This is where you will find the latest info and dirt on the trails at SilverStar written by the man who knows, the man with the plan - Cam Sorensen.
Starting to connect, flow and open
Park Up Date Sept 2, 2016
The moisture is back in the dirt and it is a welcome sight! The season we have been having up to this point has been exceptional with the early rain. But it was inevitable that the Okanagan heat was going to show and the park would start to get blown out and dusty. Every year we tweak things here and there, so there are less and less holes and brake bumps. So when they do show they are easier to fix.
That is what we have been up to this week. With the rain comes smooth trail. Just the rain alone is like having a 25-man trail crew buffing the park. Add to that the real team hitting all the bigger holes it is going to make for a stellar long week end and a couple bonus weekends to follow, Sept 10th & 11th and the final one on Sept 17th & 18th.
We walked Pipe Dream top to bottom this morning, along with Lower Jedi Mind Trick. We got the machine into the connector trail at the bottom and back bladed that out (that is a welcome sight)! A bunch of holes got filled off the top, World Cup, Shazam and Super Star just to name a few. The “re-capturing” of lower Challenger is almost complete, this beauty is running almost like a new trail, with all the bridges being pulled, better drainage, sight lines improved, a couple small re-routes and a few rollers added. We got the mini hoe into that Step Up (IPA) on Lower Rock Stat too. It is more of a table now with a small step. Fingers crossed it works this time and allows you to carry your speed. All in all a bunch of good work most riders should notice this week. Enjoy and we will see you on the trails.
Bike Park Update August 14, 2016
The weather has kept with the same theme this summer, cool and wet. We have had our share of hot days, but the perfect mix of the consistent rain storms at the end of the days to douse the park with the beloved moisture is always welcome. There are so many berms in the park right now that are rolling like concrete. This mix of Okanagan heat with the regular rain has packed them into more of a skate park feel than a dry Bike Park. It is making for some fast riding this summer, with hero dirt and the ability to train your buddies without the dust in your goggles.
BC Cup, New Course and the Whip off
We had a very successful BC Cup race last weekend. The new course was well received by most riders and the times were pretty consistent with the old course. This means it was running faster for sure as we added some length to the track but the winning time was within a second of last year’s tight rough course.
The biggest comment we heard is it was a tough course to race but was super fun. In my world I think this is a perfect mix. A challenge but fun, perfect. Chainsaw Mullet, was ever changing throughout the weekend, as the ruts formed to allow you to hold your line and the roots and rocks started to show. But once again with the moisture this summer the track did not totally blow out. Notwithstanding it did have its spots with moon dust. This new addition to the Silver Star Bike Park is now open to public to enjoy.
The Whip Off jump near the bottom of the course was the best it has ever been. With the double take off, allowing the scrubs to happen at full speed or to hit the lip and get your bike right side ways, the riders loved the long landing to play with. Thanks to Jason Martin one of Silver Star’s head builders for building up this monster. Take advantage of this jump, as being in the middle of the ski run we have to pull it down every fall.
Lower Rock Star
Most of the plywood has been pulled off the new build on Rock Star. The jumps are up to trail speed and the trail is working. In fact one of the trails I did not ride a much over that past few years is quickly become one of my favorites again! Yes for some of you intermediate jumpers the jumps are much bigger in there and you may not make the landing as easily as you did in the past but the crew did accomplish what we were after, to allow you to take full trail speed into the jumps without having to learn which jumps you had to brake check on, which was most of them. Remember to Pre Ride the changes before you send it down this Fresh build, or any new trail for that matter as thing do change.
We have tweaked the one step-up near the bottom, nick named IPA, but we are still finding it is a little reachy. It is working better and if you give it a little extra pop into the pocket the next couple jumps run better. Watch for the Change in Trail Signage in that area. Because if we are in the area with a machine we may give it one more makeover. Not sure if we will have time this summer but it is on the books.
Lower Walk the Line
It is working! Yes you may need to grab a couple pedals between the odd feature, but you DO NOT need to crank like a mad man to make some of the biggest jumps in the park any more. The trail tread is hard, the line has been straightened and the odd jump changed to allow you to carry the speed needed. This flow trail is not for the faint of heart, the jumps are large and committing and you need to link them together to get the true feel of the trails. So if you are an expert rider enjoy the changes. If you are not comfortable flying through the air, get yourself honed up on Jedi Mind Trick, Rock Star or Pipe Dream.
The Bridges are in!
I know many of you XC riders have been chomping at the bit for this one.
The nice thing is instead of only getting a few hundred meters of trails to explore we have it opened all the way out to the Aunt Gladys look out. This is almost 5km of trail to ride one way. So if you have been enjoying the start of Beowulf as an out back, this is the end of the trail you can do the same with.
As this trail comes on line we are finding this is going to be the best experience for riders. The start and finish can be linked as out and backs, but once the full trail comes on line next summer and you want to ride the full loop, over 35km, you will want to ride it clock wise.
For now you have over 11km of this epic to ride and you’ll have to wait for the cherry on top next summer. With that being said I am going to go ride some fresh trail.
BC Cup Course update
July 15, 2016
We have been racing the Dag’s DH course for a number of years. It is still one of the favourite race courses out there but it is time for a little change. We are adding a brand new upper section to the race course for this year’s BC Cup. You will "T" into the exciting Dag’s track past the halfway point and from there down we are opening some of the corners and updating the beloved Dag’s. So overall it will feel like a faster track.
The all new upper section will be loamy for the first year as we burn it down into the rock slabs of the upper mountain. We are also keeping it wide open and fast, the new age style of DH racing. We will be posting Video and Photos over the next couple weeks as we put in the finishing touches.
See you August 6th & 7th for this year’s race!
Click HERE to find out more about the SilverStar BC Cup race and to register online.
The Moisture Continues
Bike Park Update July 13, 2016
After following one of the hottest Aprils on record, I think we are heading into a below average June and July. The cooler temps and high rainfall is great for the Bike Park mind you! The SilverStar Bike Park can handle the rain for the most part. Once our trails are hard and running well, with the proper drainage in place -- we love the rain. It keeps the dust away and the bomb holes at bay. It also allows the trail crew to focus on other things, like building fresh trail and re-working sections that need a little re-tooling. There will always be a bit of buffing we need to do to keep our park running tip top but this rain helps. And truth be told, smashing park laps in cooler temps is way nicer than the blistering sun. So if you are missing your beach time, get up here and enjoy some Bike Park runs. It is a great option.
On the list of re-works you will find we lengthened one of the shorter tables on upper Jedi. If you know the one I'm talking about, you will appreciate the change. If you don’t know the jump I refer to, you won’t even know we did anything. While we were in upper Jedi we filled a few holes, re-faced a couple of lips and even pulled a few toothy rocks that are known to cause flats.
We also re-worked the berms on World Cup before the wall rides. Parts of them just got resurfaced and others were opened up so they roll smoother and faster. We also dealt with the “lagoon” that holds water when you dive back into the trees. You know the one, that puddle that soaks your shoe on your lunch run, 5 days after a rain. Gone!
Shazam had a snipper step up on the upper section. The pocket was so small a large bike barely fit in it. We pulled in the dirt, lengthened the landing and smoothed out the knuckle. Again one of those things you may or may not notice. But if you do notice it, you will appreciate the change.
The Crew has been working tirelessly on Beowulf this summer as well. I know I promised a sneak peek of the back end of this trail in spring. The trail is buffed and ready to ride for kilometers, we are just waiting on approval to build a few bridges to open it up. Once those come in, it will only take a couple days to put the bridges in place, and you will have fresh XC trail to explore. Thank you for your patience on this!
The new re-build on Rock Star is starting to run faster. It has taken some time to get it hard with all the rain but we are close and will start pulling plywood as the dirt dries out. We are finding a few of the jumps may need to be tweaked a little. We know they are not perfect and have full intention to do something about it. We just want the trail to get up to full running speed before we make any modification. Same holds true with lower Walk the Line. We are feeling like the line will have to be straightened to allow you to carry the extra speed needed for the size of the jumps. Watch for that over the next few weeks, too.
We have also started re-working Challenger. This trail has started to have the vegetation encroach on the ride line. The one thing about our amazing dirt is it is also very fertile. In the process of doing this we are going to add in a few rollers, pull up the berms, re-face the jumps, add more landing, smooth out the ride line and just make the trail feel new again. Watch for this work to continue over the next several weeks.
That’s it for now. See you in the Park. I am going to enjoy this tacky dirt while we have it, because I am sure the summer heat is just around the corner.
Opening Day 2016 was Brilliant!
The Real Deal (June 14, 2016)
Bonus weekend is just around the corner this June 18th & 19th and the crew is excited to see all their hard work put to the test and to ride what they have been working on so diligently.
We had a great winter! This also means a little more work to get the Bike Park open. We had a higher number of blow downs than normal since the park closed last fall. It feels like the crew has not turned off their saws since we started a few weeks ago. There are also a few root balls turn up that we are working towards one by one, so please pre-ride the trails before you start free-riding them this weekend. As there may still be a few areas we are working on over the next couple weeks.
We are aiming to open as much of the park as possible but inevitably we will not have 100% of the Bike Park ready. There will be some of the usual suspects; like lower Shazam remaining closed and upper Beowulf still has snow on sections. We are shooting to have the rebuild of Rock Star below paved (Cross Mtn. Trail) ready for the Grand opening June 23rd. The original goal was to have it for bonus weekend but the wet weather this week has turned the trail into a mud pie your little sister would be proud of. So keeping the tires off it and a few days of sun, will help us ride a fresh trail all summer long.
Walk the Line is springing water in all the low spots as usual, so look for this one around the end of the month.
The very upper section of Double Dog was still under snow as of today, but it will come on line as soon as it is clear, fingers crossed this weekend or next.
Downtown received a short re-route this spring. In keeping with the theme, every year we try to hit a small section of this trail that is rutted out to the point of rubbing your frame on the sides. It is short but it is fresh steep loam.
As for the XC trails the Knoll network is running great and ready for tires. Unfortunately we have not had a chance to get out to Silver Shack. It got hit hard with the winds this winter and is loaded with blow down. If you want to climb to the top you will have to go out to Cabin Trail and lap up Paradise for another week or so until we get it cleared. This holds true for the top section of Beowulf as well, watch for it over the next two weeks to be ready.
The very bottom of Super Star has seen a new merge with Rock Star. This is the area that always had heavy break bumps before coming into the last hip on the ski run. It is ready to go but we are concerned with all this rain it could turn into a mud pit a Monster Truck might get stuck in. Watch for changing trail in this area because we may have to re-route onto Challenger to get everyone to the bottom. Come on dry weather!
It sounds like a lot is not ready but I as I type we still have a few days of work to go before the bonus weekend and the crew is killing it. So with any luck and Mother Nature’s cooperation we will push for as much trail to be open as we can. And at the end of the day we have over 85km of trail up here at the Silver Star Bike Park and truthfully only about 10km will be late opening. I guess this is why we call it a bonus weekend.
Rock Star Re-build! (June 6, 2016)
We are well under way. The staff is all trained up, we are walking the trails with tools and the machines are digging. As with every season, we walk every trail in the Park with the crew. We make sure all the drainages are flowing, the winter blow down is cut back and the trails are raked smooth. I think this is why the first couple weekends are SO DARN GOOD! The trail crew is fresh, keen and hungry to get the park open. Every trail feels the love top to bottom. Some sections of trail even get a full rebuild. I personally think the first week of the season is some of the best riding all year.
We started the re-build on Rock Star as promised. The machines went in at the lower Walk the Line Junction. Some of the jumps just got a face lift but most were completely torn down, moved and rebuilt. Make sure you roll through there the first time, as we did change the line in places. You will find yourself stepping up, rolling and transferring in places you used to go straight. The last couple steep tight berms are seeing a complete line change. There is still a lot of grade to lose there but I think we may have found a way down this. It will link together better and allow you to keep your flow.
We also have the first few hundred meters of Boewulf complete from the “finish” in. This will just be a tease of what is coming this summer. We have a bunch of creek crossings early on in this build, so we will be coming back to those crossings once the park if fully open and running. But the machine has bumped ahead and is still going. So once the crossings are in you will have a bunch of new trail to pedal.
Only a couple more weeks to go and we will be doing hot laps again. I can’t wait!
See you for first chair June 18th for the bonus weekend.
Sneak Peek at Trail Prep
Bike Park Update May 30, 2016: Get an early look at the trail crew in training and some of the early work they're doing on the mountain. These guys are doing an awesome job!
Let the Re-Build Begin
Bike Park Update: May 12, 2016
The SilverStar Bike Park is having a great run! We are continuously ranked as one of the best bike parks. We have been adding new trails every year and pushing our offerings for the riders that visit our resort. Whether it be the newly completed Jedi Mind Trick, the progression of Challenger, the jumps on Pipe Dream, the flow of Super Star or the tech of Gnar we have a trail for everyone. What we have not done for the past 10 years is give one of our tails a full face lift. We are always tweaking section of trail and re-working sections to keep them smooth but it is time to see one of our signature trails reinvigorated.
Welcome to Rock Star 2.0.
Rock Star is one of our original Jump trails. It is a black trail that has countless Silver Star berms that we are known for and loads of jumps. If you know this trail you also know you need to learn this trail. Some of the jumps are not that consistent. The speed of the trail dictates that you need to check your speed for this one and then let it run for the next. They were also built with a different style than what we see in the modern Bike Park. By piling up dirt from both sides, ending up with a narrow feeling jump. We have also found that the skill level of the park has come up. Some would even argue the jumps on the blue Jedi Mind Trick are bigger than the jumps on Rock Star. This is all about to change.
We will be super sizing Rock Star! Don’t fret, we will not be taking it to the level of Walk the Line for all you lovers of Rock Star. But it is time to bring Rock Star up to the standard to which it was originally intended. We want it to sit in-between Jedi Mind Trick and Pipe Dream once again. The jump frequency will still be quick, the jump size will get a smidge bigger and the overall feeling will stay much the same, but it is going to feel like a brand new trail. We will be starting from the bottom and working our way up, so by the time opening weekend arrives we should have something new to ride in the Bike Park.
Beowulf saw over 7km of trail completed last summer. Unfortunately hardly anyone got to see what trail crew was doing in the depths of Putnam Creek. Year 1 we opened 6.3 km of multi directional trail from the top. We worked the trail in this fashion so people could get a preview of what the crew was up to. Year 2 we worked from the bottom back up. For year 3 we will be working from the finish back down to the section we completed last year. Once again allowing all you Trail riders a taste of what is coming when this 30 km+ epic is finished. We will be opening a new section of the trail EVERY DAY throughout the summer.
The flow of Beowulf is designed to go clockwise. For this year however you can ride out and back from the start of the trail as well as the end and see how the crew is making out. And the finish is going to be exciting! We found one of the original relics of the old Silver Mining days gone by. It was used as a water catchment from far beyond the village to bring water back to the miners. This means it has a slight downhill grade allowing us to build a pumping, flowing, luge track to put the smile back on your face after the climb out. Grab your trail pass and come say hi to the crew as they work their way towards connecting the dots.
It is going to be another packed year in the SilverStar Bike Park and the crew is excited to get back to work this week. Enjoy your spring and watch for more updates and photos as we progress from a winter wonderland to the opening of the Bike Park June 18th for our first bonus weekend.
The Art and Science of Trail Building
Bike Park Update - August 31, 2015
There is a fine art to building trail and even a bit of science when it comes to crafting the perfect jump line. Jason Martin has been on Trail Crew for 8 years and if you ride the SilverStar Bike Park there is a very good chance you have ridden some of his handiwork. Jason has been instrumental in the new build of lower Walk the Line, in fact much of it is his brain child.
As with every trail on this mountain it is not a one-man show and it takes many hands to pull together a trail like Walk the Line. From the original scouting of the zone, to dropping the flags, cutting the line, getting the duff off, pulling up the jumps, raking it all smooth and slap packing the lips, Jason was there every step of the way on this one.
When the build was happening the crew was freaking out! We could not wait to test this new Double Black jump line in our Park. We wanted the bottom section to have a similar feel to the upper portion, where if you miss a jump or case a landing your run is over and you are rolling the rest of the trail. The idea is to link every jump together to truly get a feel for the trail.
At first glance we felt we hit it spot on and we still may have, but the jury is out. With such a dry summer we have not been able to get a true feel for the trail speed needed for this trail. After it hardens up it might just be as amazing as it looks or we may have to tweak a few things just a little. But I can tell you for sure when Walk the Line starts running fast and you nail all of its 20+ features, you will be thanking Jason and the crew for all their hard work. It is a work of art and a thing of beauty and I personally will be hitting it all weekend to see if it speeds up with this rain.
Speaking of rain, it is back!
It has been a very challenging summer for maintenance around the park. We hauled water and did the best we could but inevitably the park just falls apart when it is that dry. We can hold together for weeks without rain but without it….
Anyway we have had a couple days of consecutive rain and more in the forecast. It is going to make for an exceptional long weekend and couple bonus weekends Sept 12th & 13th and Sept 19th & 20th! In the meantime I must apologize to all the riders in the park mid-week this week. Trail crew is going to be closing sections of trail all week doing full re-builds on the trails, getting in your way walking trails top to bottom buffing them up and over all giving the park a bit of a face lift before we take the long weekend off ourselves.
So get up here this weekend and enjoy some tacky dirt and well-manicured trail!