Lord of the Squirrels

Lord of the Squirrels (previously known as the Sproatt Alpine Multi-Use Trail)

WORCA’s trail crew broke ground in 2014 beginning the construction of an alpine trail which would descend from near the summit of Sproatt Mountain to the Flank Trail. Trail work continued in 2015 and was completed at the end of the summer 2016. The trail officially opened in 2017, it was named Lord of the Squirrels and is ready to ride! View the trail map, trail conditions on Trail Forks. WORCA strongly recommends reading the Rider Information Sheet found lower down this page before riding the trail.

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The history behind the Sproatt Alpine Multi-Use Trail/Lord of the Squirrels

The Alpine Trail Program was established by the RMOW in response to feedback from the community about a strong desire for more access and trail development in alpine areas around the Whistler Valley. The RMOW formed The Planning Working Group (TPWG) recognizing that while access to the alpine may come from within the RMOW, an increase of trails in the alpine would necessarily require that funds be directed to areas outside of the municipal boundary. The TPWG focused on the Rainbow Sproatt zone as the first area of interest and over the course of almost two years and developed a plan for an exciting network of non-motorized trails that would integrate with the existing trails and uses in this area. As part of the planning process, some areas within the Rainbow-Sproatt zone were designated as hiking-only trails with the main multi-use (hiking and mountain biking) area focused in a new alpine trail network around the summit of Sproatt and Gin peak.

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Access to this area would come from a new machine-built ascent trail starting off the Flank trail south of Function called Into the Mystic which would be constructed by the RMOW. As partners in this project, WORCA committed to the construction of the preferred descent trail from the alpine area near the summit of Sproatt (1650m) to the Flank trail (700m). This trail was constructed by hand by paid WORCA trail builders and volunteers in the summer of 2014, 2015 and 2016. The trail will be designed as multi-use for hikers wanting a more direct ascent into the alpine and the preferred mountain biking descent from the proposed alpine trail network between Sproatt and Gin. The total descent would be an epic 1,000 metres of vertical constructed as an intermediate “Blue” level of difficulty. We are very, very excited and proud of this project that has resulted from a successful comprehensive planning project led by the RMOW.

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How the Trail got its name - Lord of the Squirrels

Lead Trail Builder Dan Raymond tells the story of how the trail got its name:

A trail name can be serendipitous. It mostly comes along unexpected while constructing it. My first idea came before we broke ground: “First Rule of BIKE Club!” In light of the main reason for the creation of WORCA: access to trails. And funny: This trail is no secret, you’re supposed to talk about BIKE club.

Things evolved as the trail progressed up and we reached the pristine old growth forest. The fast, twisty style of the trail is a lot like 2 squirrels chasing each other. “Squirrel Chase!” But, that as a name, was missing some “je ne sais quoi”. I love a name with double-entendre or a pun.

“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy was always at the back of my mind: for the epic three year build, filled with countless challenges, monsters and heart stopping plot twists! Spoiler alert: the monsters were mosquitoes!

Then I met the “Alpha Squirrel”… While building a bridge next to a giant cedar, he would come to within a few feet of my running chainsaw to “bark” at me. At first, I found him to be cute and funny. After a few days, I was awed at his resolve: The trail would be named after him!

“Lord of the Squirrels!”

We became best friends.

Dan Raymond, WORCA Trail Builder

Lord of the Squirrels Infographic

Lord of the Squirrels Official Grand Opening - Press Release, 29 August 2017

Whistler, BC – Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) is a non-profit mountain bike club with a ten-member board of directors that represents and serves a community of more than 1,800 members. By working with government, landowners and developers, WORCA continues to ensure mountain bike trail access while providing a wide range of other services to the mountain bike community.

WORCA is extremely happy to have completed the new alpine descent trail, Lord of the Squirrels, after 4 years of planning and 3 years of construction.

The idea of an Alpine trail network came about at the Trail Planning Working Group, hosted by the RMOW. The local recreation Officer for the Squamish Lil’wat Regional District recognized the need for a trail management plan for the Whistler area which was experiencing increased usage. Over the past 7 years there has been significant input from many stakeholders to make the Sproatt alpine trail network a reality. WORCA appreciates all the stakeholders and their participation in the process of bringing about the new trail.

One of the goals of WORCA, since it was founded 28 years ago, was to access the alpine on bikes. When this opportunity came up, there was strong support for the project amongst the members of WORCA. We have been part of creating the first public access recreational trail and trail management plan to the Alpine in the Whistler Valley that is open to biking.

The project cost a total of $202,000 plus approximately $8,000 worth of valuable volunteer hours. A great big thank you goes out to all the WORCA members, past and present, as much of the funding was raised through membership fees. We would also like to thank the American Friends of Whistler who added $25,000 in support over the years to achieve our goal. A further $48,000 was received from the National Trails Coalition, which is a Federal Trails Grant received during the first year of the project. Another big thank you goes to the RMOW for their annual contribution of $20,000 to the Lord of the Squirrels project during the 3 years of construction. To recognize the funding sources there has been signage created on the trail to display their logos. WORCA is happy to continue to work in partnership with the local municipal trail crew to maintain our local trail network and welcome recreational users to the Valley.

We invite you to ride your bike or hike the trails and enjoy the beautiful environment that we are lucky to have around us. We ask that all users respect the work that goes into the trail network: respect the environment, stay on the trails, and obey the local trail etiquette.

Jerome David, VP WORCA
PO Box 308, Whistler, BC  V0N 1B0

Into the Mystic/Lord of the Squirrels – Rider Information Sheet

The Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA) and the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) are excited to welcome locals and visitors alike to enjoy our new non-motorized alpine mountain biking and hiking trail network on Mount Sproatt. This new trail system represents 5 years of planning and building work, with more planned for the future. This information sheet is meant to help answer questions and prepare riders for what to expect to safely complete this epic backcountry ride.

Download the Rider Information sheet here

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS RIDE!

Video about WORCA's Sproatt Alpine Multi-Use Trail

WORCA member, Petr Basel completed this great video for the BC Hydro Championship Program, thank you Petr.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuILzU1vcSQ&feature=youtu.be

THANK YOU!

WORCA would like to thank the organisations and trail day sponsors who have provided funding to support trail work and all the individuals who have donated their time at trail days.

Trail Volunteer Weekend July 23-24, 2016

2016 Trail Weekend Sponsors All

LOTS Grand Opening Ride & Party Sept 2, 2017

Thanks to: Hammer Coffee, Zog’s, Whistler Brewing Co., North Shore Bike Shop, Andrea Moore, and Norco Bicycles/Live to Play Sports for their generous donation of $2,000 in bike parts for prizing at the LOTS launch party.

American Friends of Whistler awards WORCA $20,000

AFOWWe are pleased to announce that the American Friends of Whistler (AFOW) have donated to WORCA $20,000 to be used towards the Sproatt Alpine Trail project. WORCA is responsible for the construction of the “Alpine Dream Trail”, an 8 km multi-use trail that provides the preferred decent for mountain bikers between the alpine area near the summit of Sproatt and the Flank Trail. We thank the AFOW for their support and financial contribution towards this recreational trail network development.

National Trails Coalition awards WORCA $48,000

NTCThanks to the efforts put forth by key WORCA member volunteers, we are happy to announce that our application to the National Trails Coalition has been approved for a contribution of $48,000. The funding administered under the National Trails Infrastructure Program, is to be used towards the completion of the Sproatt Alpine Trail project.

Resort Municipality of Whistler

rmow-logoThe Resort Municipality of Whistler supports WORCA’s community programs and trail work with past Community Enrichment Program grants and fee for service contracts.

Blackcomb Helicopters

BlackcombHelicoptersBlackcomb Helicopters have kindly provided discounted transportation of materials to the trail site.  This assistance is much appreciated and provides the trails team with the supplies they require to focus on trail building.

Sabre Rentals

sabre_logoSabre Rentals have generously donated tools and provided discounted equipment for the Trials team and volunteers making the volunteer weekends possible as well ensuring that the Trails Team can remain onsite for days at a time not have to shuttle tools back and forth to the valley.

Rotary Club of Whistler

RotaryThe Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium donated $1,220 to WORCA’s new Alpine Sproatt Trail, Lord of the Squirrels from Brandywine Boogie registrations.