Rerouting, decommissioning and mitigating
[ by Than Acuff ]
The Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA) is putting the call out to everyone and anyone for their annual trail work overnighter Saturday and Sunday, August 13-14 sponsored this year by Butte Financial and Pinnacle Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. It’s a long-standing tradition and the trail work weekends always bring together the perfect mix of hard work, good times and a great cause.
This time the goal is work on 405.3a, aka the Hammer Trail. Where is that you ask? Well, it’s way up above Walrod near trail 405, aka Double Top, and this .9-mile section of planned work is much needed and long overdue. In addition, it will tie in nicely with the work done by the Forest Service on Double Top.
“It’s hard to get to and that’s why it has lacked attention,” says CBMBA director Dave Ochs. “This is the last crux to finish a loop close to CB South that really needs attention.”
Specifically, time, water and use on this section of 405.3a has created rutted trails and some braided areas that go straight up the fall line. The weekend is dedicated to rerouting the trail in some areas, repairing existing sections of the trail as well as doing some water mitigation efforts to eliminate erosion in the future.
“We will decommission the braided fall line trails and efforts will be made to help revitalize and improve the impacted terrain to speed up the revegetation,” explains Ochs. “A big part of the work is getting water off the trail too. When it rains, the water just flows down the existing trails.”
Ochs spells it out in layperson terms as well.
“What we’re honing in on is making it super shreddy with wide open turns making it a fun flowy downhill that will also be more amenable to going up it,” says Ochs.
As mentioned though, this section of trail is way up there so CBMBA will be doing everything they can to make it as easy as possible for volunteers to help out.
For starters, the camp out is staged 1.3 miles up Walrod Gulch, which is a difficult drive for most vehicles.
“If you have a Subaru or a van, you’re not getting up there,” says Ochs.
As a result, CBMBA will be shuttling volunteers’ camping gear to the campout location, but you need to RSVP ahead of time to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The RSVP is huge for this,” says Ochs. “Not only to get a head count for food but to help get people’s gear up there. That way people can park down low at the trailhead and can hike or ride their mountain bike, e-bike or moto to the campsite.”
Speaking of food, Rim Tours will be serving it up big time once again providing dinner Saturday night as well as breakfast and lunch on Sunday. And plenty of coffee from Camp 4 and beer from Ska Brewing.
The trail work is then 1.7 miles from the campout location but CBMBA will be making that easier for everyone as well as they and the Crested Butte Conservation Corps will have all of the needed tools stashed at the work site so volunteers don’t need to carry them up there.
“We’ll have tools up there ready to go,” says Ochs.
The work starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday and will go until 4 p.m. and then it’s camping time. Sunday’s work starts again at 10 a.m. and finishes up at 3 p.m. and Ochs believes if they get the typical turnout for the weekend, the job should be done by Sunday afternoon.
“We usually see between 100 and 110 on Saturday and 30-40 on Sunday so we’d love to see those same numbers,” says Ochs. “I think we’ll get it done and, if not, we’ll go back up there so everybody’s got a place to put a tire to the trail.”
Provided the volunteers show up, an 11-mile loop in the Cement Creek drainage will be finished. A loop that includes a 4.5 mile, 2,600-foot descent from the top of 405.3a to the valley floor.