Trails Update: May 30, 2019

Trails Update: May 30, 2019

HIHI is back on!
We’re happy to report that HiHi has been resurrected! Slightly farther up the slope, and trending mostly down, the new line was crafted rather quickly. Another trail night, sponsored by Arc’teryx Whistler “got ’er done”. 33 Volunteers were fed Functional pie and Coast mountain brewed refreshments for their heavy lifting! The trail crew also took the opportunity to re-think the exit of the High Side trail…

Rob’s the man!
Rob likes big rocks and he can not lie (down)… until the trail is done. What did you do the last time you had a week off? Our good friend Rob spent the whole week volunteering with the trail crew again! Plenty of large rocks were re-arranged on the High Side re-route!

On with the Rebellion!
If you’re only looking to dig a little (not an entire week…) you can join us for any Tuesday evening until July 2nd: We’re breaking ground on the Chipmunk Rebellion and devoting the next 5 trail nights to this new trail! Meet us at the start of Lower Sproatt  (yellow gate) at 5:30. Hiking up to the new trail worksite takes roughly 30 minutes… or you could ride your bike!

Tree hugger
On Monday, social media reminded me that we had broken ground on the Lord of the Squirrels trail exactly 5 years ago. It seemed appropriate for the trail crew to get up there for dead fall clearing and touch-ups. In the spring, I do worry about losing the windstorm lottery: trees landing on bridges.

Expecting mayhem after a rather windy winter, I lugged the “big saw” up. There were more and more trees down as we made our way towards the old growth forest (1100m). I cringed approaching the big bridge where I met the trail’s namesake squirrel: as feared, a tree rested on it! The top half of a large schoolmarm cedar had split off. I suppose this was the best case scenario since cedars are “fluffy” and way lighter than Douglas Fir or Hemlock which dominate the area.

Turns out the bridge was fine! What a relief!

This moment made me nostalgic for the time I spent exploring this amazing ridge 5 years earlier. I “know” most of the trees in the area since it was rather difficult to navigate a trail through there without cutting any of these majestic plants down. I particularly wanted to showcase “the big one”: The largest tree along the Squirrels route. Sadly, no one ever notices it since they’re zooming by, focusing on the trail!

I continued up after clearing the bridge and too soon felt my heart sink yet again. I dropped the saw and my eyes welled up realizing that the tree I’d grown so attached to, layed on the ground. I wondered if we had somehow played a role in this tragedy? We had taken great care to armour  this particular tree’s roots since the trail pretty much circled right around it.

I guess it was time to let more sunlight in to feed the next generation of giants. The centuries old behemoth somehow looks even larger in its final resting place. We’ll be re-routing the trail before the snow melts on access to LESS (Mystic is currently closed at 1100m)…

 

Make sure you check out current trail status and conditions before venturing up to higher elevation trails here

Keep those trailforks reports coming!

See you on the trails!

Dan Raymond

WORCA Lead Trail Builder