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September 5, 2008

Squamish, The Cult of the Trail Builders

Filed under: BC 2008, MTB Travel — anotherheader @ 12:34 am

It was bound to happen and Tuesday it did. We got rained out. A steady rain all day kept us in doors, on a forced rest day. The locals laugh at us fair weather Californians who don’t want to ride when it’s wet, particularly over the roots that are so common here.

“The weathers, fine. Eh?” they say.

What really scares them is powdery, dry conditions.

The ride we left on the table today was Credit Line, in the Garibaldi Highlands area. This is one of the signature trails of one of the members of the cult of the trail builders that works in the Squamish area.

Every builder has a different style and a different following. There are those that build big air, big hit “New School” style trails. Others build in the tricky, tight, droppy old school style. Still others specialize in hairy stunt zones.

The trails the builders build often reflect the bikes they ride. Hard tail riders build smooth flowing trails. The big hit bike riders build trails that use their bike to the max. We were told that the same builder that dug Mark My Word, one of our favorite trails, also built Credit Line. We were looking forward to charging down Credit Line, but, alas, the weather would not cooperate.

There are a lot of trails in Squamish, particularly relative to the population. With new trails being “revealed” all the time, ride options abound. There are many trails that are not yet on the map. The build quality on the newer trails we rode was generally high with a clear attempt to create trails that give a mind bending ride experiences and would be long lasting. There is a history here of blown out and overused trails here that didn’t stand the test of time. It seems to be something that the cult of builders is seeking to avoid. Clearly there is competition amongst the builders to out do one another. The net effect is that there are some amazing trails and some amazing rides possible here.

We think Michael More should move here.

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