Powersmart, in Squamish’s Diamondhead area, is one of our favorites. There was little question of a return visit this year. With Dan and Shiloh joining us for their first ride in Squamish, we loaded up a shuttle vehicle and headed up the hill to the trailhead. The weather was clear, dry, and coastal cool.
This year we did something a little different. Rather than setting a shuttle retrieve vehicle near Quest University at the base of the Diamondhead trail network, we left the cars back at camp. We’d finish our ride back at the Airstream.
Our route, Powersmart→IMBA Smart→service roads→Cliff’s Corners→Don’t Tell Jude→Tracks from Hell→Mike’s Loop→Credit Line→Jack’s Trail→ Brakentrail→Highway 99, took us from Diamondhead drop off across Mashiter Creek, and into the Garibaldi Highlands. It looks like an epic on the map but, with a shuttle, it is a reasonable route. This route shows the extremes of Squamish’s trail system. Big rooty drops define gnarly at the top of Powersmart. Cliff’s Corners is a quick bermed slot car run through the open brush and under the power lines. Don’t Tell Jude and Tracks from Hell are shallow-sloped with low build-ups and the occasional alternate higher lines for more challenge. Credit Line is a Highlands classic. Under the canopy, Line climbs a small ridge and then drops over root, rock, and granite and finishes with a fast twisty quad burning run.
Every year the conditions change. Last year, Powersmart was freshly refurbished and easier. This year, wear and water have brought the gnar back. Add in slippery wet roots and slimy slick rock and Powersmart is a bear to handle at the top. Credit Line is a very popular trail and handles a high volume of race and ride traffic. Each year it seems that the Line has been further reinforced and stabilized. Nevertheless, the wear has chopped up some sections making them rougher and more challenging. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The combination of trails we rode work to make a good riding day. With the Mashiter Creek crossing in the middle, a plethora of trail combinations becomes practical. Choose one trail from Column A, one from Column B, and one from Column C and mix together. It is a recipe for a great ride.
You can find the extra credit pictures on Picasa.