August 11, 2011
We got er done!!! With the help of Dustin Greenall, Matt Winn, Winn Rentals and a handful of volunteers the jumps at Silver Star are looking banger for our big event this weekend! Trail crew and Ian Galbraith put in some 12.5 hour days this week to pull it off but as you can see from the photos (go to Silver Stars Face Book Page) the jumps are large, trickable and fun (for the experienced rider). So get your butts up here this weekend to ride or watch these guys style it out for you.
The plan is for a DH race down Dag's Saturday morning and the Jump Jam in the afternoon, air bag and Norco demo going on all day and Ryan Leech Trials Shows and live band in the Saloon after it is all over. It will be a packed Saturday and all the entrance fee money is going back to the winners. Sunday will be a big riding day with more Camp of Champions Airbag fun, Ryan Leech trials show at noon and the trails are going to be in great shape! It's going to be a crazy weekend of fun on two wheels and in the meantime Trail Crew is heading back into Pro Star to get it done before then end of the season!
Cam Sorensen Bike Park Director
August 1, 2011
It is true, Goat Style has been cancelled. This is very unfortunate for Silver Star, we were all looking forward to having an event of this caliber on the mountain this year. There are members of Silver Star that have been working with the organizers since October to pull this thing together and to see them fold up shop this close to the date is heart breaking.
With that being said the trail crew does not want to see all the planning go to waste! We are talking with a couple of the builders from the Goat Style Crew and pulling them into the mix to bring you a great weekend. This will no longer be a FMB Silver category event but we are going to build up a course and get our jump on! The window is quickly closing but we are picking up where they left off and going to keep building right up until the first start time. The plan is to get the event off the ground and keep it with the same open format that Goat Style was famous for. With a couple of their builders, Doug Sharpe one of the AIRprentice finalists and the crack shot SSM trail crew it will be a fun course. May not be as crazy as what Goat Style had intended but everything will be trickable and fun. I will keep you posted this week as the build comes together and get a few photos up so you can see the course as it goes up. See you all Aug 13-14. I am looking forward to trying out that air bag and all the other stuff Ian has planned!
Bike Park Director
July 29, 2011
Here is an update for the changes to Ant Hill and the storm. There is something to be said about riding your home trails and my home trails rock! I had the privilege of riding Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, home of Crankworx Colorado this week. Now don’t get me wrong it is a great bike park and if ever in the area it is worth the visit. At Silver Star we have really pushed this whole progressive bike park philosophy and visiting one of the other big players in the world of bike parks I can honestly say we have accomplished this! We have a trail for everyone and the progression on our trails allows everyone to learn at their own level. Silver Star is also blessed with amazing dirt. Other builders always comment on this fact and trail crew never takes this for granted but after seeing what Colorado has to work with it made me appreciate our soil that much more. But what we noticed most were the trails themselves; at first I was thinking their jump trails just did not flow. On the contrary, they are great but I didn’t know the trails well enough. It took a few laps to really learn the lines, the size and a feel of each jump. I always preach this to new comers in the park learn the trail before hucking yourself over every feature. This is what we had to do and it took some time to roll the trail, figure out the speed and braking needed before really letting it run.
This leads me into the changes we have done recently to Pipe Dream. For the people that took the time to learn Pipe Dream and know the trail I hope you like the changes to the Ant Hill stepup. We have now embraced the whole scrub movement. The jump is no longer a trick sender but a 35 foot long rolling scrub jump. I left when the finishing touches were being done so I have not sent it myself (see lower down for the rain side of the update) but judging how it was coming along the boys should have it done by the time you read this. You should still check your speed and learn the jump but for those people that have reckless abandon it should be a little more predictable.
Last week we witnessed one of the biggest summer storms ever to hit the Silver Star Bike Park. We had over 36mm of rain in twenty minutes. Now for you West Coasters that may not seem like much but in July we are happy to see 10mm a week and we got triple that in a very short period of time. Along with it came some very strong winds. Saturday night I called the crew to ask if any of them would be able to come in for a few hours on their day off to help with damage control. What we thought would be a couple hours turned into a 12hour day of bucking and shoveling. The water did leave some major rain runnels down some trail, but overall the water damage was not as bad as we had anticipated. What the water did do was drop large amounts of sediment in a bunch of the berms. Leaving some of super-sized Silver Star berms buried, filling them right to the top with run off sand and silt. As for the wind it took down a butt load of trees. We had four chain saws going until late in the afternoon getting the entire trail network open. It was a big day but with the help of a dedicated few we had the lifts turning on time and the park in full operation by the end of the day. Thanks to Mike, Doug and the whole Patrol team for your huge effort!
Bike Park Director
July 22, 2011
Pro Star is fast becoming one of Silver Star Bike Park's premiere Trails. What started out as a three hit wonder in 2010 is now one of the most talked about jump trail in any bike park.
Pro Star History
Originally the line was designed to be a standalone set of jumps that we could use for events, photos shoots and special events. To get these riders off Pro Star they merged with Challenger, one of our other beginner progressive trails that give the green rider the chance to advance their skills with braids of blue intermixed on the trail. This forced two different levels of riders together for a short section of trail, something we don’t like to do. After seeing the amount of traffic Pro Star was generating we knew we had to be proactive to keep the high speed black trail rider away from the green rider. As a result, we extended Pro Star with a “Mother” of a step-up into a very fun transfer line, followed by a “Catcher Mitt” of a berm and finishing with a small but long step down. This made the high end riding community very happy and the green riders safe from getting run over.
We thought this would be the finish to Pro Star but people wanted more! We want to keep pushing forward and advancing the progression of the biking at Silver Star. After the praise and kudos we received from the first two phases of Pro Star the crew was very excited to see if we could keep with the same flavour and energy for the next part of Pro Star. The first two parts of this trail have great terrain, and to be honest a trail builder is only as good as his canvas. With natural step-ups and gullies for take offs it was easy to see the line, not easy to build, but the line was there. It took two days this fall walking in the rain to see if we could find an area that would keep with that same flow the upper section is famous for. As it turns out we found it. “It won’t have as much of the gravity feed of the upper section but if you every played the old Atari game Excite Bike you are going”to feel like you are on level 10 jacked on Red Bull.
Pro Star Future
We started building the third section of Pro Star this week after fine tuning the line a bit. The machine has been duffing the line in between rain storms. The rain has definitely posed some challenges for building this year but it has kept the overall condi- tion of the park in amazing shape! People might be complaining that they aren’t their beach time and the answer is to come up to the Star and ride your bike! It may not be good sun tanning weather but it is great mountain bike weather!
While the duffing is going on we started building the role in off Paradise trail. As with most bike parks we try and put features at the start of our black trails that represent the difficulty level of the trail. The whole premise behind this “gate keeper” is to make sure that if the rider is confident and skilled enough to pass the first feature than they are skilled enough to ride the rest of the trail. This is Silver Stars phi- losophy; we are a progressive bike park and we’ve built a trail system that allows riders to learn and push their riding, to always have fun and do so in a safe manner.
As soon as all the prep is done you will see the trail start to transform from a low grade windy trail to a jumpers paradise. We will keep you all posted on the progression of the build of Pro Star.
Matt Butterworth will be keeping a photo log as we go, so you will be able to see what is coming and dream for the day we have it finished. The upper section is running great so get your jump game on and be ready for Phase III of Pro Star later this summer! (Press Release Photo Credits: Matt Butterworth)
July 8, 2011
I am a little behind on the bike park updates this season. I must apologize for this but it is with good reason. Trail crew has had one of the most challenging openings to date. The heavy snow and cool temps forced some serious over time to get the park up and running. With the snowy opening day behind us and the change in weather we are good to go! Lucky for us the Okanagan can go from a snowy wonderland to a tacky bike park in a matter of a few days and that is exactly what happened. For those locals that rode opening week they watched the park transform quickly. By July Long weekend the park was in great shape and now it is amazing!
The whole park is open, with the exception of one little corner of upper Double Dog. The re-build that we do every year on Double Dog has been pushed into the trees to create more fall line with the existing trail. It is no longer the open berm fest of the past but more in line with the style of the existing trail. I have not had the pleasure of riding this new section but working on it I am sure it will feel like good old Double Dog. Jason Martin also did a little re-route lower down on that pesky tight right hand corner that interrupted the flow. Thanks Jay!
Here are a few trail updates of what we have been working on the past couple of weeks on specific trails.
Pro Star: For those of you that like to fly the 3rd jump on Pro Star we have now finished its face lift. The jump is now 1.5m further back so you don’t need to speed check quite as hard as you did last year, but remember it is still one of the largest jumps in the park so give it the respect it deserves. The big news though is that we have broken ground on the next phase of Pro Star!!. The whole crew is very excited about the line chosen for this great jump trail and is very happy to be extending what we started last summer.
Rock Star: We had to push up the run in berm a little higher for the T bar gap that has been reworked this summer. The flat corner was proving a little challenging for most to carry the speed needed to hit tranny. Just a heads up to you fast riders, it is easy to put it in the sweet spot now so don’t pedal in full blast. All the wet spots have pretty much dried up this week which is great. We chased the last of them down this morning so the whole trail will be rippable for the weekend!
Shazam: We have opened lower Shazam as well this week! There are the usual suspects in the form of wet zones but it needed very little winter clean up. We did have to rebuild the Rubicon Bridge this week to get it open though. It was originally built for horses almost 15 years ago so we added a little more mountain bike flare to it. Straight flat bridges are so boring.
World Cup: The new lower World Cup step ups under that chair are running great. The mud fest just above will be dealt with as soon as the water stops running through the tree island above it hopefully soon. Unfortunately there is little that can be done until that time. But in the words of a great trail builder every good DH track should have a fast section, a rocky section, a pedally section, a jump section and a muddy section, so World Cup has it all!
I have to thank NSMB for coming back again this year with AIRprentice. It seems every time they show up the trails are in excellent condition. This year is no exception. The mud is all dried up, the dusty areas got knocked down by a little rain this evening and the forecast is for a sunny weekend. Let’s show them our appreciation and cheer on all the participants in this year’s event. Go Brad and Doug!
Bike Park Director
June 23, 2011
The countdown is almost over! It has been a challenging spring with the cool wet weather but thanks to the hot shot trail crew, help from all the patrollers and a team of dedicated volunteers. Silver Star is going to open the gates for the 2011 mountain bike season at 10am Friday morning.
For those of you that have been to Silver Star for opening weekend you know how buff the trails are this time of year. The trails we have open will be to the standard you have come to expect from one of the premier Bike Parks.
However, we will not have everything open due to the large amounts of snow we received this winter and spring.
I ask that you respect the closers over the next week or two for a couple reasons. First off, the trails probably still have snow on them. They may look clear from where you are standing but 100m down we may still be digging. Two, they may have large sink holes that have not dried out yet because we have only had a handful of dry days. They may also have logs or other debris around a blind corner we have not had time to walk down yet. So here is the open closed list for the weekend.
Blast off – good to go and in prime shape!
Easy St. – all good!
Comet Trail – open but use caution for early season soft spot and water bars.
Paradise – clear of snow from the top to the bottom. Please use caution as there will be soft loose areas of trail.
Down Town – open from the very top. There is a new reroute mid trail and a new bridge crossing over the catchment.
Dag’s DH – you will have to skip the first 100m of the trail due to snow. Access Dag’s off of Down Town / Paradise. The Drop onto the ski run (Milky Way) has been changed so heads up and there may be snowy section on the top half of the trail.
Double Dog – upper half of this trail will be closed until further notice, tons of snow. The good news is that the bottom half from Paradise (TELUS Park) down is in Mike Hainault’s words “the best shape it has been in since the grand opening in 2005”!
Challenger – top to bottom closed due to snow. This trail is mostly north facing and didn’t get much melt yet. Green Riders please use Paradise.
World Cup – is the most broken up of the bunch. Open from the top to Hub 1, closed until the first step up, access off of Dag’s, from there to Cross Mountain (paved) is good to go. From paved path down it is closed due to an overly wet section. We have most of the lower trail buffed. We are just having a little trouble getting across the ski run to the step up under the chair, which you will see at tower 7; it has been completely rebuilt this year. There is a new berm to berm section on WC cup. We had to get over the catchment just above the wall rides so we made a few changes. Be ready for a roller coaster ride. It will be slow at first but once it hardens up it should prove fun and challenging to the high end rider. This trail will be the main access to Hub 1 for all riders off the top for the first week. Please have respect for all riders on this trail until the gate keeper is back in place!
Rock Star – the ever popular jump trail is good to go! There have been a few water issues on parts of the trail so roll through the first time to learn the soft spots and watch for a change to the T-Bar jump. No more carpet!
Super Star – very upper section is still under snow. It has been dug out but the 7 foot snow banks have to recede back a bit more before we can open it. You can access Super Star via World Cup at Hub 1. The overall condition of the trail is amazing! It’s a good thing we had machines on it three weeks ago removing all the snow!
LTG – the upper section is closed until further notice. You may access the lower section from paved (Cross Mountain) down.
Pipe Dream – I will start by saying the lower half of the trail is in prime shape. Unfortunately the upper portion will remain closed for the weekend. We have been working and digging it out this week but there are not enough hours in the day. We will be tackling the rest of the trail next week.
Shazam – the upper portion will be open to Paradise. The lower half form Cross Mountain (paved) down will be closed due to overly muddy sections. This is only one of two trails closed from Paved down.
Flow –is open from Paradise to the bottom. Watch for the top half to open soon. The old log ride at the bottom finally bit the bullet. We had to cut it out at the drop. So you can still fly off the end but you will have to work on your skinny game somewhere else.
Snake Pit – this trail shares the same unfortunate conditions as the middle section of World Cup and Flow. They should all open around the same time next week for the July long weekend.
Pro Star – bad news for all you huckers, Pro Star will not make the opening weekend. We should have it up and running early next week. We are tweaking the third jump on the trail before we open it this year. Keep your eyes one this one because it should be early next week.
Hiking Trails – They are all open with the odd snow section you may have to walk over, mainly at the top.
That is it for now. We will have a list in tickets and at the bottom of the lift as things start opening up. It will be changing day to day with this hot weather. So stay tuned, the whole park will be up and running before your hands cramp up! Thanks for your understanding.
Cam Sorensen Bike Park Director
June 3, 2011
I feel Whistlers Pain! I was watching the Trail Crew in Whistler digging out their trails a month ago hoping, praying that mother nature would warm up her cold heart and melt the snow on Silver Star. Turns out she is still a little upset about the way we have been treating her and climate change is real!
For the past week the Silver Star Trail Crew has had three mini excavators going none stop, to the point that we have a rotating schedule so these machines almost don’t turn off! We are dedicated to that June 24th opening and this means we are digging and moving snow and lots of it. On the upper trails there are spots in the trees that are still holding 6+ feet. It is not unusual for us to have snow on the upper sections of the mountain at this time of year but we are 50 - 60% above the normal levels.
However, the silver lining is that the nice thing about the Okanagan is when it warms up it gets hot! And if the weather man is right the heat wave is coming this weekend so keep your braking fingers crossed. With any luck all the lower section will clear of snow and we will get too buffing them with the rest of the crew who are waiting to be put into action.
The plan is to keep those excavators going on the upper half of the mountain to clear as much as possible. We are focusing on Super Star and Rock Star from Hub 1 down to completely clear the snow from those two trails with the machines. The rest of the crew will be working from the bottom up to snow line. If all goes as planned we will have most if not all the trails open from paved path down for opening. Because of the way Down Town and Dag's DH face the sun the most they will probably be open from the top and we hope to have most of Rock Star and Super Star cleared to the bottom.
This is the plan as of today. I will keep you all posted if things warm up drastically and we get more open! Think warm thoughts for us.
Bike Park director
March 24, 2011
Hey it's Cam here, awake from hibernation after a long winter's nap. Man, I'm hungry! Anyway before I go foraging through the woods looking for something to eat, here's your first update of the 2011 season.
We are less than 92 days until Silver Star Bike Park opens!
There was a good turnout for the 100-day kick off in the Saloon last week and it was great to see the mountain bike community come out and support the returning of summer. Of course, the $8 burger and beer helped, plus all the great prizes from Sky Ride, Olympia, and Sun Country Cycle!
For those that could not make it, this update is for you and the people that could not follow my ramblings in the Saloon.
With the success of Pro Star for NSMB Air Apprentice, we decided mid-summer to extended the upper section of our newest run down to Paradise. The word on the street, this is not enough!
All the higher-end riders seemed to find their groove on the jumps last summer and are begging for more! Well, look for Pro Star to continue down to Cross Mtn (AKA paved path) this summer.
You will need a little patience though as it is on the wrong side of the mountain. With the great snow this winter the crew will not be starting the extension until after the rest of the park is up and running.
Rock Star will continue to have sections re-vamped. Sections we will be focusing on will be the T-bar jump closer to the top and the series of jumps above Cross Mountain. The plan with T-bar is to try and keep the jump much the same, but re-orientate it in such a way to no longer need carpet in the run out. You will check your speed across the fall line before returning to the main trail. As for the other areas watch for new sections of trail with more consistent jumps and better flow.
The water catchment ditch we were chasing last year is all done! The last area it went through was just above BFW (the wall ride on World Cup. Trail Crew has a few ideas to freshen up that carpet ride, so look forward to those changes for opening day.
Double Dog will get its yearly rebuild in the middle section. Any input can be posted on our facebook page. Just remember this is something that will be plowwed over and re-built every spring.
There is a new hiking trail in the works to get foot traffic off the mountain bike trails heading from the village to the 6-Pack. Hikers will have a much nicer stroll to the lift and the bikers won't have to slalom through families any more.
These are only a few of the things planned for the summer. You are going to have to come up and see what other surprises Trail Crew has up their sleeves. I will update the website as things happen as well. So get our there and enjoy the last week of winter because soon we will be dusting off our XC bikes.
Bike Park director
Check out http://www.skisilverstar.com/home_showSection_ID_505.html for more updates from Cam!
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