Sunday, April 10, 2016

Oh, what fun it is to build!

There is just something completely awesome about getting new trail on the ground.

The IMBA/Subaru Trail Care Crew blew through town this week. Their goal was to host a couple of days of classroom learning and a few hours of on-the-hill training, getting a great group of volunteers up to speed on how to get new trail on the ground. It's a pretty big deal, as IMBA has only one (count 'em) trail care crew in the country. As it turns out, the local BLM office has a new rec guy who's a bit of a fireball, and one of the first things he did when he clocked in for work was start lobbying to get these guys here. It was a real coup.

Fortunately for all concerned, there was (and is) a shovel-ready project available to use as a trail building classroom - the new bike trail system being built at SnoBowl! So, lucky us, some real trail experts used our local hill as a classroom to teach the nuts and bolts of getting new trail on the ground.

Pinch me, is this for real??  :D

About twenty folks joined Jordan Carr and Lani Bruntz from IMBA after the classroom sessions, and built several hundred feet of very fun new trail over the course of a few hours. Best of all, after the build, the IMBA team walked up the route of the under-construction beginner MTB trail to give us ideas on what we can do to make it a better riding experience for newer riders. Most of the volunteers expressed interest in weekly build days to get a top-to-bottom trail completed before summer, so that we can run the lift for lift-served riding once school's out. 

To call this a banner day for SnoBowl would be a profound understatement.

Here are a few pics of the build:
The pre-talk.  Several of the folks on the crew had not used trail tools before, and the IMBA folks gave an overview of safe tool handling.

A determined bunch

Lani and Jordan demonstrating the work sequence that ends with finished trail.

Putting that instruction to good use

Some very cool progress happening here!

The finished product - a phenomenal upgrade from the previous route

Here's a big, healthy THANK YOU to Mike Setlock from the BLM for bringing the IMBA team in, to Subaru for footing the bill for such a great program, to the City of Elko for the volunteer lunch, Great Basin College for the classroom space, to Jordan and Lani from IMBA for being such enthusiastic and skilled trail evangelists, and most of all to the volunteers who showed up to learn how this all works. It's so incredibly cool to see what we can all accomplish working together!