted here and I will let you know exactly what will be open a few days before. Until then bring on the sun!
Don't forget that we are open late for Extended Play Wednesday AND Fridays this summer!
Update April 17,2012
Spring has Sprung! I am on the road doing the annual Bike Shop tour. If you ever wondered how your local shop got fresh posters and maps every year that is me on the road every spring while the snow melts away on the Star. And is it ever melting this year! Thank you Mother Nature for kicking Old Man Winter out of here! With any luck this nice weather will keep up and we will not have to shovel any snow, allowing us to get to the dirt work ASAP.
As for the dirt works for this coming season this is part of the list we have planned in no particular order....
Challenger is to get a Face Lift. After the locals found out how fun it is to rip this trail at full speed it has become a little Chundered. It has also been a couple years since the original build and the fertile dirt of Silver Star is starting to allow the greenery to encroach the trail. We will be putting it back to its original glory with a few upgrades. And no, this does not mean all you racers can start scrubbing Challenger!!! Leave that for the advanced trails. We will be putting in a few speed rollers in to control speed and shed water, widen it in places and an overall smoothing for the entry level rider.
With the BC Cup coming back to Silver Star July 22 we will be giving Dag’s a bunch of love! Some of the corners are going to get opened up, the rubble racked and the trannies smoothed out, all so it can get punished once again for the race. We will also be adding a high speed, big air sender to the course, for a spectator friendly finish right into the Village. Rumor has it there will be a Biggest Whip contest on the Saturday night with this finish.
Walk the Line was a huge success last summer! It quickly became one of the most talked about trails so we are going to make it even better. With the exception of 2 loose jumps on this trail you could connect everything perfectly once you figured out the trail. The plan is to pull these 2 jumps into the standard of the rest of the trail making it top of bottom smoothness.
Upper Shazam is a lot of people’s favorite section of trail on Silver Star. However, for Trail crew it is our Nemesis! We will be going in there and pulling a few of the stumps that were left behind in the original build. So watch for us to make a few tweaks to the trail to increase the flow and change it up a bit.
We have all done it, and we have heard all you jumpers complain about it, so we are re-working that Middle section of Rock Star. It’s the spot where the jumps go fall line and we need to jam the breaks so we don’t blow our suspension on landing. So pay attention your first couple of rides and check out the rework before sending it. You will need to carry your speed now, but there will be multiple jumps with your typical SSBP style berm pulling you back into the 4 pack below paved (no we will not touch the 4 pack). This will be the theme of the year. Re-work all areas of the Park and let you rip into everything!
There are a few new trails or sections of trails in the works as well. One so trail is named Gnar. I will leave that one up to your imagination.
A new hiking only trail to the bottom is going to be created this spring. It will give the hikers their own trail to the bottom of Comet (no need to share with the MTB crowd any more).
Something new off the top of the mountain is also in the works, along with many more things coming to SSBP this summer. Stay posted as we start checking off the list.
Enjoy the spring riding and get those legs ready to rip Top to Bottom runs for our first bonus weekend June 23. And remember to get your season pass early this year! Early bird is staying at ONLY $309 (on until May 31st), with the regular season rate going to $389 starting June 1.
For any of you riders out there that feel the need to give back to the bike park we still have a few Volunteer positions open for this spring.