The Whistler Off Road Cycling Association needs a little extra help getting the mountain bike trails in shape this year.
Last falls record rainstorms and flooding took their toll on some of Whistlers more popular trails, causing erosion and wash-outs. Winter also left its mark as storms knocked down trees and branches.
This Sunday, May 9, WORCA is hoping to have a strong turnout of volunteers for its annual Trail Daze, a yearly sweep of local trails to remove debris, perform some minor maintenance, and spot major problems that will need to be addressed in the future.
The day starts at Gaitors at 9 a.m. with a free pancake breakfast. Afterwards participants will be divided into groups to sweep local trails. Unless its a long trail the bikes should be left at home. WORCA will supply tools, but people are welcome to bring extra chainsaws, shovels, picks and clippers.
"People have already been riding a lot of the lower elevation trails and have taken it on themselves to clear trails like Train Wreck, River and Cut Yer Bars, so theyre actually in pretty good shape," said Boyd McTavish, WORCAs director of trails.
"None of the trails is a priority as far as we know, we just need to take an inventory of whats good and what needs work. The trails that are a little higher up where the snow has just melted are probably going to need the most work this year, thats probably where we can make the best use of our time."
In addition to Trail Daze, WORCAs trail contractor Sean Dickson has already started on more than $8,000 in work budged for this year.
On Train Wreck, he has had to rebuild a bridge and divert a section of trail as a result of the flooding. Other repairs were made to sections of A River Runs Through It, Whistlers most popular trail, that were also impacted by the flood.
"The flood shifted the river log, took out a few features, wore away some deep divots it got hit pretty hard, like a lot of the lower trails that have little creeks and things running through them," said McTavish.
WORCA received an additional $3,200 in grant money from the Community Foundation of Whistler to finish the work on River that began last year with a massive $16,000 project. That work was funded by the CFOWs Environmental Legacies Fund, the Whistler-Blackcomb Foundation and the RMOW. The goal was to take steps to reduce the environmental impact of the trail by building fences, laying gravel, protecting root systems, closing off braided routes, and working to make the trial durable enough to handle a high volume of riders.