Food, beer, work, nature, riding and “MAD” prizes
by Than Acuff
Sound the horn! The Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA) is calling on anyone and everyone to join them for their annual trail work overnighter Saturday and Sunday, August 20-21. The goal is to make trail #583, also known as the Crystal Peak trail, rideable, sustainable and that much more enjoyable. The weekend will also be in memory of Will “The Thrill” Olson who passed away last year competing in the Big Mountain Enduro when he crashed on trail 400.
“We’re getting rid of the fall line eroded sections and putting in some small wiggles to improve rider experience and trail sustainability,” says CBMBA executive director Dave Ochs. “Decommissioning and reclaiming the eroded sections to make it look like it was never there.”
The Crystal Peak trail starts 14 miles up the Cement Creek drainage and is 1.75 miles long, climbing 1,000 feet to the high ridge between Mt. Tilton and Crystal Peak and reaching an elevation of 12,159 feet.
“There’s a unique sense, a unique spirit up there that’s not found anywhere else in this valley,” adds Ochs.
The trail was deemed non-motorized during the travel management plan back in 2013. CBMBA has written grants for trail work efforts throughout the north end of the valley, and the last grant was awarded to CBMBA in April and is specific to fixing the Crystal Peak trail. That grant money was used to hire a trail crew through the Forest Service and they have been working on the trail throughout the summer. Now CBMBA is headed up there to seal the deal.
“Things are looking awesome up there, but there’s still work to be done,” says Ochs. “We’re finishing up what the Forest Service started.”
That’s where John and Jane Q. Public come into play. CBMBA needs a massive volunteer force to make this happen, something akin to the turnout they had to build the Point Lookout trail.
“We’d be psyched if we had 70,” says Ochs.
In true CBMBA fashion, they will be rolling out the red carpet for all volunteers with Rim Tours cooking up dinner Saturday, breakfast and coffee Sunday morning and providing lunch for Sunday. New Belgium is providing the beer and CBMBA has collected prizes from SOMA, SRAM, Julbo, Mountain Khakis, Osprey and the Idea Lab, to name a few, for the volunteer raffle.
“Rim Tours cranks out major meals and they’ve got the biggest French Press in the world,” says Ochs. “We’ll have major prizes, I mean major. People are going to walk with mad schwag.”
CBMBA is heading out Friday to get things set up and calling on volunteers to be out there starting Saturday and ready to hit the trail by 10 a.m. Everyone is encouraged to then spend the night out at the CBMBA campsite, enjoy food and libations and discuss future trail plans with CBMBA. Then, wake up the next morning for more food and coffee and get back to work on Sunday starting at 10 a.m. If you can’t make the entire weekend, any help at any time is much appreciated. All tools will be provided and available at the start of the Crystal Peak trail.
“Whenever you get up there, just grab a tool and head on up,” says Ochs.
CBMBA does need everyone who is planning on attending to RSVP so they can make sure they have enough food for everyone and can arrange shuttle rides for volunteers. If you want to ride your bike out there, you can have CBMBA shuttling any camping gear you may need to the site. Contact Ochs at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and make any arrangements necessary.
“We do need people to RSVP so we can get a proper head count,” says Ochs.
Once the work is done, Ochs and CBMBA are calling on people to saddle up for a ride in remembrance of Will Olson. CBMBA wants to get as many people as possible to ride up Crystal Peak trail and then down 400 to the site of Olson’s crash where they will put in a memorial in his honor and then return to the campsite to close out the weekend.
“Join in the community and give back to the trails that give us so much fun,” says Ochs.